Suggestions for driving bit?

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Fatcat
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Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby Fatcat » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:57 pm

I have a Welsh/Shetland cross pony mare that I drive. I've never found the perfect bit for her and am hoping more experienced drivers have suggestions before I start buying expensive bits. She has a small mouth and takes a 4" bit, so that limits our options. So, I've been driving her in a French link half cheek snaffle, and I have adequate brakes, but she is fussy, always chomping, and likes to go behind the bit a lot. So I thought I'd try a Mullen mouth half cheek snaffle I had, and she's much quieter in the mouth, takes more consistent contact without ducking behind, but it feels like I have much less brakes. In fact, she leans quite a bit on my hands in the Mullen. Any ideas what bit I might try next? I hesitate to try a regular snaffle as she has a shallow small mouth and I don't think she'd like the nutcracker effect. How about an arch mouth Liverpool/butterfly, or a glory Liverpool/butterfly? Advice welcomed!
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Quelah
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Re: Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby Quelah » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:19 am

Well my horse is about as far from your pony as can be ;) but based on what you've described…I'd try a mullen mouth Liverpool and hook the lines on a rough cheek or first slot setting. Glory and arch mouth are different than mullen, so may not feel the same to her. Also, of course, make sure she's not leaning on you because you're pulling on her since you feel less control. It takes two to pull and all that. No insult intended with that, it's just an easy thing to get caught up into doing. I find it helpful when I think a horse may be leaning on me, to take the lines in one hand, it usually tells the tale, and it's usually me ;)

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ironbessflint
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Re: Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby ironbessflint » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:33 pm

How scaled down is your French link? When I was driving my mini, I found that many bit makers would offer bits down to 4", but the mouthpiece at the same 12mm or 14mm diameter was just WAY too much for him.

I ended up getting this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Liverpool-Bit-L ... ZY-cOyB4Bg

And he was quite happy with it. The same seller has a variety of mouthpieces, including an arch mouth.

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Fatcat
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Re: Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby Fatcat » Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:15 pm

It is this bit:

http://www.iowavalleycarriage.com/conte ... ek-snaffle

It is very teeny tiny, definitely scaled down.
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ironbessflint
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Re: Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby ironbessflint » Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:50 pm

Okay, so it could just be that she's a horse that prefers NOT to have the double joint then. I suppose you could try a bean link, but you're probably splitting hairs there. I think a glory/arch mouth is the way I'd head.

And while I do like to maintain my dressage principles while driving, having SOME sort of leverage bit is a requirement for me, even if not using lower slots. So I agree with Quelah, as long as you're not heavy, I might try an arch mouth on rough cheek.

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Re: Suggestions for driving bit?

Postby Red's Mom » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:22 am

I was using a half cheek snaffle bit on my hot 12 hand pony. She seemed very uncomfortable in it. I switched to a liverpool mullen mouth and have it on plain setting, with the chain engaged. She is much happier in that. I have only been driving for under 2 years, but I have a lot of friends who help me.


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