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Goats and Bits - Printable Version

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+--- Thread: Goats and Bits (/showthread.php?tid=1209)

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RE: Goats and Bits - Nanno - 05-13-2016

I have a betathane harness from Northwest Mini Tack which no longer has a website. I'm not sure if that woman is still in busines. I also just got a pairs harness from Chimacum Tack, but I'm not entirely pleased because I've had to do a bit of shipping back and forth to get something I'm happy with and that fits properly. Instructions weren't always followed as nicely as one might hope. I am good with my hands and sewing is not very hard. Maybe some winter if I find I have enough money and too much time on my hands I'll spring for that heavy duty sewing machine and some materials and see what I can come up with.

I'm sorry the bridle didn't fit. That's got to be so frustrating to have to spend so much money and wait so long for shipping only to not have something fit the way you hoped.

I think you might be able to snap your overcheck into the rings at the side of the Sopris halter for a decent effect. I've also thought of adding bit clips to the Sopris halter. The rings at the noseband are a little too far down and too small, but it might be possible to add second cheek pieces to the bigger rings by the jaw. I was toying with something like that before we got too busy with kidding season. We'll have to keep each other posted on our progress. Smile

RE: Goats and Bits - DownUnder Gal - 05-13-2016

Hi Nanno, we have similar ideas ... I was also thinking of adding the overcheck to the Sopris halter. I've got it sitting here in front of me ready to go. TSG suggested adding the bit clips to the noseband of the Sopris but I would have thought they would slide along laterally and therefore the bit might be pulled out of position?

If I lived in the US I wouldn't mind so much with getting the wrong gear - after all, most of what I am having issues with has not been made for goats. However, the shipping costs to Australia are horrendous and our own postal system has undergone some "improvements" which means everything costs more to post domestically and seems to take twice as long to get to the destination. A standard letter takes 10-12 days to get from one end of the state to another now - hopeless Sad

RE: Goats and Bits - DownUnder Gal - 05-13-2016

Maybe we could use something like this instead of actual bit clips:  Looks a bit more comfortable. 

I've put the browband from the Tough1 bridle onto the Sopris halter because it has a slot in the middle for the overcheck to thread through to keep it in place.  It fits ok.  I've attached the overcheck to the noseband - you'll see from the photo that because the halter rings are set a little further back than some halters, to attach the overcheck clips to those would interfere with Koby's sight.  Apologies for the poor quality photo, it's a bit hard to see the black straps against Koby's black coat.  I think this set up would work from a mechanical perspective but the noseband is a little wide to get the clips on properly, so the latter sit a little proud. I think they would rub his nose over time and at best would be uncomfortable.  Also, the noseband rides up a little and stays there when he puts his head down and the overcheck is activated.  I will keep thinking of other options that will be more comfortable for Koby.

RE: Goats and Bits - DownUnder Gal - 05-13-2016

Oops - forgot the photo Rolleyes

RE: Goats and Bits - Nanno - 05-14-2016

I tried buckling the overcheck to the noseband but had the same problem with it sliding up to the top, and like you I didn't care for the fact that once it engaged it pulled the noseband up and then wouldn't come down. Overchecks are just not made for nosebands! I can see how the nose rings are too far down and back to be used with the overcheck. One cool thing about having goats with horns is that we shouldn't need extra straps to keep the bridle or overcheck in place since the horns will do that. When I put the bridle behind the horns and in front of the ears I find there is no need for either a browband or a throatlatch. Browbands sure can look decorative though. I like the look of the bit buckle straps. I think I could make something like that pretty easily if I use nylon. You may not think you are good at sewing, but it's not that hard. For little things like this you can even sew them by hand. Use a heavier gauge needle, and use heavier-duty thread doubled over. I use a cigarette lighter for burning the strap ends. For making holes I heat an awl in the flame of my gas cooking range and poke holes in the nylon. It's a little tedious since I have to reheat the awl after every hole and the melted nylon makes the awl messy, but it gets the job done for little projects like this.

RE: Goats and Bits - DownUnder Gal - 05-19-2016

Hi Nanno, might be a silly question but how do you stop the awl making very rough edges of the nylon on the opposite side to where you start to poke it through? I have had this issue in the past whereby they rub the goat. Do you just sand off the edges when it has cooled?

I agree the less regalia the better re bridles on goats. At least when they are just getting used to having something new on their heads!

