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Country Pleasure & Snaffles


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#11 ladycascabel

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

"Spit the bit"....I'm not familiar with this term. I once knew a tiny-eared mini stallion that would drop his head, shake it, and his whole driving bridle would fall off as he opened his mouth...but I don't understand how a properly-adjusted snaffle could be "spit". I've had horses get a tongue OVER their snaffle if it was set too low, but never had one drop the bit entirely.
WanderingStar, can you explain what you mean by that expression?

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#12 WanderingStar

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:00 PM

Spitting the bit refers to a horse flipping or partially flipping their head upside down.

Soft quiet hands ARE always the key.

My original response was "I wouldn't encourage you to show a country horse in just a snaffle. Just because it's allowed in the rules doesn't make it a good idea."

This has nothing to do with how you want to work the horse at home. I simply don't think you will be taken seriously if you choose to show in only a snaffle. Regardless of the quality of horse and rider, the initial reaction will most likely be "WTF!?" We are used to seeing country horses wearing full bridles, and that is just that.

Someone in the know about rules (my mother would know...) could tell you there are other options. I believe you can show in a mullen mouth, or a pelham bit. I want to say that we had a country horse that DETESTED the curb, and so we showed him in a mullen mouth... but I could be wrong.
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#13 windridge

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 01:00 PM

You can show in a pelham but again most don't so it still wont look right. I ended up buying a hybrid bit (not sure what they actually call it) where the snaffle was welded to the curb for whatever reason my horse accepted it much better than a regular full bridle.

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JUSTADANCE+ Regional Champion and Canadian National Top 10, Montana Athena SHN Reserve Champion
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#14 Chile

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:06 PM

My interpretation of "spitting the bit" is when the horse raises his nose approaching the level of his eye. Any leverage that you had against their jaw is GONE and it is the classic runaway. Having a running martingale allows you the leverage to pull their head down and prevent this. Of course, with Saddleseat horses, you do not want a short martingale as you do not want to pull the neck down.

Besides using a Pelham, I have also known people to use latex to wrap the snaffle to the curb in the center of the mouthpiece. I work my horses at home in a wrapped French Link with a straight rein and a draw. I transition to the curb by long lining in the full bridle with bit converters. Depending on the horse, I have used a Pelham to transition to the full bridle. Each horse is different and it depends on what they need.
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#15 Zoe

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

So why WOULDN'T one show in a snaffle, except that it "isn't trendy"?

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#16 ArabHrsLvr

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 06:11 PM

My uneducated assumption is that it might seem as though the horse isn't "finished".

Maybe someone with more experience will share their thoughts.

Michaela

#17 stace

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 06:56 PM

My uneducated assumption is that it might seem as though the horse isn't "finished".

Maybe someone with more experience will share their thoughts.

Michaela


That's the first place my brain went to as well but I don't show CEP personally....
~~Stace~~
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#18 Hunterfield Farm

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:25 PM

I have seen a lot of SS horses worked in just a snaffle + running martingale.
Personally, when working the saddleseat horse I prefer to attach 2 sets of reins to the snaffle bit--then use the top set 'just plain' while putting the bottom set thru a running martingale. My mare loved to poke her nose out and having that extra set in my hands meant I could give her a little 'reminder' (or ride with contact for awhile, if need be) with the martingale, but still have the direct, unimpeded contact with the other rein.

As for showing in just a snaffle, it's not very frequently done, probably because--as others have remarked--it may give the impression that the horse isn't 'finished'. Sorta silly, but that's the way it is. All the CEP horses I know don't 'need' the curb; riding on a slightly drapey curb rein seems to indicate that your horse is mannered and happy enough that you don't need to engage the curb. But, as with many other things in the show ring, you want to maintain the 'appearance', which apparently includes four reins whether you need them or not. ;-)

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#19 WanderingStar

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 04:30 AM

So why WOULDN'T one show in a snaffle, except that it "isn't trendy"?

Because it will look like you didn't know how to get the horse into a full bridle. Again, no matter the talent of horse or rider, that will be the first impression. If you don't need it, then put the horse in a full bridle and leave the curb rein loose.
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#20 windridge

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:27 AM

I agree with everyone else about the horse not looking finished etc. however if yu do not feel comfortable in a full bridle you would be better with a snaffle or pelham- depending on the horse if you make a mistake with a full bridle it can take a long time to correct it. If you are not familiar with how one works I would highly reccomend a lesson or 2 on a saddleseat horse to learn how to correctly fit the bridle (so the bits sit and work correctly), how to hold the reins and when and how to use the snaffle vs the curb rein. It is not hard but it does take a little practice.

WR MEGA ROCK++/ multiple Regional Champion and SHN top 10, MA Razcals Glori SHN Top 10
JUSTADANCE+ Regional Champion and Canadian National Top 10, Montana Athena SHN Reserve Champion
WR SHADDO HAWK+++/- Multi Regional Champion and multiple SHN Top 10
MAGNIFICO ZF-multiple Regional Champion, SHN Reserve Champion, multiple USN top 10