Hackamore bit combination...OMG

Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Sharaway, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    Not quite Braveheart LOL it was a short shanked bit with a small port. Also the bit was steel.

    I cant seem to find a photo of the exact one and as I know longer have mine I cant take a photo of that.

    However I do have photos of fergus under saddle in this combination



    You can see from the photos that he is not unhappy at all :)
  2. Seahorse

    Seahorse Well-known Member

    KC, I think the bit that you are talking about is a far cry from the ones Sharaway posted pics of.

    I've seen quite a few horses competing in similar things to what is on Fergus. They are strong bits, but many horses seem to go well in them.

    What makes the difference (I think) is what actually goes in the horse's mouth, and the material on the noseband and the chinstrap (I know there's a more correct word, but I always called it a chinstrap)...

    The bits Sharaway posted all have very thin/harsh mechanisms on the actual bit, and some have structures on the noseband designed to cause pain. The only thing they have in common with your bit seems to be the appearance of the shanks.

    Apples and oranges IMHO...
  3. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    KC, I was not implying that you and some of the others who have taken umbrage at my comment couldn't ride, but you must admit that there are many who use those horrific things that Sharaway posted, who just cant ride.
    I also was not saying that the ones that I have seen whilst judging are a hackamore combo either, but they were just as cruel as the ones that were posted on here, like it or not.
    I think that if you read what I am saying there properly, you will find that this is so.
    Anyway, I am not going to argue about this anymore, that is just MY opinion.
    Oh, by the way, I used to ride over the old fixed log hunts when I was young, so do have a little idea about riding, jumping and bits. If you didn't know what you were doing and had little control and hit one of those monstrosities, you could have easily killed yourself and the horse.
    A bit , even like the one that you are using there KC, was illegal in the ring, so you really had to know what to do and how to do it.
    Thus I have commented. Things have changed a lot since then, and not for the better in many ways.
  4. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    I know Sharaways photos are more harsh than what we use. I am actually surprised anyone actually thought of using bike chain across the nose and I expect if anyone turned up in a ring with that apparatus, someone would say something.

    Although the chinstrap on ours is just nylon strapping many many bits use chain.... pelham, spannish snaffle, kimberwick etc. It really depends on how tight you do it up, however if too tight most horses would complain.

    Widgelli I have loved reading your posts over the years and know that you know your stuff. You explain yourself very well. I seriously doubt a hackamore combination would be allowed in a hack or dressage ring, but it is quite common in the SJ ring.

    The hackamore combination can be a hard bit but can also be very soft and with us it was only ever used in the ring. All flatwork and training is done in a snaffle.

    I am surprised the combination bit is illegal in the ring, when the previously mentioned bits are not. Mind you we were not allowed to compete a mare in a bitless bridle once because it was a PC run event.

    The other thing widgelli is when you purchase a strong, forward horse it takes a long time to retrain....as in many many hours in the saddle. Sometimes with these horses they are fine at home but get excited when out at a comp. These bits are designed to give pressure and when the horse gives to the pressure the pressure is released. It is not about causing pain, when it goes wrong its because someone does not release for the try.

    I expect those other bits are only ever used in the back paddock by someone trying to train a horse. In the wrong hands any horse would expolde if the bit caused pain consistantly and if every time you put a bit in its mouth you caused it pain it wouldnt take long before you wouldnt be able to bridle your horse.

    Kind, firm, fair and consistant is what works and to get the full potential out of a horse thats what you have to do. Fear might get it around a couple of times but no fearful horse will reach its full potential.

    People get up in arms because no one should cause pain to a horse. I have walloped a horse plenty of times. Doubt I caused it much pain but there would have been some. However it was always as a consequence of behaviour. Swing your arse on me and I will belt it.....dont do it and all is good and you get a scratch.

    If I broke the rules as a kid, I got a belting. What did I learn ....dont break the rules.

    It only goes pair shaped, when you are not consistant or fair and take it too far. It can also go pear shaped when the horse owner is not firm enough.

