Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Calling OTTB Owners

OR anyone with event horses that pull on XC.

I've been debating for a year or so what I should switch Yankee to since he outgrew his horrendous out of control baby phase and only now needs a little more "HEY THERE".

Before anyone else says Pelham, I've tried it and the curb chain is too much. Weird considering his hackamore has a curb, but its also not in his chin groove and its leather. For some reason it doesn't bother him, but when attached to a bit he literally can't handle it.

The Meyler combo was a little too much as well with the curb AND three rings AND noseband PLUS its ridiculously expensive.

I've narrowed it down to two options but have zero experience with either tool and am calling out to anyone who has use one of either or has advice. I feel these are a nice alternative to curb chain and uses just a little extra nose pressure in addition to a plain snaffle.

First up, the Kinton (in red)

From what I can deduce it uses the pressure you put on the bit and transfers it to the nose. I like this option better but its the one I CANNOT find on eBay and as a cheap tack ho', I kind of was hoping it'd be there.

Second, the Lever Noseband

This is everywhere on eBay and for about $15-$60, thats not bad. What I dont like it the leather piece right in the chin groove. PLUS, I have no idea how it works. It seems like a fancy figure 8-whenever the horse resists, it uses the horses' jaw against itself and puts pressure on the three straps.

But, I dislike flashs of any kind. I used to use them, but I learned you cannot MAKE a horse accept the bit and if they open their mouth to resist, you must be doing something wrong. I don't like the thought of strapping their mouth closed and ever since I took Yankee's flash off his dressage bridle its been a huge difference. Granted I still have a  figure 8 on his XC bridle, BUT I keep it hella loose. I'm just too poor to get a new noseband. I feel if its loose its fine and their is no need to buy a new one. HOWEVER, I need a whole new bit anyways so with either of these purchases it will be bye-bye figure 8.

Please help! I honestly don't know anything about either of these pieces of tack.


  1. Hillary at the Blog Equestrian at Hart has a Kineton and uses it on her Warmblood (second time I've even heard of this thing haha)

    Karley over at All In (dondeestahenry.blogspot.com) uses a Mikmar on her horse and she could probably tell you more about that.

    I've used a Wedge/Fishback with success for a little more brake, but the Pelham worked the best for me, sorry it didn't work out for you :(

  2. I vote yes to the kineton. It sounds like what you're looking for, plus then I would know a little bit more about it.

  3. I have a Kineton that I use on my gelding, Houston. He seems kind of similar to your guy in that a Pelham was a bit too much and he backs off is the bit is too hard. I used the Kineton with a loose ring snaffle or a KK Ultra. It really helps give me just a bit more oomph. Goodluck finding one. Mine was'nt expensive but as I mentioned in my comment on your last post I got it on closeout in a tack trailer... VTO has them for $79 and I am pretty sure there is a coupon code out there floating around... You should give it a try! I love mine.

  4. I've used a Kinetons before. It will apply a bit of nose pressure, but it is actually designed to relieve bit pressure on the mouth - for horses that don't like a lot of contact, so I would imagine it might actually provide you with less stopping power unless he's particularly sensitive to nose pressure. Check out http://www.sustainabledressage.net/tack/bridle.php#kineton (not my blog) for more information. From that blog "The kineton noseband is an efficient way to stop the bit from hurting the mouth if the horse trips or jerks his head or seeks too heavy support or whatever. Because it moves the pressure away from the bars and onto the nose. It has a restraining function on the nose of the horse, like a hackamore without leverage."
    I really liked the kineton. I used it when I taught summer camps to protect the horses from having their mouths hauled upon by small children. I just don't know that it will solve your problem. Have you tried a real gag bit? Not the 3 rings things, but one with the actual rope through the bit. The show barn I grew up in used them on the speed demon horses and then I got really used to them when I played polo. You can also use the ringed gag bits. The apply leverage without anything in the chin groove.
    I don't compete so I have no idea how "legal" a gag bit is, but I remember using them a lot when I rode jumpers/cc in high school. Plus, they're cheap and available on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/5-1-4-Copper-loose-ring-snaffle-gag-bit-with-leather-gags-used-/221199992285?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33808c05dd

  5. I might try a kineton, it's good for horses that respond well to nose pressure but don't like leverage on a chain or curb strap. As to getting them cheap, they do pop up on ebay every so often, that's where I got mine for $30, you just might have to wait a really long time...

  6. Have you tried a kimberwicke? That was my step up from a waterford for foxhunting. Like you, a pelham was too much for my guy but the kimberwicke gave me enough to say HEY!!! and then get out of his face. LOVED IT.

    If the metal curb is too much, I believe they have leather ones, and I think you can buy a neoprene cover for the chain as well. Might be worth a try on your pelham?

  7. Do you already have the three ring? I'm not sure if I misunderstood or not but my suggestion would be to put a leather curb strap on that and use two reins. Might be worth a try before you have to buy something

  8. I've ridden multiple of horses that pull and am a big fan of the rubber or snaffle gag (depending on your horse's needs)used with two reins and a figure eight noseband. The gag with two reins, gives me the option to be super gentle (snaffle rein) or apply pressure (gag rein). I mostly use the snaffle rein, once the horse realizes the gag rein is there. I prefer the rubber bit, because it gives mouthy TBs something to chew/play with, but I know rubber bits aren't for all horses. Additionally, I know the gag and/or two reins is not for everyone either, but thought I'd throw in my two cents :-) Good Luck!

  9. I had a very heavy mare and used the lever noseband with great success. I never cranked it down, just enough pressure that when she would pull it pulled back and when she was soft it was soft. A nice way to add control without getting handsy. I used a single joint 'bent' kk bit with it.

  10. I had a very heavy mare and used the lever noseband with great success. I never cranked it down, just enough pressure that when she would pull it pulled back and when she was soft it was soft. A nice way to add control without getting handsy. I used a single joint 'bent' kk bit with it.