Question about barrel racing bits

I’m not one to have 100 different bits for my horses, but I’m looking for a different bit for my 6 year old barrel trained horse. He has been riding in a million dollar bit (which I do not like, but he does). I tried to switch him to an Ed Wright 3 piece lifter bit (medium shank); he HATED it and kept throwing his head.

What bit should I try to switch him to, if I don’t want to ride him in a million dollar bit everyday? thanks!

A few questions for you first: I am assuming you purchased the horse and that is what the previous owner used on him?

What D is he usually running in at jackpots?

Do you ride him in the Million Dollar Bit all the time? (both regular riding and barrel runs)

I too am not a fan of the Million Dollar Bit. In my opinion, it’s a lot of bit. Especially on such a young horse. Personally, I’m also not a fan of twisted wire on a mouthpiece, but that’s just me.

As far as the Ed Wright bit, are you sure you didn’t have it adjusted too tight or too loose for the horse’s liking? How long did you try it? (What mouthpiece was on it?)

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My trainer recommended the million dollar bit, when she rode him she thought he worked best in it. I’m not a fan of the bit either, I think it is misused.

As far as divisions, I have not raced him yet. He was run last summer by a newbie barrel racer, they didn’t clock a time because of rider errors. I have loped him through the pattern at home a few times, but just for fun.

The Ed Wright is a smooth dog bone mouthpiece. My other barrel horse loved it, used it for everyday and competition. I have tried to ride my 6 year old in it three times, and each time he has a similar head-tossing tantrum. xD

Hmm, well I guess I wouldn’t go so far as to call him “trained”. Sounds like he is still a work in progress to me (and nothing wrong with that). But I digress.

I myself prefer bits that are double jointed rather than a single joint.

Have you tried a basic snaffle on him, just to see how he goes in it?

When is the last time he had his teeth checked?

Yes, I should rephrase; he has had barrel training, he is not a finished horse. He can lope a pattern smoothly, he sets nicely, with smooth turns, does not shoulder a barrel… I know that million dollar bits were designed for more control in turns, I don’t think he needs that much of a bit to ride in, or to work barrels in.

I have not tried him in a snaffle, I do have one I could try on him. Would you recommend this just for everyday riding?

He had his teeth floated earlier this year.

If he goes well in the snaffle, there’s no reason you couldn’t use that for every day riding. It just kind of depends on the horse. He may even work the barrels nice in one. There’s no “rule” that says you need something strong for running, but it just depends on the horse.

For my younger horse Shotgun, I primarily ride him in a snaffle to keep him legged up. He will be 7 this year. I do a little bit of everything with him, including showing. So I do also ride him in a short shank curb (double jointed mouth) when we are showing or doing reining. For barrels, I can run him in a snaffle too but lately I’ve been running him in a Jr. Cowhorse with the roller center. He seems a little “quicker” in his responses on the turn with it. But he does work nice in a snaffle too. He’s still learning - so far his personal best is top of the 3D … and he hasn’t figured it out yet LOL.

For my other horse Red, he hates snaffles. He’ll go in one if I ask him to, but he’s not a fan. So I do most of our regular riding in a simple short shank curb with a dogbone center. For barrels, I also run him in a Jr Cowhorse with the roller center. He’s usually 2D (3D if I make a mistake) but gets a nice 1D run once in a while. For training for reining, I’ll mix it up. Here and there I’ll ride him in a correction bit or something a little stronger, then come back down to our usual bit. I’m always “messing with him” so to speak, so I try to keep him light and on his toes. :wink:

For your horse, the head tossing could be a training thing (maybe why your trainer thought a million dollar bit would work for him … but that’s a lot of head gear). Or he maybe really didn’t like the Ed Wright bit. I’d try a snaffle on him, or whatever other bits you happen to have right now. Do a few days on each bit and just play around with it and see what he seems to like and/or go best in.

If he tosses his head with everything, then I’d be inclinded to think it’s a training issue and not so much the bit. (provided his teeth are fine, saddle fit are fine, etc etc)

Okay, I will try what you have suggested. thank you so much for your help!!!