mule bit

Talk about Horses and Mules.
vaquero
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mule bit

Postby vaquero » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:48 pm

Has anyone ever used Max Harsha's show bit?
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slowandeasy
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Re: mule bit

Postby slowandeasy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:18 pm

All bits are only as good as the hands that are working the reins. When younger and uneducated I ruined a nice mule with one of Max's bits. That being said, was it the bit? Absolutely NOT. REAPEAT ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you are handy at training. Than use what ever bit you choose. If you are purchasing the bit as a miracle tool. Step back take a deep breath and get advice from some one that actually knows. ( NOT SOMEONE SPREADING FREE CHIT ON THE INTERNET ) Especially with a mule, as when a mistake is made it is often very hard to undo if at all. Good luck!!!


Take care, Willie
Cry to the heavens and let slip the dogs of war. For they must feed on the bones of tyranny. In order for men to have freedom and liberty
mulehound
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Re: mule bit

Postby mulehound » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:13 pm

All mules are different. I have used Harshas bit. Don't use it now. Big part is the rider knowing which bit to use.
farleydog
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Re: mule bit

Postby farleydog » Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:31 pm

I have a Max Harsha bit that I have to use every now and then. Someone gave me a plum loco mule once that would runaway with you, the Max Harsh bit was the only bit that worked on her. I worked with her for about 6 months and without much improvement, so I just got rid of her. The Max Harsha bit can be a very harsh bit if you don't use it correctly. This is just my 2 cents.
Kenny Fulton
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Re: mule bit

Postby Kenny Fulton » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:50 pm

I kind of go with Slowandeasy on this one. As a rule, the answer to your mule problems or successes aren't hanging the the tack shed. The Harsha can be very harsh if not used correctly.
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Mike Leonard
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Re: mule bit

Postby Mike Leonard » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:12 pm

I am with Willie on this it is all in the M~anos ( hands.

Max had a good idea with this bit as used properly it is designed to slow down the message sent from the hands to the mule and break it down it stages. Initially the nose band goes forward away fron the nose and the bit begins to rotate forward sending a signal to the bars of the mule's mouth and the tongue start to get the message. If the desired result is not obtained more pressure activates the curb pressure under the mule's chin and then the noseband begins to apply pressure on the nose. Used properly it can work very well even on green mules but it can be a wicked device as can most in the hands of a rider who has the feel of a butcher.

Back in the early to mid-50's Frank Evans a well known horse trainer of many breeds and mules had a revelation and built a bit that although it looks strange to conventional riders works extreemly well in communicating several message to the animal. The Mikmar Training Bit was the flagship model of the Mikmar line and still being used in many circles today. Their are other bits now in the line but when understood and utilized properly excellent results can be obtained even by riders who do not have a great deal of experience in horse or mule training. These bit however can be hard if used in a brutal manner or rigged in an improper fashion.

I always encourage the use of a simple snaffle o-ring or d-ring with a broken mouth peice or even a three piece or dog bone mouth. I drive all my young animals and do not use a saddle for this because it is very hard to rig a driving outfit from a saddle and keep the rein pressure high enough to be natural. I use a driving sur-single and flat lines. Going slow and light I can usually have an animal flexing giving and backing some during their very first exposure to this. Horses and mules don't understand clocks and about all they worry about is getting fed so you need to slow down and move into their realm. Tom Dorrance who many consider one of the best trainers of all times was a very low key patient person and his strategy of slowing down and getting into that harmonious place with the animal is golden.

If you don't have the patience and nature to go this way maybe you were noot cut out to be a trainer and you would be much happier and better served by purchasing a finished dependable mount and just hitting the trail. Nothing at all wrong with that and you will be making it a lot easier on yourself and your family.

An old cowboy told me one time. Pard when you want to fly back to home for a visit, do you head to the airport and inquire about flying lessons and go thru all that training and then get you first starter plane and then chart your course home? I said heck no I leave the flying to the experts I just want to get there in one piece. He said well that is the way to look at this horse deal too. If you do not have the absolute love for learning to fly and be a pilot leave it to the experts and buy a ticket. It's a whole lot cheaper in the long run. LOL!
MIKE LEONARD
Somewhere out there.............
twilli
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Re: mule bit

Postby twilli » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:46 am

I use a snaffle bit or Tom Thumb. Soft in the mouth and still have the ability to put the breaks on if needed.
houndsnmules
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Re: mule bit

Postby houndsnmules » Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:12 am

If you need a Max Harsha's bit? Your mule isn't trained very well
Jaime
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Re: mule bit

Postby mulehound » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:56 pm

The max harsha a has its place. I don't use mine except once in a great while. In fact it's been so long since I needed it I am not sure where it is.
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Re: mule bit

Postby Catch » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:53 am

A harsh or rough bit is a sign of lazyness or lack of knowledge on the ground. To get a soft mouth in the saddle you must get it on the ground. My theory is if a mule walks through a snaffle, in time they will walk through any bit. Sorry but leverage or extreme pressure to the mouth is not good.
vaquero
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Re: mule bit

Postby vaquero » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:22 am

The bit I was looking at on Max Harsha's web site was his show bit not the bit with the metal nose band. The show bit is supposed to be designed for a mules mouth. What kind of ground work for a soft and supple mule. I'v never done much ground work I just ride them but would like to know how to get a more refined mule.

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