From Endurance to Dressage
Another "New" Bit
I wish I had new pictures or video of Izzy working. That boy is really starting to come along. Of course, part of that might be just that it's hot. We'll see how how I feel on the first crispy day of fall/winter. I might be whistling a totally different tune by then.
For now, I am very happy with how things are going with my big brown, er, buckskin horse. Our work routine begins with long and stretchy, followed by work hard, and then finished off with longer and stretchier.
To keep him listening, I alternate between the ported correction bit and a dressage legal snaffle. He goes in the ported bit after he's had a day or two off - I like to remind him that I have brakes if I need them. Otherwise, he goes in the dressage legal bit.
I wish that the rules on bits were a little more lenient. Izzy loves, loves, loves the ported bit. He slurps it right up, and packs it around so quietly. He's soft in his neck and poll and practically sighs as he sucks on it like it's his own thumb. I hook the chain loosely so it never actually connects. He just likes how this bit feels.
The loose ring snaffle, the second one from the bottom, is the legal snaffle bit that he's been going in over the past year or two. While he accepts it, he's not in love with it like he is with the ported bit shown at the bottom. And lately, he's gotten a bit stiff in it and leans on my hands. On a whim, I decided to try another of my snaffles to see how he would do. He absolutely grew to hate the one at the top, but I had never tried the one below it.
While they appear nearly identical, there is actually a lot of difference between the two, which I never noticed before. When I compared the two bits side by side, I realized that the lozenge is positioned differently in each bit. The lozenge in the top bit lies flat on the tongue, while the lozenge in the bottom bit is angled up. Also different is the change of metal. The top bit is a Mikmar with a Cupreon, a copper alloy, mouthpiece. The second bit is a stainless steel JP Korsteel with a copper oval link.
The first day I rode him in the Korsteel, he was actually quite happy to pack it around, but he did chew on it nonstop. He was even better the next day slurping up the bit as though he had worn it daily for months. I've now ridden him in that bit at least a half dozen times, and he's just gotten happier and happier with it.
Un like the mouthpiece of the loose ring, the mouthpiece in the JP Korsteel moves making it easier for me to isolate one shoulder or the other. He also gives me better lateral flexion in his poll and neck.
I can't say that this bit is the solution to all of our problems, but for now, he seems pretty happy in it. And as a bonus, it's dressage legal.
Not like we're showing or anything. Or are we?
8/15/2019 02:25:43 pm
Niko has gone through quite a few bits, and right now we school in a beval gag, that has similar cheek pieces to Izzy's favorite bit! He goes in a similar mouthpiece D-ring for shows ;-)
8/18/2019 01:28:18 pm
The Kimberwick cheek pieces are pretty useful. Izzy is the first horse I've owned that needed so many different bits. Maybe I've been lucky?
8/18/2019 01:29:03 pm
I have learned that some horses have pretty specific tastes when it comes to bits.
Do you guys have bit fitting clinics nearby? I've been considering taking my sensitive guy to one of those (the one I'm considering is in Norcal though). I believe the person doing it is a Gold Medalist and she brings out a ton of bits, measures the horse's mouth, and then lets you try a bunch of them. Might be something that could help Izzy, I hadn't heard of them until recently!
8/18/2019 01:30:34 pm
I too recently heard about bit fitting clinics, but I haven't seen any in my area. The closest thing that I've done is to contact the Myler brothers directly to chat about Izzy's likes and dislikes. If I hear about a bit fitting clinic, I will definitely consider give it a try.
Comments are closed.
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%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: