My horse seems hard on the bit/mouth
 
 

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My horse seems hard on the bit/mouth

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  • Riding a horse with hard mouth

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    12-17-2011, 12:12 PM
  #1
Foal
My horse seems hard on the bit/mouth

So lately my horse has seemed to become quite a bit stronger and less responsive to the bit and his mouth just seems like its kind of hard. Not sure if its because I haven't been riding him as frequently while I'm in college, but now I winter break and want to work on him and us as a team.

I was wondering if anyone had any techniques/tips/tricks to help us with our problem. He rides in a full cheek slow twist snaffle now, and any other info you may need just ask me :) Thanks everyone!
     
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    12-18-2011, 10:53 AM
  #2
Started
It very well may be since you're not riding him as much. I would go back to the basics of walk-halt, trot-walk, and trot-halt until he's responsive to the bit. Then add in the canter work.
     
    12-18-2011, 12:32 PM
  #3
Weanling
I agree, back to basics is always very good and affective for you and your horse. Aslo try maybe learning to ride with no hands, sounds crazy for helping your horse not be strong on the bit but its amazing what you can do riding with no hands shows that alot of ppl depend to much on there reins, just and example me and my horse jumped a 3ft vertical with no hands and his never jumps so under himself and balanced in his life it was increadable! Plus when I rode him with no hands that's when he was able to hold a beautiful frame without me nagging at him to do so!! :P also try punching him and then "catch " him with the bit. Hope this helps :)
     
    12-18-2011, 04:25 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
agree, back to basics is always very good and affective for you and your horse. Aslo try maybe learning to ride with no hands, sounds crazy for helping your horse not be strong on the bit but its amazing what you can do riding with no hands shows that alot of ppl depend to much on there reins

Read more: My horse seems hard on the bit/mouth
EXCATLY! We rey way to much on our hands.

Also you say that "He rides in a full cheek slow twist snaffle now"
Have you recently changed bits? If so, is it harder? Softer?
     
    12-18-2011, 07:39 PM
  #5
Foal
He's ridden in this same bit for a few years, nothing has changed with that. I just feel like I have very little control sometimes and I feel like I shouldn't have to yank on his mouth so hard to slow him down. So hopefully with everyone's advice and just general conditioning over winter break he'll get a little better. We've been working a lot on transitions so hopefully that will help. I also may try the no hands thing. But if this does not work I'm at a loss. I'll also be taking lessons regularly again so that will hopefully help too.
     
    12-18-2011, 08:35 PM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by My Beau    
It very well may be since you're not riding him as much. I would go back to the basics of walk-halt, trot-walk, and trot-halt until he's responsive to the bit. Then add in the canter work.
I don't know.. doing walk halt, trot halt.. the halting may make him even harder in the mouth. I'd work on doing circles and serpentine and everything on a loose rein using your legs and really light on the mouth. I've found that with my horse, and most horses I've ridden.. the more you pull and the more pressure you add, the more resistant they get.
     
    12-18-2011, 10:40 PM
  #7
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
I don't know.. doing walk halt, trot halt.. the halting may make him even harder in the mouth. I'd work on doing circles and serpentine and everything on a loose rein using your legs and really light on the mouth. I've found that with my horse, and most horses I've ridden.. the more you pull and the more pressure you add, the more resistant they get.
Nope, an exercise like that will keep him on his "toes"... always wondering what's next, ready to respond at a moments notice, listening. I used to do this ALL the time with my gelding when he was younger and didn't always exactly listen when asked to slow/halt. Definitely do serpentines and circles, like you said, along with the transitions; but, if done correctly (not lugging on the reins) then the transitions will lead to lightness because he'll be attentive to the aids (and ideally not on the forehand).
     
    12-18-2011, 11:04 PM
  #8
Showing
So say you have a horse that refuses to halt.. it's either a slow crawl or creeping, all while chomping on the bit, mouth gaping, pulling against the reins.

How would you get them to do this exercise because when you ask for a halt, you start soft with a deep seat and you have to keep holding the reins while the horse is trying to take them from you.. do you do... walk, trot, walk trot instead?
     
    12-19-2011, 07:36 AM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
So say you have a horse that refuses to halt.. it's either a slow crawl or creeping, all while chomping on the bit, mouth gaping, pulling against the reins.

How would you get them to do this exercise because when you ask for a halt, you start soft with a deep seat and you have to keep holding the reins while the horse is trying to take them from you.. do you do... walk, trot, walk trot instead?
Nope, you keep doing walk-halt until the horse understands what you want. He'll come to understand what you want pretty quickly since that's ALL you will be doing, he'll expect it like a well schooled horse might expect flying lead changes in the corners of jumping courses. And when he expects it, he'll respond quickly. When he gets used to halting nicely this way, then you can up the difficulty factor and start asking for halts from the trot. It won't be perfect at first, but there will be time to finesse everything down the road.

If you have a horse that truly refuses to halt, then I would progress no further until that horse has a halt from a walk. I don't see why you would avoid something so crucial as a training a good halt just because the horse doesn't like to. That, and learning to turn, is the first thing my horses learned when they were young/restarted.
     
    12-19-2011, 09:57 AM
  #10
Yearling
Do you use your seat at all to slow/stop him? Or just the bit
     

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