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Bits And Biting (Spooner)

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Bits And Biting (Spooner)

  1. 1. My Horse University and eXtension’s HorseQuest welcome you to this live Webcast. A “Bit” of Information: Bits & How They Function Holly Spooner, PhD, PAS Extension Horse Specialist & Assistant Professor West Virginia University
  2. 2. Meet our presenter: <ul><li>Holly Spooner, PhD, PAS </li></ul><ul><li>West Virginia University </li></ul>Question facilitator: Dr. Christine Skelly Michigan State University
  3. 3. Why a bit? <ul><li>Aid for communication </li></ul><ul><li>Should be used after seat and leg </li></ul><ul><li>Not for punishment </li></ul>
  4. 4. Snaffle vs. Curb <ul><li>Snaffle: direct pressure, no leverage, reins and headstall attach to same “ring” </li></ul><ul><li>Curb: indirect pressure, leverage, reins and headstall attach to different place </li></ul>
  5. 5. Snaffle vs. Curb <ul><li>The “hybrid” </li></ul>
  6. 6. 8 “Places for Pressure” <ul><li>Bars </li></ul><ul><li>Corners of lips </li></ul><ul><li>Tongue </li></ul><ul><li>Roof of mouth </li></ul>
  7. 7. 8 “Places for Pressure” <ul><li>Poll </li></ul><ul><li>Nose </li></ul><ul><li>Curb groove </li></ul><ul><li>Side of face </li></ul>
  8. 8. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>1. RIDER!!!!! </li></ul>
  9. 9. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>2. Mouthpiece diameter </li></ul><ul><li>Measure 1 in. from checkpiece </li></ul><ul><li>5/16”-3/4” is “legal” for AQHA </li></ul><ul><li>3/8” considered moderate </li></ul><ul><li>Too big may not always be better! </li></ul>
  10. 10. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>3. Mouthpiece texture </li></ul>
  11. 11. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>4. Broken v. solid </li></ul><ul><li>Broken: independent lateral control </li></ul><ul><li>Solid: difficult to have “independent movement” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>5. Port height/shape; tongue relief </li></ul>
  13. 13. Judging Severity – All Bits <ul><li>Width: needs to fit horse/pony </li></ul><ul><li>“ Nutcracker” effect </li></ul>
  14. 14. Judging Severity – Snaffles <ul><li>Ring type may influence severity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eggbutt believed to be “gentlest” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loose ring “harshest” </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Judging Severity – Snaffles <ul><li>1. Length of shank: “Bottom to Top Ratio” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Judging Severity – Snaffles <ul><li>2. Angle of shank relative to headstall attachment </li></ul>
  17. 17. Judging Severity – Snaffles <ul><li>Curb chain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjustment--generally “2 fingers” </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Materials <ul><li>Steel: heavier, will rust </li></ul><ul><li>Stainless </li></ul><ul><li>Copper: generally in mouthpiece; believed to increase salivation </li></ul><ul><li>Aluminum: not recommended for mouthpiece </li></ul>
  19. 19. Hackamores <ul><li>Pressure on nose or nose and side of face </li></ul><ul><li>Bosal Mechanical </li></ul>
  20. 20. Safety Factors <ul><li>Utilize a browband style headstall and bit hobble when using a snaffle bit </li></ul>
  21. 21. Hints for Selecting a Bit <ul><li>Consider your horse and rider combo </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are your rider’s hands? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How broke is your horse? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know the rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring any necessary rulebooks and a tape measure shopping with you </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Small steps/“Only what you need” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you must use a harsher bit, your goal should always be to go back to the softer bit </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Hints for Selecting a Bit <ul><li>Quality always pays off </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smooth edges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tight joints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balanced Feel </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Thank you for attending this live web presentation! For more information about My Horse University please visit us at: | | 517-353-3123