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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Bitting Miss Ellie, Part 3

Yes folks, we are onto part 3 in the saga of finding the right bit for the young 'un.  Like anything else with horses, every animal is different and what we think may work best isn't always what ends up actually working.

To briefly recap, we started in the JP French link eggbutt, and I moved her to a Neue Schule lozenge eggbutt thanks to a little Christmas money.  She really seemed to like the Neue Schule better than the regular French link, but man oh man, she was still so chompy.  At first, I was willing to chalk it up to her greenness and then later on to her slight nervousness at times with riding out and about in the snowy fields and such.  She had her teeth fully floated and examined in November, so I knew I could rule out any teeth issue.

JP French link

Neue Schule lozenge eggbutt
But it eventually dawned on me that this horse wasn't chomping on the bit due to greenness, nerves, or teeth problems, and it had to be the bit itself.  Huh.  My last three horses have all loved the French link design, but I started to suspect that maybe it was just too much movement for Ellie's mouth.  I gave it some thought, dug through my bit box to see what I had to try, and realized maybe I ought to try Sparky's favorite bit, a single jointed eggbutt.

Bit box has lots of bits

Of course, the mere idea of a single jointed bit goes against everything we have learned during the last several years about bitting and mouth ergonomics.  Heaven forbid I put a nutcracker action bit in my horse's mouth!  Oh, the horror!!  Haha.

I couldn't find the single jointed eggbutt anywhere in my bit box or tack room.  Then it dawned on me where it was...
Sparky's old bit always has the placement of honor on the horsey wreath
Oh right.

Maybe I ought to take down the wreath.  It was the first of March by this point!  And admittedly the wreath was starting to brown...hahaha.


Off the wreath, on the bridle, and Ellie approved
And I'll be damned.  Ellie loves this stupid bit!  She honestly does not make a peep, her mouth is quiet, and there is still nice dressage foam after our rides.  

Clearly, she needed the magic chestnut Morgan mare bit. 


The chestnut mare herself approving the magic bit
Let's see how long this lasts!  ;-)

Comments

  1. While I tend to use double jointed snaffles as my "go-to", horses mouths are not one size fits all, and it annoys me that the current trend is people hating on single-jointed snaffles. Sure, they don't work well for some horses. But as you've found, some horses love them. Gotta do what's best for your horse! 😀

    PS. I love your bit box. I spy with my little eye, a unicorn bit! 😉

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    1. Exactly! My conditioning against single jointed bits made me think of this bit after A LOT of thinking hahaha. (And searching since I forgot where I put it hahaha).

      And yes! That unicorn bit was for Snappy to run XC! Ellie can have one once we figure out which bit she likes best. ;-)

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    2. Agreed, I really think that no one should get so focused on the trends. What works for some doesn't always work for many! My last horse loved a mullen mouth more than any other bit I put in his mouth and like a regular bar, he was unrideable in the happy mouth type bits. Current horse loves a single joint, lots of foam, closed mouth even when my hands get weird!

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    3. YES! It is so hard to not feel like a heel if you are not following the "latest and greatest" trend or study. What works is what works!

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  2. I adore bitting <3 My horse has led me on a saga and a half with bits (and we aren't done yet). He is another one who adores a single joint bit and hates a lot of movement in his mouth. We had him going well last year in a Sprenger Dynamic Full Cheek and on a whim I tried the Sprenger Novocontact single joint. THAT was our magic ticket. Although for him the bridle/noseband is just as important. I'm still searching for his perfect jumping bit. If you're ever bored I will happily bounce ideas off of you as I'm running out of things to try :D

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    1. Ohhhhh I was eyeballing the novocontact but definitely do NOT want to buy it if she doesn't like it. Mary's Tack has a bit rental program so I would buy it through that first!

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  3. My horses all seem to enjoy their "nutcracker" single link loose ring snaffle... so I let them have it. It's hard to complain about a bit that costs less than 15$. I'm glad Ellie has found something she likes!

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    1. Right?!? Nothing like using the oldest bit you own. Winning!

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  4. i'm also kinda the same about personally gravitating towards the double jointed style, and basically any horse i ride will go in a KK unless they give me reason to believe something else would be better. and.... go figure... sometimes horses like other things lol. charlie actually goes better in a myler on the flat, and while he has a KK mouth piece for jumping, it's got the universal leverage action cheek pieces. and i'm not even sure that's our permanent solution either. so yea. experimentation is where it's at, i guess. glad you found one that Ellie likes!!

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    1. Sometimes I think I ought to get rid of some of my bits, but then I realize that experimentation phase would be MUCH harder haha!

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  5. laughing so hard that you didnt know where the bit was. Oh yeah the wreath LOL!

    Glad you found something that works :)

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    1. OMG it was so friggin funny, when after ten confused minutes of searching, the light bulb went off haha. None of the males around here thought I was as funny as I thought I was. ;-)

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  6. Same thing here. I really dislike single joined bits, but hey, some horses seem to like them.

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  7. Bobby couldn't tolerate anything besides a single joint and I initially got quite a lot of flack for that, but better internet trolls than having a horse going around grinding his teeth and opening his mouth every two strides!

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    1. Seriously, I think I am having anxiety about people seeing she is in a single joint and making judgements that I don't know what I am doing haha. Hell, I don't know what I am doing anyway half the time, so I should really just let that go! ;-)

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  8. I'm glad that you found a bit that works for her. There's nothing wrong with a single jointed bit. People need to get a life.

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  9. LOL the wreath! What a great idea. I have several bits hanging around that I want to do a craft like that with. I bet as soon as I do I end up in a similar position of needing it though lol. So glad you've found something she likes! Hopefully she'll be happy with it for awhile and not be a fickle youngster wanting 'the next greatest thing' =)

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    1. I saw the bit/bailing twine Christmas wreath idea on Pinterest a few years back and LOVED it! So the past few holidays I have bought plain wreaths and decorated them. :-) I already got fooled into buying her a Neue Schule (though maybe she will like it someday haha), so she already has the next greatest bit (supposedly) LMAO! ;-) I am sure we are not done with the bitting saga as she gets into real training this year.

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