Obviously since I can’t ride Big Horse, I’ve decided to fuss over his food and tack instead.
I’ve been thinking about changing his bit for over a month now (since before he broke). I’ve never been a huge fan of the loose ring (too wiggly and too much worrying about pinching) and I’ve noticed that the corners of his mouth are a little pink after long rides. Plus the hunter ring tends to favor the D-ring over the loose ring (not that I’m competing in rated shows where it matters). I also might be biased towards the D-ring…
So began the great internal bit debate of 2017, which quickly spilled over to the internet when I started a thread on the Horse Forum about it. Of course, the topic at hand quickly lurched off course into a discussion about my noseband (not hunter legal, which I knew) and the height of my bit (a solid two wrinkles, as set by the trainer). Then somehow the thread spilled back into real life when one of the forum members came out to the barn to meet me (which was awesome 🙂 )! All in all, a lot of really good advice (some of which I took, some of which I didn’t) and discussion.
Here’s what’s come to pass along the way:
- I switched back to the plain cavesson. After surfing a couple of pictures I didn’t really love the placement of the figure 8 anymore, so I went to the barn and tried to adjust it only to end up hating it more and ditching it entirely (lol).
- If I wanted to continue with the loose ring, I should go bigger. I started with a 5″ loose ring, quickly went up to a 5.5″, and probably need to go up a little bit more if I want to try and negate some of the rubbing without resorting to bit guards.
- My bit always looks like it’s too high in his mouth. I got a lot of opinions from strangers online telling me to drop my bit lower, but I actually can’t drop it down any farther because…
- My horse has a short mouth. I didn’t realize this until Tinyliny from the Horse Forum pointed it out, but it means if I drop his bit it’s in danger of hitting his canine teeth. The top hole of my bridle barely puts it safely out of harm’s way.
- I should switch to a D-ring. It’s similar enough to the loose ring to count, and if I’m going to be showing him in hunters (or even in HUS classes at Paint/Pinto shows), I might as well make the leap directly to the best bit choice.
- Myler bits are well-designed and worth the money. They even got an endorsement from Trainer A, who said she likes how they fit in a horse’s mouth. That’s high praise!
In the end, I settled on a Level 1 Myler D-ring bit. I had a 20% coupon laying around from when I bought my bareback pad, so that plus Trainer A’s recommendation finally convinced me to bite the bullet (bite the bit?) on the Myler.
I started out with a 5.5″ Myler and then returned it for a 5.25″ (yes, 1/4″ does matter! D:< ), and now I’m happy with the size and excited for the moment when I can eventually try, you know, actually riding him in it.