Chat Transcript - Dale Myler of Myler Bits

Read the transcript of our chat with Dale Myler, one of the founders of the Myler bitting system.
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Read the transcript of our chat with Dale Myler, one of the founders of the Myler bitting system.

July 26, 2001 --

Equisearch Staff: Hello everyone! Welcome to the Equisearch chat with bit specialist Dale Myler! Dale is from Myler Bits, which are designed for effective communication and a relaxed horse. Dale was recently featured in Practical Horseman magazine (July 2001). His company may be reached on its web site at www.toklat.com. Please ask any questions you have about bits, etc.!

?Practical Horseman. All Rights Reserved.

?Practical Horseman. All Rights Reserved.

Opening Question: Are Myler bits approved for use in AHSA shows?

Dale Myler: The loose ring Myler bit is approved for AHSA use, but only the 09, a single-jointed snaffle and the french link are approved for dressage.

Question:I've heard stud horses have larger tongues and may need special bits-any advice for bitting a stallion?

Dale Myler: It makes no difference. The idea is to bit a horse for relaxation

Racehorsenut: I started my five-year-old thoroughbred on a Kimberwick snaffle and I am thinking of changing bits. What different kinds of bits would you recommend for a five-year-old thoroughbred?

Dale Myler: Racehorsenut - if you mean that your horse is getting heavy, then try to look for a bit with less tongue pressure. You've also got a curb chain/strap on your bit so you're adding more tongue pressure which could account for his heaviness. You may want to go for a low ported bit that would give relief. I would recommend the 04 model which has a quarter inch break and will release pressure on the tongue.

Roper5: What kind of bit should I use with a hard mouthed roping horse--I mean a good one to make him stop fast?

Dale Myler: Roper 5 - what are you using now and where does your horse's head go when you ask him to stop?

Roper5: He puts his head forward, yanks it forward

Dale Myler: And what bit is currently in his mouth?

Roper5: It's a curbed bit. That's all I know-- it curbs on the tongue.

Dale Myler: How old is your horse, when was the last time your horse had his teeth done, his mindset and disposition, history of bits, rider's hands, rider's experience-all these questions are important when choosing a bit for individual horses. It's difficult to give specific advice without seeing horse and rider and going through steps i would during clinics.

Roper5: He is 9 years old. His teeth were done a few months ago. I think his bit is hurting him

Dale Myler: The height and way in which it fits in his mouth has a lot to do with the results. There are other considerations, but many roping horses are ridden in a 41PB. However, I feel that it is vital to ask many questions about the horse and situation when choosing a bit. Understanding why the horse reacts as he does is key. It's about making the horse comfortable. You must share your information with each other. Everything is individualized. Generalizations are not helpful.

Racehorsenut: What is the purpose of a half-spoon cheek snaffle?

Dale Myler: A half-spoon cheek snaffle helps the horse turn by pressing against the outside of the horse's lip. It's similar to the full-cheek.

Dale Myler: The bit can't be pulled through the horse's mouth in a full cheek or halfcheek. When developing the bits--people talked about the bars of the horse, but not the tongue. So, we felt that the tongue pressure deserved some more attention. Single-jointed bits are less kind than the double jointed. The more broken your horse, the less tongue pressure is necessary.

Question: I have a comment regarding what horses do to evade the riders hands on a level 1 bit.

Dale Myler: The horses get their tongue over the bit when in work and they stick their tongue up in their throat or out the side of their face

Racehorsenut: Up in their throats. . . I did not know that

Dale Myler: To evade the bit, horses open their mouths, they drop down and get heavy on the forehand, they lift up out of the bit with their heads in the air, they come behind the vertical. If a horse opens his mouth and you don't keep pulling, it puts his bottom jaw behind the vertical, hence releasing tongue pressure. If a horse gets heavy, it will try to release tongue pressure as well. Each of the reactions is an attempt to release tongue pressure from the level 1 bit.

dressageand: I would still like to know about the new loose ring snaffle being AHSA approved.

Ren127: dressageand- he said earlier that all are AHSA but only MB09 and French link are okay for dressage

Roper5: Mister Dale, I also have a nine year old roping horse that has a very sensitive and light mouth and I was wondering a bit that wouldn't put to much pressure on his mouth. A few days ago he sat straight on his butt when I pulled back on the reins. Would you tell me a light bit I could use on him?

Dale Myler: Roper5 - what bit is in his mouth now? Make sure that his teeth are in good condition. That is a major factor

Roper5: Sweet iron, medium port

Dale Myler: The bit is only one part of the whole picture. The bit does not train - people train. Generalizations are dangerous

equisearchstaff: Dale wants to make sure you do talk with your tack specialist about specific horses and bits to use. Please know linking a horse and bit depends on individual traits in the horse and rider.

Kate: Mr. Myler, how are your bits different from others?