RE: Goats and Bits - hihobaron - 05-20-2016

DownUnder Gal
Hello DUG
I saw your question to Nanno about punching holes in Nylon Parts and rough edges.
This is the way I do it.
Heat the awl red hot, Propane Torch works fine.
Punch the hole from the "Goat" side outward, wabble it around a little so you have a "Grommet"  of melted Nylon.
Here is the trick part for a flat hole.
Heat a small piece of flat iron with the torch, Hold it with a pair of pliers so you don't burn your fingers.
Lay the "Part" on something solid, when the strip of flat iron is hot quickly apply to the "Grommet" of raised nylon to "Flatten it." Only takes second or two. Rotate as you pull the flat iron off the part.
It you try to pull the flat iron strait off you will get "Stings of nylon" and have to either "Brand"  it again or sand it down.
Repeat on the outside of the strap too.

BTY: If you ever have to cut a nylon trace down to shorten it.
A torch is your best friend to melt the ends of the cut.
If you have to punch new single tree holes in the trace Use a big nail heated red hot Punch through and pull it along the length of the trace till you get the size slot you want. Them use the method above to "Flatten out the melted Nylon."
Happy Trails
hihobaron and the Troops in South Carolina

RE: Goats and Bits - DownUnder Gal - 05-21-2016

Thanks very much HHB! My other half has a torch so will give that method a try Smile

RE: Goats and Bits - LeonRembowski - 08-21-2020

(11-23-2015, 09:49 AM)Nanno Wrote: In the interest of not letting Cuzco run away with Santa again this year in the Christmas parade, I've been considering putting him in a bit instead of continuing to drive him in a halter. One problem with driving in a halter is that you have to get it super snug to keep it from riding up the nose when you pull on the reins. Even so, it tends to ride up the nose anyway, and it always rubs the hair off because halters aren't really designed for side-to-side pulling. So I've been thinking about trying a bit and I found a tiny little 3 1/2" miniature horse bit at Mini Express. The lady was very amused when I told her I was buying it for a goat, and she couldn't believe that goats come in Cuzco size. I decided on copper since goats usually crave copper (they regularly rewire our trailers and have attacked our internet twice) and I went with a French link snaffle since goats appear to have fairly low palates. I made a little headstall for it which was quite easy since goats with horns don't need browbands or throatlatches. I still need to make a noseband as this will help stabilize the bit and prevent it being accidentally pulled through the mouth. 

As a side note, I used to wonder why driving bridles were made with the noseband run through the cheekpieces. Riding bridles are designed with the cavesson as a separate piece and its only function is to discourage the horse from evading the bit by gaping his mouth or getting his tongue over the bit. A driving noseband has these functions too, but with the strap running through the cheekpieces, it becomes a safety feature since it prevents the bit from being able to be pulled through the mouth. Pulling on the bit can also engage the noseband to assist in turning the head. 

So how did Cuzco react to the bit? The answer is, not much. He shook his head a few times, chomped a little, then seemed to accept it pretty well. I led him around with it the first day and was amazed by how light a touch I could use to direct him. I drove him in it yesterday and he was very light in my hands. This is the first time he has not succeeded in turning the cart around whenever he felt like it. We still had problems on the way home--this is usually when he likes to take off at a run. I successfully held him to a rather prancey walk without much difficulty, but he did a lot of head-shaking, and occasionally he came to a dead stop if he pulled too hard in protest. It wasn't perfect, but at least he was responding. So after 12 years of driving we finally have proper brakes! We're going to need to practice some more over the next couple of weeks before the parade, but I think I may have found the key to driving this goat comfortably without ground assistance. 

I also tried the bit on Finn and Sputnik. They protested madly about having it installed, but Finn accepted it quite well within a few minutes. Sputnik never stopped chomping on it throughout our walk yesterday, and both goats have a hard time taking treats with the bit in, but I think with gentle practice they'll come to accept it as part of the routine. They'll need to grow a lot more before I can start driving them in it because right now it's too wide for their mouths, but I figure they can just wear it for now and get used to the feel.
I was wondering if you could show more about how you rigged this up and measured if any needed and such. I am new very new to goat pulling. As a matter of fact I just got my first pulling harness and have been running through my mind what type of lead or hackimore I would need to keep him moving on in the direction and speed I would hope for him. He loves the pulling harness I bought for him and he is just a BIG BABY so not likely to take off on his own but I would like to hitch him to the cart and go for a ride in the direction and speed I would like. He likes the girlies so that could be a problem. As I said I am very new. My thought is either a 2 wheeled cart or a 4 wheel wagon,he is about #180 -#190 and I weigh about #175 so either wouldn't be an issue for him to pull. I have wondered how if any crossover with the horse bridal system would work for goats. Btw I also have 3 others two are bigger and one is the same size as he is so eventually a team isn't out of the question.  So any pictures ,links ,ideas or help would be great if it wouldn't be to imposing.Thanks in advance.

RE: Goats and Bits - Nanno - 08-21-2020

Welcome! You've got a lot of good questions which I don't have time to answer right away, but I'll try to get back to you early next week. I'm so glad you're interested in driving goats! It's a wonderful hobby and gives our boys something to do.