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Old 10-30-2007, 11:39 AM  
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Lets talk bits! Correction Bits?

When, where and why? Should you use a correction bit?
I think this is the one that a friend rides with.
http://www.sstack.com/shopping/produ...ProductID=6464

Why do you use these?
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:44 AM  
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I am not a good one to ask as I will never use them - the strongest bit I have ever used is a tom thumb...

If a horse needs a stronger bit, then perhaps he or she needs some retraining.. correction bits mask the problem, but do not correct it.. A well broke horse should respond to leg and seat... the bit should be only a light reminder for speed control..

Sorry, I was no help at all!
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:44 AM  
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I have one sorta like that. I use it b/c my mare has a hard mouth. She needs something to get her atention. She has gotten better with the use of a correct bit and a soft hand. I think in a few months I should be able to ride with something softer.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:50 AM  
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I own 2 kimberwickes, but not with a large port like that. Mine are both snaffles.. Why do I use (and live by) them? Because on a strong horse like my Thoroughbred, it helps elevate the head or lower. Hence the reason there are 2 holes on the rings to anchor your reins. I rode my head strong (and head high) TB in the bit for less than 1 month to correct her. Would I ride in one on a day to day basis? No. Once the issue is corrected, I change back to a mild bit (in my TB's case, a 20mm hollow mouth loose ring). It's a strong bit, and not overly harsh which is why I use the snaffle... I'd never put a port like that in my horse's mouth...
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:04 PM  
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That bit looks mean to me. I saw a few riding with it at the show I attended this weekend too. Made me wonder. I ride my mare with a slow twist dee ring snaffle. My TB gelding rides with a low port myler 4" shanks. The correction seems to apply tongue pressure? I am trying to understand bits better...bear with me. What type of horse would use these? I know they use them in western alot, but why in english?
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:11 PM  
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My husbands best rope horse uses a very large spade bit. He is 20 years old and beyond any re training. He is the way he is. He was trained by his cousin who owned him first and they just didnt get along, he was a rodeo horse and therefore was cowboyed alot. He was really rough on him and it has lead to him not stopping. He has come a long way since hubby got him (10 years ago or so) he used to have to stop him by running into the panels at the end of the arena. Now with the spade bit he just needs a light hand and he responds really well. I have only seen him not stop one time with hubby and he ended up breaking the reins and bailing.... (just trying to get him to stop even with the spade).

I do agree that MOST horses can be trained and do not need any kind of correction bit, but like KatieMae said they are good tools to use as a reminder or a type of training aid. But I do not believe (in most cases) that they should be used all the time.

Here is a picture of a bit similar to the one we use on indio. And a picture of the old man too!

The only difference is hubby's bit is custom engraved, a bit heavier, and has a roller (which indio loves). Also want to add that Indio never has a sore mouth and always accepts the bit willingly. I think when used right it is not as cruel as it looks. http://www.nrsworld.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=BIT757E!REI

eta - his back leg is not messed up! he is just standing funny! lol
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:13 PM  
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My concern is not the infrequent use of these with someone who knows how to use them, and does so usually only for a short period of time - it is that in the hands of those who should not be using them, they can create problems that are very difficult to correct..

IF there is another way, they should be considered a last resort measure - or used in the hands of an experienced trainer (like Katie ) to effect a permenant change and then be replaced by a milder bit..

Does that make sense - or am I rambling..
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:13 PM  
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"Correctional" does not refer to the bit correcting a horse's problem--it is simply what the port is called.

It's really not that harsh. Actually, it gives tongue relief for a broke horse. A regular jointed bit always puts pressure on the tongue when you pull back, and it can pinch. A correctional mouthpiece, on the other hand, rolls off of the tongue and applies pressure to the sides of the mouth, instead.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:26 PM  
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Depends on the hands that use it - that port is pretty high - hard hands and that thing works on the horses roof all the time..
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:54 PM  
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I have a bit with a mouthpiece like that.... but it has 4" shanks.

I'm personally fascinated with bits and learning about how they work.

