I am on a quest for the perfect bit. You see, I have one horse who has been pretty tried and true when it comes to bits. We’ve changed things around, but he’s never really hated a bit. I think he might love his current sets of tack for dressage, cross country, and show jumping, but he’s never been offended by a piece of metal I’ve put in my mouth. I like to call him my easy child, because everything with him tends to be more simple and civil. Sure, we might have had our fair share of complicated issues, but overall, he’s the easy child, especially with tack. His younger brother might be the fussiest horse I’ve ever met. He’s one of those horses that you fall in love with as soon as you watch them go. Tall, muscular, fancy, insanely talented, and spicy…which is just how I like them. Unfortunately, we have spent almost two years trying to find a way to balance all of those traits.
My beautiful baby boy took over a year to figure out how his legs worked, especially out on cross country. While some people may dream of a mega stride…I can tell you that it’s not nearly as much fun to ride when they’re green and anything less than five strides is terrifying. He has finally put on some much needed weight, even more muscle, and is really growing into himself. The only problem: we still haven’t found our fairy tale bit. We have something tolerable for dressage. And we can use that bit for show jumping at home…but when it comes to at a horse show, it’s a lost cause.
For Christmas I gave my family an assortment of links for bits that I wanted to add to my collection. I am not lucky enough to have the resources of a large pool of people to borrow unique bits from, so I pick and choose which ones I think have the best likelihood of working and I add them to my arsenal. I ended up with a lot of weird looks and a double jointed hackamore and a Gina Miles Double Ring Waterford bit
Lately we’ve been show jumping in a hackamore. This is quite possibly the only bit I’ve ever seen this horse love. As soon as he goes in it he is quiet, mostly obedient, and I can tell he genuinely enjoys it. Unfortunately, due to my bad luck, I am a cheap horse momma and bought a used bridle and hackamore in to try my luck with it. Everything was going swell until we went off on a baby bucking spree, which is usually no big deal. This time, as i went to pull his head up, the bottom of the hackamore snapped, then the throat latch napped, and off I tumble landing head first. Since then, I have purchased a new hackamore, but I now find myself with this nagging worry of what would happen if he gets overly strong at a show and it were to break. I’ve found stronger hackamores and ways to ease my worries for show jumping, but I have lost all trust in potentially using a hackamore on cross country.
The next logical step in my mind was to use a loose ring hackamore, which is a rubber loose ring with a hackamore feature around it, allowing for that soft mouth feeling with a little something extra. This bit went on my horse’s hate list. I’m not sure there’s anything more in life my horse hated than this bit. If i even touched his mouth his head would shoot straight into the air, his back would hollow, and he would act as if the world were about to end.
Well, I guess it’s safe to say he doesn’t like that bit. Up next we will try a couple different style hackamores than are more sturdy than the one I’ve been using. We also will try a loose ring gag, the Gina Miles double ring waterford, a cherry roller bit, and a few others. Thankfully his show season doesn’t start until June, because it sounds like we might be on this guest for the perfect cross country bit for a long time.