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Bits by bucs3191 Bits by bucs3191
A bit is not a tool of control, but a means of communication.
A sketch.

©Molly Mellinger
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Kelpie77 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like this, great movement and energy in your sketch.

Your comment is spot on... I live in hope that one day people might learn that the curb is not for flexion, a gag shouldn't be an alternative to developing a partnership and understanding with your horse, and if you have to have that much ironmongery in your horses mouth and additional tack just to 'keep control' then there is one thing you don't have, and that's control.
blackseagull Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Student Digital Artist
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
renegeade Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
That does not look like a happy horse!
Is it a gag snaffle?
Something like this is all too common... I know some horses you can't ride in a snaffle, especially xcountry or what not. But if someone really needs all that, and the horse looks like that, they need to go back to basics and learn how to communicate with their horse.

Great picture, you can almost feel the strain on the horse's neck, mouth tied shut... stunning
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
Yeah, it's a gag (hate the things).
That's pretty much what the doodle is (I have lots of them similar to this), that so many people get so caught up in showing higher and higher, that they sacrifice the building foundation blocks that makes a happy horse and ultimately a happier rider and a betting preformance. I'm not one of those 'snaffle na*zi's though, that think everyone should ride their horse in a saffle, but artifical training aids (such as tie-downs, side-reins, ect.) and 'quick-fix' bits have no place in compitions or training period. >:P

Thanks so much for the comment! :)
renegeade Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
I like snaffles, especially full cheek, but that is from experience riding and working with lots of horses and ponies.

I can't stand things like over check reins that they use for driving, and crank them up so the horse carries their head up the entire time! Those are supposed to be to keep your horse from grazing while driving (or at least I was told).

I wish I got the chance to show as much as those people, I think I'll die if I never get the chance to show over 2'6''.

You should post more of your sketches. I really enjoy them. :)
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
I prefer snaffles (I use a happy mouth egg-butt on Jag), but if happy mouths came in a french link, I'd get that for him. My only complaint to snaffles is if their too big (which people often overlook), they jam up in the roof of the horses mouth. Yuck! I really like full-cheek, but it's so miss-used in the compition world it's annoying. People need to realize that a full-cheek needs to have keepers equipped with it; its not an option. If you don't have the keepers the pressure isn't applied correctly on the side of the face, and is often paintful for the horse.
Over-checks suck bigtime. They are one of those devices that I think have know place in the horse world. I don't know much about driving, but the whole (modern) idea of them is absurd. It does nothing but hinder the horse from preforming to the best of it's ablitiy. I would rather have a horse that moves correctly and most efficiantly and have a lower headset, than it stupidly cranked up for fashion. The whole concept of headsets in my opinion are completely and udderly miss-leading and most of the youth of the equestrian world are incorrectly informed and their horses suffer because of it. If your horse is moving correctly off it's hindend (engaged), then the head set will follow; not the other way around like many people apply to their training methods now-a-days.
Anyhoo- lol, you got me started.

Well, I'll be sure to post some more of my doodle; I have to do something since I'm not going to be working on any photorealism ones for a while.
Keep your eyes on the look out~! :)
renegeade Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
I know, your picture got me started! I want to say that Happy Mouths come in french links, I think my friend had one.
I use a copper mouth oval snaffle on the mare I ride. I use a bubble bit on her for jumping though, but with two reins. (there is a picture of her as my id) She goes great in a snaffle, but sometimes you need that extra stopping power for her. (she can be a runaway freight train!)
Although I love snaffles, I hate seeing kids with no control of their pony because it is in a snaffle.
I can say though, I know one horse that moves nicely and, at least when I used to ride him, was rather engaged in the rear end, but he would never put his head down. He had a grand prix dressage rider/ trainer get on him who had trouble getting him to put his head down. She said he has 'jaws of steel'. I think he might be the exception to the training gadget rule. lol but other than that, most horses just need to be asked correctly and understand what you are asking of them.