Dale Myler: My bit design emerged from my borther Ron's training methods. He was trying to control the horse's shoulder and get them relaxed into bit. A horse follows his shoulder, not head and neck. He's got to be relaxed into bridle and be able to move shoulder. Horses and people are both animals - they learn from repetition. We bit horses to handle, not restrict. As a colt starts to evade, we must adapt. My brother Ron was training cutting horses. He built his own bits to allow horses to relax and follow his shoulder. Other people began to want some of his bit designs. In 1987 we began to distribute our bits

Guest1202: Hi. I have a funny Morgan mare who hates bits...I tried for 6 years different bits and finally tried a Myler.she actually likes it--well, maybe tolerates is better, but at least she takes a bit now!

horserider: Please explain the MB05 and why you would use it? It is a Myler bit number and it was recommended to me to use on my 6 year old Morgan Gelding

Dale Myler: The MBO5 and the MB33 are two bits that are similar. They have the most tongue relief while staying out of palate. The 05 wraps around the outer lip a little more and the other is a more solid bar. the horse can have contact but swallow easily. These bits are for well-broke hores who want to be guided and left alone.

Racehorsenut: What is the purpose of a W or double mouth piece?

Dale Myler: If you are talking about two single jointed mouth pieces - this makes a ""w"" and applies quite a bit of pressure on a horse's tongue-- as well as pinching the outer lip and squeezing the bar make a ""w"" because the joints are off-set

Kate: Mr. Myler, what makes your bits different from others?

Dale Myler: Our bits are not so much differnt in their application - our bits apply more even pressure - more humane yet same function.

Ren127: I have a couple of questions- first off is it typical for a myler bit to rust- of the three I have one of them has completely rusted. I'm currently schooling my horse in the Myler loose ring hinged bristol barrel- is it common for this bit to completely rust over- i've been using it for like 6 mo.? I'd also like some suggestions for other bits to try - my 10 17.1h gelding is currently schooling in a MB40 (the one that's rusted) and shows in a pelham with a very loose curb chain- we're doing the 3'6"" hunters and use the pelham to back him off a little at shows- he tends to get a little excited at shows and then raises his head up like a giraffe- he goes well in the pelham over fences but does not hack well in it- any thoughts?

Dale Myler: The Myler bit is designed to keep a horse's mouth moist - made of sweet iron and that does, in fact, rust

Kate: How long does it take to rust? What do you do with it then?

Racehorsenut: I did not know that Myler bits moisten the horse's mouth . . How does that happen?

Dale Myler: We do the same mouthpiece in stainless steel. But we want them to rust to keep the mouth moist and salivating when riding.

Ren127: just curious b/c my other Myler's haven't rusted

Dale Myler: The rust will not flake off and cause a problem in that regard. Your other bits may be stainless steel.

equisearchstaff: Ren, did you have English bits?

Ren127: Yes-

Ren127: I have a plain English D snaffle, the loose MB40, and a snaffle pelham

Dale Myler: The copper in the metal helps the horse salivate. This has been proven and used for hundreds of years

equisearchstaff: Ren, is the snaffle pelham hand made or commercial?

Ren127: All three are Myler commercial. I'm also looking for suggestions to switch my horse out of the pelham at shows- the MB40 doesn't back him off enough at shows-

Dale Myler: I would say that you've got too much tongue pressure if your horse isn't backed off with the pelham.

Ren127: He tends to lift his head up at shows- the pelham works fairly well but he doesn't hack well in it and I hate to change bits. Plus, more and more judges are marking off for pelhams in hunters. His teeth are floated reg. He's 10yr. 17.1 hand Sachsen doing the 3'6"" hunters.

Dale Myler: I recommend that you go to a tackstore or other consultant to discuss an appropriate bit for the specific needs of your horse.

linnie: Are Myler bits more expensive?

Dale Myler: Compared to other bits, myler bits are comparble in the realm of quality bits. Prices are competitive. Ren127 - what kind of disposition does your horse have?

Ren127: He gets spooky at shows, but is fairly quiet in general. His biggest issue is he puts his head straight up when he gets nervous

Dale Myler: Go talk to a dealer and look at the 41PB or the old 05 in the eggbut. Make sure that the bit sticks out at least 1/8 of an inch on either side when standing quietly

Ren127: Well that's actually me I work for a tack shop- we sell a lot of the bits

Dale Myler: LUCKY YOU!

Ren127: Yeah he takes a 5 1/2"". Yes- it helps to be able to get them in to try

Dale Myler: Use two heads together to try to figure out what one horse is asking for. Dealers are renting the bits so that you can give it a try. Respect your horse and what he is asking. Find out what your horse is trying to evade and be specific.

equisearchstaff: Please visit Dale Myler and Myler bits after our chat at www.toklat.com A list of upcoming clinics and appearances is on the site--as well as where to find Myler bits.

Ren127: Thanks again for everything- keep up the good work

Racehorsenut: Yea thanx. Dale. I learned quite a bit.

equisearchstaff: Please seek out this month's issue of Practical Horseman Magazine-as Dale said, it explains background knowledge essential when properly fitting individual horses.

equisearchstaff: As always, Dale recommends you visit your local tack shop and talk with your dealer about individual horse needs.

equisearchstaff: Dale thanks everyone for their patience and great questions!

Racehorsenut: Intersting chat...very

Petrushka: Yeah, it was good