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The Anatomy of Bitting DVDs
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Joined: Fri Feb 3rd, 2012
Posts: 37
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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 12:48 am
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with Dr. Deb, Ph.D. and Dave Elliott, Master Bitmaker
I purchased this set late last year.

Put the first disc in the other day and never made it back to the couch to sit down. I stood in the middle of my living room watching the TV, mesmerized. Absolutely fascinated. It wasn't that I didn't know what the two of them were talking about, but the conversation was just so interesting. And nothing I've ever really discussed in depth with another human being before. The collection of bits laying on the table and they'd pick one up and discuss it. The comments Dave would make from a bitmaker's perspective will have me looking at bits differently from here on out. The finer, less obvious, details.

Then Dr. Deb had a bunch of paper cutouts of different parts to a bit and they were putting them together in different configurations on a pin up board. "What would happen if we did this?" Very fun to watch.

I'm not quite finished watching disc 1 yet. Looking forward to the other 3. Use of a skull and who knows what other fun stuff is coming!

I do have a question. Which might get answered later in the program. The bit hobble. How LONG is the strap supposed to be? You (Dr. Deb) held up a bit that had a rawhide hobble and the strap was the same length as the bit cannons. So, the same "width" as the bit. I understand it's purpose is to prevent the bit from being pulled through the mouth. Hopefully that would only occur as a freak accident and not from a rider reefing on a rein. However, having observed both Buck Brannaman and Harry Whitney clinics, I have seen the "looseness" of the bit hobbles all over the board. (Same thing with flank cinches.) Is there a general "rule" of how long the bit hobble should be in relation to the horse's chin or the width of the bit, size of the bit rings, etc.?

WWDES? (What would Dave Elliott say?)

Thanks Dr. Deb! Even if it's to tell me to continue watching for the answer to my question!

Just wanted to put this out there for anyone interested in bits and how they work. So far this is one of the BEST "horse" videos I have seen hands down. Even if the other 3 discs are toast, the first one is priceless!

Happy riding!

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Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3080
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 Posted: Sun Mar 11th, 2018 03:09 am
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Actually, I don't think I remember commenting on the length of the bit hobble in the program.

So here's the answer: have it snug enough to function for its intended purpose without irritating the horse.

To function for its intended purpose -- and yes it is mostly contra somebody reefing on a rein, but you might need to reef on a rein if, say, the horse bolts off with you and you need both hands on one rein just to turn him to get him stopped -- it needs to be snug enough to barely clear the chin.

To not irritate the horse, it needs to not be too tight, i.e. under ordinary use of the rein, it should never get "stuck" or bound up in the chin hairs, it should not increase the pressure or force of the bit, or crush the tongue or twist the commissures of the lips downward or outward.

To not irritate the horse, it also needs to not be so loose that when the horse goes with a lower head, or bounces up and down with the trot, the strap does not swing forward and whap-whap-whap him under the chin.

Thank you very much for your rave review of the bitting DVD. And yes we did have a good deal of fun making that program. Cheers -- Dr. Deb

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