View Full Version : A question for Heather: an "Olympic" bit?
27th Apr 2000, 01:32 PM
Hello all and especially Heather - I would greatly appreciate your advice! What is your opinion on so called "Olympic" bit in comparison with e.g. an ordinary snaffle bit? I hope that what it's called in English...what I mean is an unjointed, rubber covered bit with several rings to choose the effect.
Thank you very much!
29th Apr 2000, 04:41 AM
Do you perhaps mean what I call a continental snaffle, Dutch gag snaffle, or 3 ring gag snaffle? I've never heard of it referred to as an "Olympic" bit, but your description does sound familiar. The mouthpiece isn't necessarily mullen, or rubber/plastic, though
it can be, so maybe you do mean something different.
29th Apr 2000, 07:58 PM
Oh boy, I guess it's the same thing...does "Pessoa" bit sound any more familiar? That's another name for it at least here in Finland.
As far as I know, the name "Olympic" comes from the ring set, it somehow resembles Olympic rings... :)
I was inaccurate: the bit is not always made of rubber (but the ones I've seen are). This is the problem with international discussion forums, words or names are not always the same everywhere :D!
Anyway, IF we are talking about the same bit, I'm grateful for any opinions concerning it.
[This message has been edited by Kati (edited 29 April 2000).]
3rd May 2000, 06:00 PM
The bit you are talking about has a large number of names from continental, bubble, three ring, dutch gag etc.
I have found it very useful on horses which maybe strong and lean on the rider - I am using this bit on a Furioso who is 16.3 4 yrs old and every inclined to lean on the rider for support. We use it with two reins - one directly on to the snaffle and one rein on the bottom ring. We work on the snaffle and only use the bottom rein when its required - usually for the first canter work, or to establish full control after a 'oh be joyful' fit which young horses often have!
IMO it has draw backs in that when using the bottom rein it tends to pull the horses down on to its forehand and unless backed up with a good leg can create more problems in the long term. HTH :)
4th May 2000, 12:36 PM
Like many things bits go in and out of fashion and the 3 ring snaffle you mention is in fashion.
A couple of years ago I went to a really good lecture by Ron Etherington from the Company that makes Kangaroo bits. He didn't recommend the bit - said that the construction of the bit prevented it from having the poll pressure it claimed and he also had concerns about the design causing it to pinch or rub the horse's lips.
I've never ridden a horse in that particular bit but I do wonder if the positive effects claimed are really a placebo effect - ie the rider thinks the bit is stronger and will given them more control so they ride as though they're in control.
4th May 2000, 01:46 PM
Liz & Maria, thank you both for your answers! The reason I asked this question is that in the place I go riding the bit (with a mouthpiece made of rubber) is used on a couple of horses, not all the time though.
One of them - a big, strong, Holsteiner x mare - has been ridden effectively just for about one and half years, for the time she has been at that stable (she's 8 yrs by now). Her earlier owner had had quite hard hands so the mare had a habit of leaning on the rider, when being very sensitive at the same time! As I said, for the time she has been in our place she has been ridden mostly with the 3- ring rubber snaffle with single reins and she's doing very well. Using an ordinary snaffle doesn't cause problems any more, either. The horse is responsive, has learned quickly and is eager to please.
What I'd like to know, could it be somehow harmful to use the 3-ring snaffle to that extent when re-schooling (that's what it has practically been) a horse, even though the bit seems to have suited her well? Is it like taking a shortcut, so to say? My husband and I have been considering buying this sweet-natured and honest mare in next autumn (we've had her on half-loan for some time)...
Keep you opinions and advice coming - they are greatly appreciated!
5th May 2000, 12:52 PM
If the horse will go sweetly and well in an ordinary snaffle (ideally a loose ring french link) then that's great. But otherwise you need to go with what the mare is happiest in. Providing you feel in control, the horse is not running along on the forehand but instead working forwards into a contact with a relaxed jaw and the bit is not making her mouth sore - then stay with the current bit or whatever else works best.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.