    It is probably harder in the show pony scenario because you have some young child trying to get out there on a pony that mum or dad might be to big to tune up for them. Also kids just arent as strong when they are so little and we all know ponies can be pretty clever. The chances are what you have seen widgelli is because of a parent who worries about their child and thinks what you have seen gives them more control..... as I have seen some pretty dirty ponies out there i can understand how some parents might be worried.

    One hopes the child has lessons on their pony in a normal bit and the artilary only comes out when out and about. Many parents get ponies for their kids and support them in their desires but actually dont know much. Most times when someone tries a new apartus it is because it has been recommended by someone they deem to be more knowledgable.

    That was the case when we tried the Nathe.

    I think it is more helpful if one trys to understand why someone is using something and then give suggestions on how it might be achieved in another way. Sometimes people are working towards getting their horse and pony to be able to compete in a snaffle but they just need a bit of help. These things are usually stop gap measures to help in the transition.
  5. Braveheart

    Braveheart New Member

    What makes you think THIN is harsh? :)
  6. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    totally ot, but fantastic pics KC!!!
  7. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    KC, I dont know about now as to whether they are legal in the jumping ring or not. I was talking about when I was riding over the jumps in the early 60s. They definitely weren't then.
    I have given a horse a hiding a couple of times for having a kick at me, or a thump on the nose for having a bite at me, but I do know that being consistant with a horse, as you do with a kid pays dividends. My favourite thing for letting a horse know it's boundries was a piece of 2" polypipe, which made more noise than hurt them.
    Another of my foibles if you could call it that was an open hand behind the girth, to pull a silly horse into gear.
    This brings a smile to my face actually and another story from the farm.
    We were shearing and my husband came and asked me if I could go and bring up the ewes in the top paddock on the horse, as they had little lambs with them and he didn't have time to walk around them.
    I went and got the chestnut showjumper that we had at the time and I might add was ridden in a kimblewick, without the chain, and put the saddle on him. I only rode in an all purpose saddle, as a stockie used to bruise my legs. One of the shearers thought he was a horseman and when I put the saddle on Questro, the old sod decided to chuck a couple of little pigroots, then proceed to run around me on the reins, as he hadn't been ridden for around 6 weeks at the time and was feeling goooood.
    The shearer turned to Kev and said, " Your'e not going to let Jo ride that ratback are you?" Kevin laughed and said watch.
    I got in close to Questro and with the open hand, whacked him behind the girth and roared at him. He stopped and stood while I mounted and rode out the gate.
    When I returned with the sheep, this shearer came out of the shed and asked if he could get on Ques. I let him, but warned him that the old horse was as cunning as they came and would know that he was not someone that the horse knew. The shearer told me that is would talk a good horse to unseat him, so I let him go.
    Off he went, flopping around in the saddle at the canter, arms and legs flying, up the drive and back again.
    This old horse had another trick that I could never break him of, and that was to put his head down as if to scratch his leg, then spin and if you didn't have a strong seat, you were gone.
    When said rider returned, he let the reins go and sat on the old sod. Kevin went to warn him, but before he could say anything, Questro needed to scratch his leg. Whop, down came said rider as the old bugger spun around. All I could do was laugh, as the dust flew up in the air and said rider looked up from his seat on the ground at said horse who was looking at him with, I am sure a big smirk on his dial.
    As for the kids in question, was, what I could see, the parents had those kids on ponies/ galloways that were really not suitable as mounts for those kids, just to win the darned event.
    Over here, the competition used to be very fierce and some of the things that I have witnessed, just so that little Johnny or Jenny could win (and beat the Woods kids, who worked hard) disgusted me well and truly.
    The money that is thrown at them and the things that are used to do this, instead of teaching the riders a decent seat and learning how to ride properly, worries me a lot.
    There have been some horrific accidents at some of the shows, which could have been avoided if only better techniques were taught.
    I know there are recalcitrant horses around that some people, including myself a few years ago would take on, but there are too many who, to save on the horse will buy from the sales, then dont know what to do with them when they cant handle/ride them and then resort to the sorts of bits that were shown in the first place.
    Most of these people are inexperienced and this was what I meant when I said that they cant ride and really dont know what they are doing.
    My eldest son has recenty seen a sample of a nasty bit on a lovely Warmblood, not far from where his brother in law lives and stepped in.
    These people had bought this horse to show on, but really were not ready for a 2yr old, just broken in horse. Apparently, the horse had played up with the woman and she had had a fall. She put a heavy, curb bit on this green horse and was dragging him in ,instead of riding him up. The horse reared and she fell off, breaking a leg. The mother was going to have the horse PTS, when Tony stepped in. He came to me and got the Mullen mouth that I had here , put it on the horse and got on. The woman that owns the horse couldn't believe her eyes when the horse moved forward, accepting the bit nicely. Tony has ridden the horse for a while, but has been away up in the Hunter Valley for the last 6 weeks, so the horse has had a rest for a while. The plan is that Tony is going to ride him for a couple of weeks when he comes home next week, then teach this woman how to ride. I might add that this woman has been showing for the past 30yrs and still didn't know how to ride.
    Again, pure ignorance.
  8. Snippit32