If you follow this link [link] and scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a few pictures that are just awful. Talk about bad training methods! I think this wins!
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2009
Well, I’m glad my doodle provoked some thoughts! I guess that was the intent. ;)
I’ll have to look into that, I want one – but currently can’t afford a new bit. Maybe I’ll ask for one for my B-day (only two months away!).
Yeah, I have no issues with using different bits than snaffles; I find pellums extremely useful and an overall great bit (would love to try one on my mare if I had access to one). I love the fact that it can be used just like a traditional jointed snaffle if not engaging the leverage of the curb, but you have the ‘emergency stop’ if necessary. And then of course there’s the option of using one on a horse that needs a bit that can be refined more. I’ve been looking into maybe fitting my gelding into a jointed pellum for a while. He’s developed a vice of evading the bit (not sure if it’s intentional though) thinking I’m asking him to ‘come on the bit’, when I’m actually asking for angular flexion. The pellum would help us by him being able to distinguish the curb action vs. no curb action. But, meh.
Schooling shows just make me laugh at times (I used to get angry, but now understand that I really can’t do anything, as much as I’d like to; so I just shake my head and keep my mouth out of trouble). In my opinion, shows are a privilege. So many stable now-a-days will let anyone show and some people aren’t ready. Period. I really don’t care if I hurt their feelings, or ‘discourage’ them from continuing riding. If I was a lesson teacher and one of my students can’t efficiently keep his/her balance over the saddle, turn right and left, stop and hold the reins correctly; they wouldn’t be showing. If they get pissed, well they need to grow up. Horses are a responsibility and when you ride you are responsible not only for your actions, but also the 1000lb+ animal under you and you have to keep the people around you safe.
There are the kids in the ‘groundpole’ or ‘crosspole’ classes that I just want to find who their trainer is and yell at them. A student shouldn’t even be attempting to jump until they have mastered the basics and more than 50% of entrants don’t It’s just frustrating sometimes.
Okay, Lol, breath Molly…
Bits aren’t harsh, the hands that are holding them are. As long as people use only most force necessary to keep yourself safe, than I think that’s just fine. Horses are big and strong and not all (actually, very few) can be rode safely in a simple snaffle. :nod:
A informed and researched ‘training gadget’ can be okay – it’s the people that use them for ‘quick fixes’ that shouldn’t be anywhere near a horse let alone training one. I had to tack my mare with a running martingale when we first started riding her because like it sounds like with your horse, she would simply grab the bit, stick her nose in the air and ignore you. We used it for a couple months just while we got to know each other and understand who was in charge and was I wanted, and then haven’t had to use it since.

That link just sparked a whole new rant which I’m not even going to go into; I’ll have a novel if I do. Haha. I hate Rolkur in any and ALL forms. It is physically damaging and painful for the horse. It makes them blind, nervous and very vulnerable. It is complete domination of the horse rather than a partnership like horseback riding should be. I hate it, hate it, hate it, and have no respect for people that enforce it on their horses.
renegeade Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2009
I love reading your responses because you KNOW what you are talking about! A lot of people just get defensive. I really don't like hunter shows for that reason. Especially IHSA. I rode one mare, a really nice one at that Qh type, who was so nervous and upset that she wouldn't slow down. She had a kimberwicke on and even at a sitting trot, I couldn't get her to slow with just my seat. I'd give her little half halts but she'd bring her head down and avoid slowing down. A big half halt and she'd slow down and tuck her head. (my teammates on the sideline told me to stop messing with her head, but that wasn't what I was trying to do) When I got off of her I said something like she might need a different bit and her owner overheard (she was a member of another team). Next thing I know my coach comes up to me and says that they are mad I said something and want to kick me out of IHSA. I had to apologize to the owner. Total crap.
I mean, I know I get rusty when I'm not riding all the time, but I at least know when I am not up to showing. Where I take lessons back home, they have little 'lesson shows.' Which are really feel good shows for everyone to participate. They have walk classes and groundpole classes etc, just so the kids can show off what they are learning. But in the real world of showing, if you don't know what you are doing it is scary. There is a big debate about the topic in the eventing world. I helped at a recognized horse trials over the summer and watching some of the people ride, omg... I ride better than they do and they are showing recognize novice! 2'9'' (at least) solid fences! Who told them it was okay to jump that high? I mean seriously. [link] and [link]
Who taught these people how to jump?!
What I really don't understand is why does everyone think you need to lay on your horse's neck while you are over a fence? That is dangerous, what if the horse loses its footing on the landing? Hello- yo uare going right over his neck! (and the jump isn't even that big!)
ugh need to stop

Did you scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the page of that link?
HireMePlease Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
That cannot be fun.A running, and a pellum? Yikes!
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
Good thing it's just a drawing, but sadly - I've seen this combo in real life before. ):
Rafica Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
simply gorgeous, can't tell you how much i luv this pic. the motion, the strain of the reins, a STUNNING sketch!
bucs3191 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2009
Thanks~! :D
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Submitted on
January 7, 2009
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