Review of Trust Equestrian Part 2

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.

 

IMG_7788Dylan 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.

IMG_7772Teddy 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*

Review of Trust Equestrian Part 1

I found out about this company a couple of years ago when I was looking for a new bit for my sensitive horse. He had originally been in a Waterford bit, which was too much for him. We had tried traditional single and double jointed snaffle bits, but he ranthrough each one. I couldn’t stop him, let alone touch his mouth until we tried the Trust Inno Sense Flexi Soft bit. What sets this Dutch based company apart from others is that they understand each horse has different needs. Trust Equestrian has three different lines of bits: Sweet Iron, Inno Sense, and Leather. With 20 types of mouthpieces and 29 different types of cheek pieces, you can find what works best for your horse. They are expensive and hard to find in the U.S. I would say they are priced similarly to Herm Sprenger. Trust Equestrian is working to market their bits more in the States in order to make it easier for American clients to purchase.

 

*All Trust bits are handmade and are non toxic/FDA approved.

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Champ at HITS Saugerties using the d-ring Inno Sense Flexi Soft bit.

Photo used with permission by ESI Photography

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Closeup of the same bit.

Pros:

  • High quality, non toxic materials
  • The Flexi Soft bits are especially good for sensitive or young horses.
  • The Flexi Soft bits are even softer than traditional metal bits.

Cons:

  • $$$ expensive
  • Hard to find in the U.S
  • There’s always the chance a horse could chew through the Inno Sense bits, so be careful using them with a horse that’s a bit chewer.
  • May be seen as a gimmick by some ultra conservative American trainers (eg. George Morris) due to the white mouthpiece making it look like a Happy Mouth bit.

Would I recommend: YES!!

These bits are definitely worth the money. Highly recommend for all horses.

Must Have Products for Summer 2018

 

Veredus Kevlar Line:

Veredus recently came out with a new line of boots made with the same material used for bullet proof vests. You can’t get more protective than that. They also added micro-perforated neoprene to help reduce heat build up. The boots come in both black and brown, with and without faux sheepskin. So far, I haven’t seen them make their way to the U.S. Hopefully they will soon. Front: 179 Euros, Hind: 151 Euros

 

 

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Veredus Kevlar Gel Vento open front boots in black

Photo Credit: Equishop

https://www.equishop.com/en/horse-boots/13099-kevlar-gel-vento-front-boots.html

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Veredus Kevlar Gel Vento hind boots in black

Photo credit: Equishop

https://www.equishop.com/en/horse-boots/13100-kevlar-gel-vento-rear-boots.html

 

 

Brown KASK Star Lady:

The perfect way to stand out in the show ring while keeping it conservative, this brown helmet has a tasteful, yet under stated bronze piping. Pair it with a grey or brown jacket, and you’ve got a classy outfit for hunters or jumpers. $640

 

kask-dogma-star-lady-brown

Photo credit: TackNRider

https://www.tacknrider.com/shop/kask-riding-helmet-star-lady/

 

Navy Equiline Everything:

Whether it’s their saddle pads, breeches, ear nets, or stall drapes, Equiline’s navy color is a rich, dark navy that is sure to look stunning on any rider/horse combination. Navy is a timeless color that will never go out of style.

 

equiline_ash_breeches_navy

Equiline Ash Breeches: 192 British Pounds

Photo credit: Redpost Equestrian Ltd

https://www.redpostequestrian.co.uk/178929/products/equiline-ash-ladies-knee-grip-breeches–blue.aspx

 

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One of the school horses wearing the Equiline Mill Octagon Saddle Pad

81.99 British Pounds

https://www.redpostequestrian.co.uk/70077/products/equiline-mill-octagon-saddlecloth–navy.aspx

 

New Ecogold Saddle Pad colors (Olive and Slate):

Ecogold just came out with two new saddle pad colors, an olive green and a slate blue grey. Great way to change up your cross country, show jumping, or schooling colors. The olive is available in the Calmatech (Jumper, Dressage, XC), Secure (Jumper, Dressage, XC), and CoolFit (XC only). The slate is available in Calmatech (Jumper, Dressage, XC) and Secure (Jumper, Dressage, XC).

Olive

Olive CoolFit Jumper Pad: $195

Photo credit: Ecogold

https://ecogold.ca/product/coolfit-jumper-saddle-pad/

 

Slate

Slate Secure Jumper Pad: $170

Photo credit: Ecogold

https://ecogold.ca/product/secure-jumper-non-slip-saddle-pad-222/

 

CWD Madamoiselle Bridle:

CWD now allows you to customize your bridle by adding colored piping. Perfect way to make a statement in the jumper ring. You can choose from Ivory, Pink, Fuchsia, Purple, Silver, Grey, Blue, Emerald, Orange, Beige, or Red. $600 (Does not include reins.)

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CWD Mademoiselle Anatomic bridle with Emerald Piping

Photo credit: CWD Sellier

https://north-america.cwdsellier.com/tack/91-anatomic-french-noseband-bridle-with-stitching-mademoiselle.html

 

 

Anything else fun, new, or innovative I’m missing? Leave a comment below:

To Hairnet or Not to Hairnet?

Is putting your hair inside your helmet a safe practice?

          For decades, riders across America consider putting their hair inside the helmet an accepted practice. This is especially true for riders who show in the hunters and equitation. George Morris heavily endorses this practice. If the top professionals do it, then it must be safe, right? Not necessarily. A recent Chronicle of the Horse article expressed safety concerns over putting one’s hair inside their helmet. One quote really stuck out because it sounded more like common sense:

“The helmet is made to sit close against the skull. Hair up causes the helmet to act differently and has the potential to cause greater harm than wearing your hair down. Not to mention that often riders have their hair down for schooling and up for showing—all with the same size helmet. “

From the early years starting out, I cannot remember having a helmet that fit me properly. Even before I began tucking my hair inside the helmet, I had a difficult time finding one that fit my head shape. Then add in having thick hair and having to go up a size just so the helmet doesn’t pop off when you stuff all that hair inside your helmet. Today, I normally wear my hair down in a low ponytail for schooling and in the jumpers. If I need to put my hair up for dressage or the hunters/equitation, I will do a single braid tucked in to make a neat bun and secure it outside my helmet with an elastic that matches my hair color.

This is where I have a problem with some of the traditions in this sport because it seems looks are more important than safety. You only have one brain and you need to treat it with care. There are other ways to keep long hair neat and tidy without compromising safety – and I will post another article down the road on safe hairstyles for the show ring. The equestrian sport is constantly evolving, and we need to evolve with it. Whether you choose to put your hair under your helmet or not should be a personal choice. Hunter and Equitation judges need to stop penalizing riders for prioritizing their health and safety over looks.

 

Here is the COTH link: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/from-the-magazine-rapunzel-rapunzel-let-down-your-hair