    Snippit32 Well-known Member

    Great story Widgelli- I love reading your posts. It breaks my heart to think that so many horses suffer, in order to look good for some stupid human ambition. What kind of a priority is that?? :mad:The ironic thing is, that by making those choices, they are missing out on the greatest thing about horses. All the money in the world won't buy it. There's nothing like the partnership that comes from doing the RIGHT THING by your horse.
  9. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    :D that was a very funny story widgelli

    Ignorance does play a bit part in the things we see but we have all been ignorant of something sometime in our lives :) I am no exception, in fact I am probably more than most which is why I try to make allowances and endevour to try and see all sides of a situation.

    We see in our day to day life all sorts, some who open their minds to others and others that dont. We learn from our mistakes but also from the mistakes of others, if we are wise enough :)

    While I do know people who want to win at any cost I chose not to associate with them. Sometimes, it is not that take no prisoners demeanor but as you say, lack of knowledge :)

    I perfer it when people are supportive of each other but accept that is not always the case, so try be supportive if I can....however I am human and are not always as nice as I would like to be. The reason I am not in tourism :) and while we cant change the world, we can always help in our part of it :)

    Thanks nannygoat :)
  10. Sharaway

    Sharaway Guest

    KC, when I posted these pictures I wasnt doing so because I new that you and Skito used one and wanted to call you out on the subject.

    Both you and Skito are well respected my myself and many on this forum.

    What you guys are using is a far cry from the ones I posted that are actively used in the USA mostly on Barrel Racing horses and Show Jumpers.

    I found this article of interest, note though, snaffle bit,

    H&H Asks: a bit with a hackamore
    Victoria Gray

    Horse & Hound finds out why some show jumpers are combining a bit with a hackamore

    SHOW jumper Robert Whitaker uses both a snaffle bit and a hackamore on his puissance specialist, Finbar V. Indeed, combining a hackamore with a bit is becoming more common in show jumping. We find out why.

    Why does Robert use this combination?

    AS joint puissance winner at both Olympia in 2006 and the 2007 British Open, Robert Whitaker and Finbar V cleared 7ft 4 3/4in ? but Robert admits the horse has his own style of jumping and sometimes has an unconventional way of approaching fences.

    "Finbar is a big horse, and the more he knows what he is doing the harder he is to ride to fences," says Robert.

    "He is quite sensitive and doesn't like strong bits. The combination he wears is a German hackamore with an eggbutt snaffle, using leather roundings and one rein.

    "I find they give me the right combination of steering and control, as the hackamore and snaffle have different actions."

    As the points of control on the hackamore are vertical and not lateral, it does not provide good steering ? Robert uses the snaffle for this purpose.

    "The hackamore holds the horse 'together', as Finbar often puts his head up and back on the approach to big fences," adds Robert.

    "My uncle Michael Whitaker has used this combination, and I've also seen some of the German show jumpers use it ? I was just playing around with bits one day and found the hackamore and snaffle worked for us."

    Do experts recommend using a hackamore and snaffle together?

    TRICIA Nassau Williams of the Worshipful Company of Loriners says bits are only a communication tool.

