View Full Version : Bits & bucking !
22nd Jan 2000, 05:00 AM
Hi - two questions:
1). I'm looking to buy a 10 yr old 16.3 TB - He is very friendly but quite sensitive to the touch. He has an ongoing bucking problem, especially during transitions which appears to be overexuberance, which the present owner (an ex riding tutor) ignores, & does not actually appear to make him unsafe.It doesn't worry me greatly as I am going to be using him for hacking. But I was wondering as to the cause & would like to be reassured that this is not a physiological problem - I am on a limited budget & am not going to get him vetted - I'm in love with him anyway :)
2). The present owner tells me that the best bit for him would be a French Link. He is very sensitive & easy to control but as I don't know much about bits, can anyone enlighten me as I thought this had a fairly severe action ?
Thanking you in anticipation.
24th Jan 2000, 12:30 AM
Okay, the bucking could be a playful buck that many people allow, that I don't agree with, As for the problem, you'll want to make sure you can handle this problem, and corect it. It could also be resistance to saddle, bridle, rider's aid or all of the above, you'll have to watch the horse to see the the differenc.
Now the bit. French link is very mild, even milder than a regular snaffel, but the Dr. Bristal bit is very severe. The french link has a link in the middle that is thicker and has rounded edges, not to mention that the link its self sits differently on the toung than the Dr. Bristle, wich as a flat, think piece in the middle that sits on the horse's toung at an angle and causes a presure point and sometimes toung brousing. Hopefully you undersand what I'm saying because many tack store owners don't know the difference and you could end up with the wrong one. You can look in some catologs, and you'll see pics of the bits and it should specify weather it's a French link (sometimes shown as FL) or a Dr. Bristal (sometimes shown as Dr. B) good luck
24th Jan 2000, 03:32 AM
Thanks for your advise about his bucking - his present owner is an ex riding school teacher - I don't think I'm going to be able to do much about it if its just playful. His price reflects this problem - a horse of his quality would normally be well beyond my means & I could live with the bucking if its not a health problem.
Thanks also for your reasurance about the bit - is it kinder than an ordinary eggbut or loose-ring snaffle ?
24th Jan 2000, 05:59 AM
Yep, the link in the center, keeps the bit from jabing into the roof of the mouth and prevents the nut cracker effect of regular snaffes. That is as long as you get the French link, if you get the Dr. Bristal, it's actually harsher than some curb bits. I wish I could remember the sight I got this info off of, it had a really long, but informative artical about how different bits worked from the French link and Dr. Bristal, to hackimores and gag bits. I'll have to ask a friend if she still has the address and send it to you I printed most of it off to keep for refferece, but the printer ran out of ink. If you can deal with the bucking, and everything, I'd say go for it aslong as he's safe for you and what you want to do and won't hurt anyone. If I knew I was going to keep a horse for the rest of his life I might allow them to playful buck, but as it stands, my sisters' kids ride my horses, and I give lessons, so I can't allow it, but I ride a friend's horses that does it now and then and I asked them if they allowed it and they said yes so I let it. Good luck with the horse :D
24th Jan 2000, 07:18 PM
I've been told by many people that loose rings can pinch the horse when the rings move, I'm using a full cheek French link, and it's not sevear at all, I think You're thinging of the Dr. Bristle, this bit can be quite severe becaue of the position and shape of the center ling, where the french link has a thicker figure 8 type cener that is rounded. the Dr. Bristal has a thin 'square' (kind of like a square with the corners rounded) that doesn't have rounded edges and is held on the mouth at an angle, causing presure points and brousing. The friench link is designed to lay flat on the toung, but even if it did come to an angle, it shouldn't cause any pain. I wish I could find that artical!
24th Jan 2000, 11:42 PM
Tnx for all your advise.
I've arranged for the owner of the livery I would like him to go to, to inspect this horse for me on Thursday. Although she is not a vet she has a lot of experience & knowledge & will be able to advise me. I'm pretty sure she will recommend that I don't get him - any responsible person probably would!!! If she says that he does not have any physical problems & is reasonably safe & is prepared to take him at her livery (she runs her livery as a hobby rather than a business & does more for a lot of the horses than some of the owners!) then at least I shall know that we will have the best possible chance. She knows my situation & won't accept him if she feels he is totally unsuitable.
