From Endurance to Dressage
More Bit Experimentation
Izzy is the first horse that I've owned that has not been happy in any old bit. I've had quite a few horses, at least ten, and they've all been easy to bit up. Izzy is the first to have an opinion.
Here's a quick recap:
I can see why he didn't like it. When I moved my reins up, it caused the bit to roll backwards in his mouth. With the reins connected to the bottom spot, the bit hangs more vertically in his mouth.
Out of the blue, I saw a Myler Bitting Assistant thing pop up on my Facebook feed. You simply fill out the small questionnaire, and one of the Myler brothers will call or email you (your choice) with advice on which bit would be best for your horse.
Of course I filled out the form and sent it off. While I feel like I have a pretty good feel for the Myler Bitting System, I was eager to hear what they might say. I received an answer the next morning. Dale Myler wrote, "with the 33 mouthpiece in the Kimberwick cheek, you only ride the bottom rein. My suggestion would be to stay in the 33, and once a week go to your 33WL bit to see where you're at."
Aha! Well that made a lot of sense especially regarding the rein placement. I won't even bother trying to move it to the snaffle rein setting again. I've been wanting to try out my legal dressage bit (pictured above), but I've been worried that I won't have the control I need. Changing the bit once a week to see where we are is an excellent suggestion.
I know I am getting closer and closer to that legal bit. And if nothing else, I am getting an excellent education in bits!
good luck with the experimentation. i found that my guy has done very well with switching the bits around - both naturally bc we jump and flat in different bits, but i've also used the myler correction bit with him about once a month to once every 6 weeks, switching back to the plain snaffle after. it's telling to see what changes for the better (ie, the correction has helped) and what's made worse (ie, the correction bit acted as a bandaid for a problem rather than a solution) when we go back to the snaffle. i might be trying one of the myler dressage legal bits soon. we'll see!
7/7/2017 03:14:20 pm
I actually rode in the 33wl today and was really pleased! For Izzy it seems as though it has been a comfort issue more than a training issue. He flat out nutted up with the lozenge snaffle. He WOULD NOT let me me bridle with that bit, but just once in the correction bit, and he was lowering his head and slurping the bit right up. Since then, I've been moving slowly toward the 33wl. I may not be able to ride in it every day, but it seems as though he's finally getting to the point where he is broke enough to at least give it a try.
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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.
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