Even though I have had the pleasure of riding multiple of horses, I still feel like I know nothing about bits. I work at an online tack store and I often get a lot of questions about bits. First of all, I know the difference between a loose ring, double jointed snaffle, a pelham, a ported 7-inch shank bit, a waterford, and a slow twist dee ring. However, if you need me to compare the difference between a loose ring double jointed, loose ring with a french link, or a dog bone, or even a Myler, I will probably tell you that all are really similar and will do about the same job. And don’t even get me started on Western bits. The second I need to explain the difference on five different shanked bits with all sorts of chains and wires, I am completely lost! It seems to me that all bits are basically the same. They all go in a horse’s mouth.
Yes, yes, I do know that there is a difference between different bits and different disciplines. Heck, there’s even a difference between Hunters and Equitation and Jumpers (why they’re grouped into the same show setting is beyond comprehendable to me)! But what I am trying to get at is that WE ALL DO THE SAME THNG. We ride.
I believe that we need to take things we learn from our Jumper friends, from our Eventing friends, from our Reining friends, from our Barrel Racing friends, from our Long Distance friends, and all the different disciplines and learn from everyone.
Before moving to college, I was so narrow minded about horse riding. I believed that the best riders and training came from Eventing. I was totally wrong! I have learned an enormous amount from Western Pleasure riders and Natural Horsemanship riders. I’ve learned that you need a horse to be respectful and “well broke” before you even think about asking them to do things like jump a 4’6″ course. I’ve learned from Barrel Racers that you need to add style to everything and sometimes you need to gain speed to really have your horse listen. I’ve learned from Jumpers that outside rein is your friend in every single aspect of a ride. I’ve learned from Hunters that postition of leg and your hip angle will change your whole ride. I’ve learned from Reiners that self carriage is key. I could go on and on about what I have learned from everyone I have met in the horse industry, but my blabbering doesn’t deliver the point. The key is that we all strive to do the same thing — to have a great ride.
So if you are navigating through life, determined to be close-minded and resistant, I urge you to give people a chance. You never know who you meet that might just have the answer to your problems, whether it’s because you cant get your horse to have a balanced canter or you need a recommendation for a book.
And just remember to take things a stride at a time —