From Endurance to Dressage
And now the bit post ... I hope.
Click photos for larger view ...
I have a small thing for bits. It's not like I have a lot of them, but the ones I do have I REALLY like. They're a little like jewelry, everyone needs a few really good pieces. Then there are the costume pieces, cheap, easy to replace and no big deal if lost. I have a couple of those, but frankly I don't want to use any of them on my horses and I am actually in the process of re-homing the few that I have left.
My two favorite bit brands are those made by the Mylers and Mikmar. Both companies were created by horsemen who were interested in refining a horse's way of going by improving rider to horse communication. When a company's motto is, "Designed With the Horse in Mind," you have to think their product is at least trying to improve on what else might be out there.
Right now I am only using the two Mikmar bits; the combination bit is the one I use for trail work, and the eggbutt is for dressage. It is show legal as is the Myler french link. None of the other bits I own are legal for showing dressage, but that doesn't mean you can't school or ride in a bit that your horse likes. Use what works!
I know the combination bit looks a bit ... extreme, but Speedy G really travels well in it and seems pretty happy. Back in the day, when I only used Kimberwicks 'cause that what everyone else was using, I would have thought this bit was horrifyingly atrocious. The truth is, the string over his nose gives him a signal that I'm asking for something, the width of the mouthpiece disperses the pressure over his tongue, and the three pieces of the mouth piece allow me to use each side a bit more independently of the other. Oh, and the roller is just for fun!
The Lozenge bit makes him more comfortable than with the French link, but it doesn't send my cues quite as effectively as the combination. Interestingly, he did really poorly in the French link. With the reins attached to the loose rings, the message he got was "WTF?" There was too much movement in his mouth with the ring slipping round and round, and the flat link of the mouth piece put pretty sharp pressure on his tongue. It was actually trainer number 2 who suggested the move to an eggbutt bit. Speedy G thanks you!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%