    "Their success relies upon the skill of the person implementing them," she says.

    "I can understand how a combination such as a hackamore and snaffle works for a very experienced and talented rider; one with an independent seat, expert balance and rewarding hands.

    "However, in the hands of an inexperienced or less talented rider, this could be an option of bridling and bitting that is too advanced. Less experienced riders are best guided by advice from a qualified riding instructor and bitting expert."

    This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (31 May, '07)
  11. Sharaway

    Sharaway Guest

    This looks more like the bit you where using, btw this bit was a far cry from $1k

    Here is the jointed snaffle version

    Dover Saddlery | Jointed Hackamore Bit .

    I can see how these bits would be effective while still being kind, especially if neck reining the horse more than direct steering.

    Heres a Myler Version

    Myler 3-Ring Combination Bit #89-31

    (Myler Bits) This mouthpiece is made of polished sweet iron which naturally oxidizes or rusts. Harmless to horses, it has a sweet taste and promotes salivation. Now comes with black leather noseband and synthetic black curb strap (not as pictured). Stainless steel 3-ring combination bit - 6" shank with sweet iron comfort snaffle wide barrel, copper inlay 5"

    Toklat - Horse Tack - Saddle Pads - Horse Riding Apparel here is a great explanation on how to set they Myler one up and use it.

    Make NO mistake these bits are designed to "set the horse up for the correct vertical face" and if the horse moves outside of the correct position to make it very uncomfortable for the horse.

    OMG I just found your Nathe Bit to Nathe Short Shank French Combination

    More here about the Myler Version
    89-3304 - Short Shank Comb. Comfort Snaffle Low > Bits under 5" > Home > The Horse Bit Shop

    These bits are a far cry from the versions I first posted.

    Unless your are competing at advanced levels I really cant see that these bits would ever be required or justifiable for the average Sunday Rider.
  12. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    I never thought for a minute you were having a go at us Sharaway, I didnt take it personally at all.

    I just know that these combinations can be very good, although it was not something we would have tried unless pushed ..... ie it was in a clinic and the instructor felt Fergus would go better in it.

    I was only trying to give the other side of the story .....ie why some people use hackamore combination bits and as long as they are used correctly then they need not to be as harsh or horrible as they appear.

    It is however a good topic and there was a very good post which the poster unfortunately edited. She used the Myler Combination bit. I just wish that she didnt feel she had to edit everything away other than I agree KC.

    People use all sorts of bits for different reasons it would be nice if people on here felt secure enough to have a discussion about it.

    for example.... we have a top little performance pony here who spent a number of years ( before us) galloping to a jump. We were asked to take him on and see if we could do something.

    At first leg meant gallop..... he got ridden in a Micmar ....this had a rope across his nose, so if he took off you could just about cut off his air supply....but had to be quick to release, back him up and give him a pat.
    It did not take long before he learnt that leg did not mean gallop.

    He went from that to a pelham, from a pelham to a peewee and now he even goes in a snaffle bit at times.

    When we first got him without the micmar even an adult could not have stopped him. Now he goes to PC every month with a 9 yr old and is even ridden at canter across jumps by a 6 yr old.

    He now travels in a beautiful frame instead of like a giaraffe. Were we hard on him in the beginning.....absolutely. Would there have been a public out cry on SY if I posted photos of him in a micmar.....more than likely. There was however a method to what we were trying to achieve, which was a safe, fun pony for a kid.

    Have we achieved it .....yes. This pony was originally sent back to its original owner to put out in the paddock to run with a mob..... no longer suitable for people small enough to ride him.

    He is now a schoolmaster, loving his job and loved by his little riders. :)
  13. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    The nathe is made in Germany and I couldnt actually find one exactly like the one I had. The link you put up isnt the same :)

    I bought a Myler Combination in Albany the other day. That only cost $180. The 1k was because I had a beautiful Kiefer bridle that cost around $300 and the Nathe cost $680, because it was imported from Germany and with exchange rates and all thats what it was.

    You will see them advertised in the UK at over $300 pound.

