Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Turbo Lifter

Milo's new bit came Monday night, its the DM Turbo Lifter. Its just like the bit I used on Milo in my last lesson with Sarah, only this one has swivel shanks, not fixed like the other Turbo Lifter, or the Lifter I was using the last two weeks. Not only am I super excited to have found a great deal on this bit (these bits sell new for $100-$150) spending only $56 including shipping, but I have come to find that I like the swivel shanks.

When I first found this bit advertised online, I consulted Sarah on if the swivel shanks would be appropriate, or if Milo is in need of a fixed bit. She believed the swivel shanks would be just find and encouraged me to take the sweet deal, so I did.

I had noticed in the Lifter bit, that sometimes I felt my cues where a bit confusing for Milo. For instance his habit of poking his nose to the right and causing his neck to become crooked instead of straight. He needed a little help from both the outside and inside rein to get him back on a straight track, but I found with the heavy fixed Lifter bit, sometimes this didnt come clear to Milo, who would instead just lift up away from the bit, or increase the crookeness of his head and neck. I was also have a little bit of a problem with turnarounds, since the pressure on either side piece couldnt be picked up independently if needed, sometimes the bit would be applying pressure for a cue to back.

So, after being able to ride in this Turbo Lifter with the swivel shanks, I think its the perfect middle ground bit for Milo. Its still offering much more stability and a "step up" from the Les Vogt Elevator Bit, but offers a bit more individual flexion through the shanks, something Milo still needs some assistance with occassionally.

This bit seemed to yeild better results in our arcing poles exercise as well. I increased the difficulty to five poles instead of just the four we had been working over, and after only one pass over where Milo had to figure out his tempo, he worked beautifully over it, even to the left. Im not sure If I can attribute the bit for some success, or if Milo is just getting the hang of it.

But out circles were notably better with my ability to reinforce the outside rein with the inside as necessary. We worked a bit on our fencing as well, which is getting a lot better. Ive been letting Milo rest for a few minutes at the fence after a particularly nice approach and stop, letting him associate the fence with a good place, this should help him want to be at the fence more then trying to duck out away from it.

Being as this is the turbo lifter as well, which basically means that the height and angle of the cheekpiece above the bit is higher, this more quickly takes pressure off of the mouthpiece and onto the curb strap. The DM website says so much as 90% of pressure off of the mouthpice. As the name suggests, the Turbo Lifter (as with any Lifter for that matter) cues the horse to lift at the wither and flex at the poll, always encouraging a lift rather then a head down like a traditional leverage bit (dont confuse this with a higher head however, a lifted wither and round back still enables a lower head, but it doesnt bring the horse's weight down and forward like a leverage bit....get the difference?).

This was the best photo I could get of the bit hanging. I know its a busy photo, but heres what the sink in the tack room looks like too!
You'll notice I had some extra leather string I was able to fashion into a leather curb strap. The bailing twine worked for the other bit, but I figured the leather didnt detract as obviously as the twine. It does the job though without me having to buy a new curb strap!


Mare said...

It's definitely an interesting looking bit, and the concept behind it intrigues me. I like the curb strap!

Anonymous said...

I thought the same thing when Sarah first had me try it on Milo. But after riding in it and reading up more on it its definitely a nice bit.

in2paints said...

It's a great feeling when you find a bit that works. You're such a good mom to keep searching until you find the perfect one for Milo. :)

I have the perfect bit for english but I'm still searching for a western bit.

Rising Rainbow said...

The more I hear the more I think one of these bits would probably be good for Dandy and maybe even Legs. Dandy, particularly doesn't want to lift up at the withers like he should. I can't even tell you how long it took me to teach him how to do that properly.

paint_horse_milo said...

Doesnt hurt to try MiKael, if he doesnt like it then take it out. LOL

Thanks in2paints, I feel like any responsible horse owner should be concerned about finding equipment that the horse enjoys and responds well to. But the compliment is nice, thank you.