She will also be able to advise about his bit. I have a lot of books which show pictures of the various bits & explaining what part of the mouth they act on etc. - but as a novice, telling me that this or that bit exerts more pressure on his tongue for example doesn't tell me whether the bit is kinder or exactly what extra pressure on the tongue does for the horse. Although I am a novice I would like to use as mild a bit as is appropriate for the horse. I don't believe that the horse should have to suffer unnecessarily for my inadequacies.
I'll let you now how I get on.
25th Jan 2000, 04:28 AM
To add a point on french links, make sure that you get a loose ring one. Fixed, eggbut type rings with a french link mouth piece completely alters the action of the bit, and makes it potentially much more severe.
Also, please think very carefully about not getting the horse vetted! It could be money very well spent and could affect the insurance cover you get.
25th Jan 2000, 04:52 AM
I would strongly second what Rachel said. Not having the horse vetted could easily be a false economy, it should cost about £80 (depending on what part of the UK you are from) but this could be a lot less than the vets bills buying a horse with a known problem could could give you!
I would also be very wary of the horse that bucks a lot. it could well just be exuberance, but what is a playful buck one day could well end you up in hospital the next day! You say that you only want to hack him out, i am sure he can still buck through the transitions out and about as well as in the school! More often than not, bucking is caused by pain - either an old injury or poorly fitting tack. Even when the pain is removed, the horse can still remember that doing the transition (or whatever) used to hurt so can still react like that. it can also be due to a bit of confusion by the horse. If he is bucking when he is calm in the school, just think how he could react on a hack if he sees something exciting.
I would strongly recommend that if you do decide to go ahead with thinking of buying this horse that you get him vetted.
25th Jan 2000, 02:11 PM
I'm glad that you are going to get someone elses opinion. If you do decide that this horse is not the one for you, there are plenty more nice ones out there. Let us know how you get on.
25th Jan 2000, 02:33 PM
Please do not think that I want to start arguing about the action of bits with you, but no, I am not thinking of a Dr. Bristol. A French link is one of the mildest bits available, due to the flexibility and freedeom of the different parts. If you use this bit with a fixed ring, then you loose some of this freedom. This is not to say that it is a severe bit, any bit is potentially severe for a horse if used incorrectly or without thought. Loose rings can indeed pinch the horse and can therefore be used with rubber bit guards. It is also important to make sure that any bit fits correctly.
Loose ring bits in general allow much more refined aids from the rider, whilst fixed rings absorb some of the rein pressure, but can be useful for novice hands or horses with fussy mouths. Some horses just work better with the more stable feel of a fixed ring, whereas some will lean on them.
Anyway, I'm sure you will agree with me that there are so many conflicting views on bitting that no-one will ever agree completely. I think the important things are to try to think about the action of the bit on the horses mouth and to make sure that we all aspire to ride with light independent hands and with consideration for our horses - no matter which bit we choose!
27th Jan 2000, 10:01 PM
I agree with all of the above advice. However I bought a horse who could and did buck. He was twelve at the time. Like yours he was cheap. The vet checked him over as best he could, bearing in mind he was virtually unrideable, two paces between bucks if we were lucky, pronounced him fine and basically sensible so we went ahead. We took him right back to basics, long reining round the lanes, and regained his confidence and he did very nicely. A word of warning. Take it slowly and get your saddle checked by a professional saddler. Contrary to popular belief they are not dear. £15 it cost me for an hours time and a touch of saddle reflocking. He was a much happier horse.You would not work in badly fitting shoes. A professional instructor is unfortunately not necessarily a kind rider.
28th Jan 2000, 04:46 AM
Hi I just got a horse who bucks occasionally, usually about every 6 months, anyway, he bucks because he has a back problem, u know when/if u dislocate your shoulder it hurts, well that is sort of what his spine does, anyway he looks fine in the field but the added pressure of the saddle and rider is too much for him so he bucks.
I would say that if it has been going on for a long time that it probably isn't his back so this information is sort of irrelivant to u.
Still to all those people who can't figure out why their horse has suddenly started bucking allot, beware!!
Ways to tell if your horses/ponies back is out :
feel along the spine for any raised vertabraes.
get 2 two pence coins or something similar. stand behind your h/p making sure that he is standing square ( only if u trust him not to kick) hold the coins in your fingers and hold your arms straight out infront of u. dig the coins in at the top of the rump and slide them back towards u applying pressure. Sounds complicated but if done right you h/p should dip and then come back up almost in a wave action, of course if he practically falls over there is prbably something wrong.
Hope this info is usefull 2 someone!!!!
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