Sara asked in PetsHorses · 8 years ago

Barrel racers ?!?!? Question about bits for starting your barrel horse!!?

My horse is a 8 year old , quarter horse gelding .. Who has been used as a kids 4H horse and experienced rider lessons. he has used many different types of short shank bits and transition bits. And different snaffles . I usually use a three piece snaffle. For starting his barrel training, what bit do you recommend me using ? People have said to start with the "lowest" bit you hve and work your way up as your training progresses. And people have recommended a draw gag bit.. What are your opinions on draw gag bits? Thanks !

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    To start out with, use a D-ring snaffle bit. They're not too harsh but still responding. After using that, I moved to an O-ring twisted snaffle. It works great for barrel racing. You have to have light hands though, Good luck! =)

    Source(s): Barrel Racer Horse Trainer
  • 8 years ago

    Honestly if you're running them right the bit hardly matters. A good barrel horse should respond to leg cues. I've been riding in the turquoise circuit for almost two years and I have a basic $10 snaffle for my horse. When I trained her I used a basic hackmore because she was terrible at bringing her head around. I still run her in a hackmore a lot. But the harsher the bit the more sour your horse will be. Yeah it's a quick way to get them to do what you want but it only works for so long. Proper training is the best way to go.

  • 8 years ago

    Start off with a very light bit..

    I start all my horse, (running horses or not) in an o ring snaffle bit. I wouldn't use any gag bits, especially not young horses. You want barrel horses to respond off of light pressure and when you start off with a harsh bit, you make them hard mouthed.

    Good luck God bless!

    Source(s): myself
  • 8 years ago

    Do NOT start with a gag bit. I am a barrel racer/gymkhana rider and I use a Little S Hackamore on my horse. Way too many barrel racers use harsh bits because they think that they need them to control their horses at a gallop. My horse can come from a flat out gallop down to a lope just by me saying easy. My horse had gotten her mouth yanked at the second barrel by her old owner and we had to re-train her because she was sour. If you jerk on your horse's mouth with that kind of bit accidentally they are going to hate running the barrel pattern. Use a really soft bit and spend time with your horse and you will have a great partnership that will last forever.

    Source(s): Training my barrel horse.
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  • 8 years ago

    I start mine out in an O-Ring snaffle. If that isn't working, I'll switch to a fat twisted wire snaffle, which is probably my favorite bit for starting them. I'll keep them in the snaffle as long as I can, and some horses will always be fine in a snaffle. My favorite bit for a seasoned horse is a short shank Sherri Cervi bit (you pick your mouthpiece) or a MJ Million Dollar bit, without the curb chain. I find the chain on that bit makes it confusing to the horse, so I usually tie a piece of hay string on it instead.

    Start with the simplest bit your horse will respond to, and move up from there. I don't really recommend hackamores or draw bits for barrels on any horse. There are so many other options that work better.

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