What this bit should accomplish is it should sort of trap the tongue in the port, allowing for little to no tongue pressure, as almost-mozart said. The straight parts of the bit will contact the bars of the horse's mouth, and since it's a 3-piece mouthpiece, the sides of the bit will apply pressure to the corners of the horse's mouth.

Picture it like this.... a french-link mouthpiece (one with two joints) applies pressure on the tongue, bars, and corners of the lips. The normal jointed snaffle, when pulled straight back, applies pressure to the corners of the mouth and the outside of the bars, and doesn't apply pressure straight down on the horse's tongue... it forms a v-shape, and can cause uncomfortable pinching.

Depending on the height of the port, the port may or may not touch the roof of the horse's mouth. This bit shown has a port that's 2", measured from the BOTTOM of the bit to the TOP of the port. It shouldn't touch the roof of the mouth too much.

So why would you use it? Say you got a horse that has a damaged tongue from a previous owner or hates tongue pressure. What would you do? A french-link snaffle is out of the question, because that most certainly applies tongue pressure. A normal snaffle applies tongue pressure when you cue to turn, and when pulled straight back can pinch the tongue. This style is an option to try. And you can get smaller port sizes as well... you can select one that will not apply pressure to the roof of the mouth while still relieving the tongue pressure.

Soft hands are the key to making every bit work correctly... even the mildest of snaffles will be terror in the wrong hands.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:03 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbarmranch View Post
Depends on the hands that use it - that port is pretty high - hard hands and that thing works on the horses roof all the time..
The roof of a horse's mouth is fairly high....not that I'm trying to argue a meaningless point, here.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:05 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbarmranch View Post
Depends on the hands that use it - that port is pretty high - hard hands and that thing works on the horses roof all the time..
It also depends on the shape of the horse's mouth. A lot of "baby-doll" QHs and Arabs are hard to fit, if fit correctly. They have very shallow mouths and a single jointed snaffle (of any kind) is going to hit them in the roof of the mouth when you pull back on the reins. This particular curb bit is going to do the same thing with a horse with a shallow mouth. A curb is not nessecarily a bad thing, just like a snaffle (contrary to popular believe) isn't always a good thing. A VERY mild bit is a french snaffle (it has two breaks in it), it won't hit a horse in the roof of the mouth when you pull back on it, has minimal "nut-cracker" action on the bars, and applies most of the pressure by direct pull to the tongue.

A Kimberwick with a lower port (or this one on a horse with a deep mouth- i.e. some TBs, WBs, Draft crosses...) isn't a very harsh bit. It doesn't have a lot of leverage without a true shank (it works very similar to a very short shank), so while it does apply "leveraged pressure" to the tongue (with tongue relief from the port), under the chin with a curb strap, and poll pressure, it's pretty minimal.

A Tom Thumb is deceptive in the fact that everyone thinks "because it's a snaffle, it's mild". I'm not saying they're bad but they can be very harsh. You have leveraged pressure on the bars, under the chin from the curb strap, and on the poll. You also have the nut cracker action on the tounge and bars (to go along with the leverage) and pressure on the roof of the mouth if the bit isn't fit correctly. Not to mention I've seen them used with chain curb straps to give them more "control". I think they are a good transitional bit between a snaffle and a "finished" horse but they are another bit that is only as gentle as the hands using it...
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:16 PM  
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I use a western correction bit on my pleasure horse (avatar). It's not because he is that hard-mouthed, but because he is just that type of horse. Okay, that may not be making any sense, but that big port helps him put his head where in needs to be without me having to get on to him. Now, I can go and ride him in a snaffle just fine... He stops and turns great. It is more for his headset than anything. Let's face it, a judge doesn't want to see you constantly tugging on your horses head. This bit helps with that. Also, the correction bit I have is broken on either side of the port, so each side moves independantly (like a snaffle). Also, because it is jointed it better conforms to the horses mouth making it more comfortable than a straight ported mouthpiece. It has a little "give" to it.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:20 PM  
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I use a correction bit when I show (has shanks and a medium sized port). I normally ride in a comfort snaffle at home but at shows it gives my already light horse just a touch more. Honestly I have not run into anyone on our show circiut that rides in anything else, unless they are on junior horses and then that might change. A bit is only as harsh as you make it, in fact my horse can't stand a regular snaffle because of the nut cracker effect it can have. The port in his correction bit gives him a bit of a tounge reflief. I do believe that you shouldn't ride in one unless you are an experienced rider because the potential for causing pain is much higher with that kind of a bit, but if you are in a specialized discipline it is just another piece of equipment you might use.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:28 PM  
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The mare that I got at the first of the year rides with a correction bit. I do not like them. I tried moving her to a tom thumb, but it was a no go. She did not respond at all. I put her back into that bit, (she came to us riding with that), and no problems. It is used on her for collection and other things, it is by no means used as correction. She feels it barely move and she is ready to work. She is so talented with her leg cues too. Like I said it is strickly used for collection. I have been riding for many years and I do have a light hand. My nephew rides this horse and he is a newbie to horses and I was able to teach him how to ride "light handed".

