Being on the bit requires the horse to engage the hips and raise the back, which it cannot do when its head is pulled rearward. … A horse is properly placed, on the bit, by creating impulsion (pushing power) from the rider’s driving aids, and then containing this forward energy in the hands, via the reins and bit.
The trick to collection is to get the horse to put the heaviest part of it’s body (head, neck, shoulder) onto the lightest part (hind legs), shifting the gravity from in front of the rider’s leg to behind the rider’s legs.
If your horse is pulling the reins out of your hands by putting its head down suddenly, your horse is likely doing something called “rooting”. … It’s sometimes done by school horses to evade the rider’s instructions by making them lose contact.
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Most riders agree that bits can cause pain to horses. A too-severe bit in the wrong hands, or even a soft one in rough or inexperienced hands, is a well-known cause of rubs, cuts and soreness in a horse’s mouth. Dr. Cook’s research suggests the damage may go even deeper — to the bone and beyond.
One of the most common types of snaffle bit is the eggbutt, which is the considered to be the gentlest type of snaffle bit because it doesn’t pinch the corners of the mouth.