Riding more frequently and leasing a horse, I’ve been able to test out more Trust bits. Through this process, I’ve noticed positive changes in the horses that went from a metal bit to a Trust Flexi Soft bit. The ones that have trouble accepting contact seek out the bit more without leaning on it. The problem with going to a sharper bit, like a slow twist or a corkscrew, is that it encourages a horse to lean on the bit, therefore getting heavy on the forehand. Like Bernie Traurig says, you can’t train and cut a horse in the mouth. There’s a video of him talking about bits, which I will share at the bottom of this post. I have used sharper bits with stronger horses before and while I’ve never had an incident where the horse got a cut in the mouth, I can’t imagine horses feel comfortable, especially if it were an everyday training bit. If you were a horse, how would you feel if you had a double twisted wire in your mouth? Horses hate pain and will avoid it at all costs. Trust Equestrian understands this and that’s why I love their bits. A horse will accept contact much better if it’s comfortable in the mouth. Here’s a few success stories I’ve had with the Trust bits:
Dylan: 15.2hh Welsh/TB cross
Dylan went in a double-jointed loose ring snaffle with just a simple noseband before switching to either a Trust Flexi Soft d-ring bit or eggbutt with the same bridle. We tried a Nathe bit, which he did fine in on the flat, but was too strong over fences. The d ring was a nice balance without being too much. Dylan has more woah than go. Coupled with a weak hind end from being out of shape and not being asked to engage it consistently, it was hard to ask him to move forward off my leg. While there wasn’t a significant difference as with the next horse, the Flexi Soft d-ring was a great tool in helping Dylan maintain a consistent contact without leaning on it and coming ‘off the bit,’ so to speak.
Dylan in the Inno Sense Flexi Soft Eggbutt bit with a CWD anatomic bridle.
Teddy: 16.2hh Nokota Mustang (low adult jumper)
Teddy is the opposite of the previous horse, in that he is much stronger and quicker. Originally, he was going in a slow twist full cheek with a figure 8 bridle before switching to a Flexi Soft full cheek bit with a flash noseband. My trainer and I were a bit skeptical about whether this would be the right combination. I rode Teddy a couple of years ago in the slow twist and recall having a hard time slowing down. So naturally getting run away with was a concern. But that didn’t end up being the case at all. The first ride in the indoor with the Flexi Soft went extremely well. I was thinking, “this can’t be that easy.” So I brought him to the giant outdoor ring where it was pretty much a guarantee Teddy would be more forward. Still the same horse. Maybe a little bit more forward, but easy peasy to quicken and slow down. At that point I figured I didn’t need anywhere near as much bit as what he was going in before. The difference was amazing. Teddy was softening his jaw and actively seeking out contact. If he ends up being stronger at shows, I can always try something a little stronger but with the same mouthpiece.
Teddy in the Inno Sense Flexi Soft full cheek bit and a CWD Anatomical bridle w/ a flash.
Here is the Youtube video of Bernie Traurig discussing bits:
*Look for more educational videos on riding, horse care, and more on the Equestrian Coach Youtube channel*