But as far as my riding horses, it is tom thumbs, full cheek snaffles, and my mare it is a hack.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:45 PM  
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I guess it is just me then - I like to use as little a bit as possible.. I have seen so many horses with damaged mouths because the hands that hold the reins use "correction" bits incorrectly instead of taking the time to teach the horse to ride off a seat and leg cue.. However, that can really happen with any bit, so I do see your point

Not saying that about anyone on here - just what I have dealt with over the years.. People often move up to a harsher bit without looking for the reasons why that is necessary...

I do agree Michelle that a tom thumb can be a horrible bit if used by the wrong people - one of the reasons that it has recieved such a bad reputation - I like them to aid in collection with a green horse - but then again, I don't rush my horses, or have hard hands, so for me it is an effective and gentle bit..

I have taken horses that were ridden in horribly harsh bits, and had them riding in a snaffle or with a rope halter - loose reins - collected and relaxed in 60 days or less..

But, that is why those bits are out there - everyone has different ideas and different training techniques..
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:55 PM  
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Like I said, I dont like them and on horses that I ride they are in either a hack or in a tom thumb or snaffle. I agree that with time most of them can be brought back to use the other style bits. Blaze and Belle ride with s type hacks. Chief rides tom thumb or hack and Duke rides full cheek snaffle. Most of the time I will not buy one that uses anything stronger, but every once in a while there is a exception
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:56 PM  
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You are right - if you didn't train them yourself, you often have to work with only what someone else has left you..
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:20 PM  
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Not saying that about anyone on here - just what I have dealt with over the years.. People often move up to a harsher bit without looking for the reasons why that is necessary...
That is so true. I know quite a few people who see what others are riding their horses in and decide that's what their horse needs as well. Then theres the other people who try a bit with longer shanks, bigger port, etc when the 'problem' they have is in the training, not the equipment. Unfortunately those are the same people who don't have soft hands in the first place, and most likely the same people who wouldn't join a forum like this...

That correction bit was used on my sister's old game horse. when we got him, he refused to ride in a snaffle or shanked snaffle and had two speeds... walk and flat-out sprint. He knew how to neckrein, but didn't like the feel of the solid curb bit (and normally ran right through it with his head sky-high). We introduced him to our correction bit, got him back under control very shortly, then moved him to a hackamore. He ran games in a jim warner hackamore, and if he started pushing on my sister's hands, she would put him in a combination hackamore or back in that correction bit to get him light in the face again. Now many people view those combination bits as the meanest, cruelest things in the world, but I don't want to start that discussion now.

I know this type of bit is regularly used in the WP ring, as it is still considered a 'finished' bit, but you can apply independent pressure to each side of the face with the jointed mouthpiece and swivel shanks. It can help in many ways, and as all bits, aren't good tools in the wrong hands.

I love bit discussions, I enjoy reading everyone's opinions!
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:30 PM  
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Hackamores are another thing that everyone thinks are so kind. I've seen some god-awful hacks. Check out this horrid contraption that my Haffie filly was being ridden in:



Not only is it a chain (on a two year old) but it's set low enough on her nose that it's on the soft cartlidge and check out the length of the shanks.
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