    Your right the average Sunday rider probably would not use a bit like that and if you didnt have a strong horse you wouldnt either. You would never use it with a stopper, but for a strong eager horse, they make the world of difference in getting them to the fence well. Fergus even travel really well on the flat and while he is trained on the flat at home in a snaffle, he was always relaxed, soft and travelled so beautifully when warmed up in the Nathe. I have seen Chris Chugg canter piroette Vivant on one :)
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  14. horsescomefirst

    horsescomefirst Well-known Member

    Funny how to RSPCA is always having a go at the racing industry and in both codes whipping horses is just about banned but the equestrain industry is allowed to use these harsh bits etc which probably is more severe than whipping a 600kg animal for 100m. im not into dressage and theres probably a good reason why these are on the market but looking at those pictures, looks pretty harsh to me :(
  15. Cornflower

    Cornflower Well-known Member

    Wow. I mean...just wow. I'm lost for words. I love the one that says they've found new nerves for more control. The mind boggles.

    KC, totally get where you're coming from. But i think the issue is people who don't know what they're doing using this stuff. And moreso, that bits such as the original pictures are made and sold and marketed as the best thing since sliced bread.

    Widgelli, as always, i agree with every word you wrote.

    Honestly, if the market wasn't out there, these things wouldn't be made and they wouldn't sell.
    And, like spurs and double bridles and various training equipment, which probably started off with good intentions, made for experienced owners to use as refining, and training tool, this crap makes it way into the hands of average riders looking for short cuts. And no one, it seems, is doing anything about stopping it, which is the real problem.
    I wonder how many judges check bits, and then would have the balls to dismiss the riders using this stuff, like Widgelli did.
    The wire wrapped around the bit is nothing more than cheating to me.

    Unless we have rules (which are enforced!) at levels where it's most important (beginners, pony clubs), these things will continue to be used and abused.
    That people would stoop so low to wrap wire around a bit (and then complain about not winning) just means they have gotten away with it.
  16. I'm not nocking you personally KC , I'm also not commenting on the finer points of the jumping game , since that would put me way out of my depth . I will say this though , I first saw an excessively thin mouthpiece @ 20 yrs ago and my first twisted wire about 5 yrs after that , since then a very large number of stockhorse type competitors (campdrafting and polo-crosse seem to be the worst) have completely lost their ability to get their horses going without them . Just recently I saw a mare , one of those very tractable " do any thing you ask " type horses and you guessed it , twisted wire bit . I know the bloke who does this mares teeth and when I made the comment , he said "you orta see what the inside of her mouth looks like" . IMO there are two tragedies here , a wonderful horse copping the kind of abuse that she just does not deserve and a young man who thinks he's a horseman ! #(
  17. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    The issue has never been about getting the horse to go BB but getting the horse to slow :). Have personally never used a twisted wire bit so cannot comment.
    Any young horse we bring on starts in an FM and then may progress to a KK training snaffle.
    All my QH's including my stallion are just a plain egg butt or d snaffle.
    The 2 horses mentioned in this thread have used the bits mentioned for the reasons mentioned.
    The only way things can change is through education and one would hope people could come onto a forum like this and say what they use and why, without being slagged...... Not saying I am because I am not. However obviously the fear of reprisal is there otherwise people would not edit away very informative posts.
    This way those that think you should only ride in xxx might learn something and others may find a different way also.
    I will maintain though until you have actually sat on the horse it's a little hard to judge why people do what they do. :)
  18. dirtbug

    dirtbug Gold Member

    hmmm i just went and googled and yeap you can currently buy the bits that sharaway has posted...

    Glad to say australian stores dont seem to be stocking them!!!

    came across a bike chain mule bit :(

    read about curb chains with spikes in them...

    think ill stop googling now...
  19. Clerrt

    Clerrt Well-known Member

    I've seen top showjump riders using these type bits - they are available somewhere over here me thinks...
  20. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Why not just put some glass in your horses mouth, I'm sure that will be just as effective for completely destroying the poor horses mouth.

    I think there is a huge difference between the nathe bit people are discussing (I googled for pics) and the original pictures in Sharaways posts which are plain cruel.

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