Thoughts about the bit

Sometimes, when you're slightly bored, you just get into this weird flow with dosens of creative ideas for posts, drawings and other things like that. As I got into this flow about fifteen minutes ago, my brain gave me two topics to write about: bit and/or rider's seat while jumping. I'll start with talking about the bit because I still need to get more information and experience about the 'perfect jumpseat' before I can write a good post about it.

The reason my brain found this subject important enough to talk about is mostly my penchant for what I like to call "the invisible riding", riding with as imperceptible and light aids as possible. I've been taught by both literature and several trainers, that riding can only be easy for both rider and the horse if it looks easy. This wisdom is often used especially in the wonderful world of dressage, but in my opinion it is true no matter what kind of riding we're talking about.

If the point is to ride as soft as possible, it should be a foregone conclusion that the bit should also be as 'friendly' as possible. I've understood that the reason we have what we call 'the strong bits' are poorly trained horses and most of all riders who haven't got enough experience / interest / time to fix the problems in horse's earlier training.

I think the best advice for bit-dilemmas is that the simplest solution is usually the best. I used to ride Grace with a double bridle every day because of the issues we had with the corners of her mouth - and it worked quite fine with her - but I was happy that I was able to change back to a snaffle bit after we moved to Sweden. Back in Finland the double bridle was however the only solution we got, although I never thought it was too nice for the horse.

I took this up mainly because I have recently changed Rubin's bit to a straight rubberbit. His 'normal' snaffle was too short for his wiiiiide mouth and he started to get a tiny wound in the corner of his mouth because of that. The bit we're using now is 13,5 cm wide and it seems to fit better than the earlier one. I also think he likes this one more than the other one, but we'll see about that! Maybe he'll change his mind or something..

My goal with this post was to give something to think about when choosing a bit for your horse. To be honest, I don't have too much experience about strong bits (if the curb in the double bridle doesn't count), because I've never had a real need for one. This is why i strongly believe that there is very few (if any) horses that actually need a stronger bit for the best possible outcome, but I'd love to hear your opinions about this!

Don't hesitate to comment about your opinions if you feel like it! It tends to be so that people speak for the method they're currently using theirselves, so it would be wonderful if someone would bring some other points of view 'on the stage'. I do like to read (and answer) your comments guys, so don't feel shy about writing them down here :). Just remember that a stupid comment will lead into a sarcastic answer, so please do not write anything in the name of offending someone.

Throwback to the sunny days when there was no snow on sight...

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