Bits?????? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Bits??????

My horse is awesome but he is a TERRIBLE bit chewer! He has chewed EVERY bit I put him in! He even takes in his molars and chews it! I ride him in a french link korsteel hunter dee when I ride english and a tom thumb when I ride western. When he chews the bit, it is like he is in another world and he doesn't listen to me. What should I do?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:59 PM
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The bit chewing is a symptom of his anxiety about something. Get him comfortable and soft about being ridden and the bit chewing will get better. The answer isn't in his mouth, in fact the answer is everywhere but his mouth.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
The bit chewing is a symptom of his anxiety about something. Get him comfortable and soft about being ridden and the bit chewing will get better. The answer isn't in his mouth, in fact the answer is everywhere but his mouth.
He does it all the time. Even when he is perfectly calm
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 02:12 AM
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Have you tried using a simple sidepull style hackamore to see how he goes bitless?

...you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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post #5 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Horseychick94 View Post
He does it all the time. Even when he is perfectly calm
If he was perfectly calm he wouldn't be chewing the bit. He may not be moving any of the rest of his body but his mind is not calm. The reason for bit chewing is almost always anxiety about something. If you change bits or take the bit away entirely the anxiety will manifest itself in other ways.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
If he was perfectly calm he wouldn't be chewing the bit. He may not be moving any of the rest of his body but his mind is not calm. The reason for bit chewing is almost always anxiety about something. If you change bits or take the bit away entirely the anxiety will manifest itself in other ways.
Could it be that he is off the track? He chews more when he is nervous and chews a few times when he is calm. I have ridden him bitless and he is fine but I like to have a bit on the days that he is more exuberant.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Have you tried using a simple sidepull style hackamore to see how he goes bitless?
yep! he goes good but sometimes there isn't enough stopping power on his hyper days
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 08:22 PM
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You might have him checked over by a chiropratcor, and have him/her check your saddle fit and his jaw/poll area. Have you dicussed this with your vet? Could be some discomfort due to teeth needing floating.

I do agree with Kevin though, usually bit chewing is behavioral, not because of physical pain. I do like to rule out physical pain first though, as it's easier to deal with than training or psyche issues. If he checks out physically (and don't just assume he's fine, get him looked at!), then I would spend more time doing ground work with him and bonding. I'd also keep things to flat work if you're jumping him. Work on your Dressage work and some trail rides.

I would also look at his diet and turnout. Feed can give your horse too much energy, which can manifest negatively. What kind of feed does he get (exact brand/type), how much, and how often? What kind of supplements does he get? What kind of hay does he get, how much, and how often? How much turnout does he get? Any grazing? Is he turned out alone or with friends? How much room does he have? How big is his stall? Do you have any stall toys?

A simple change in diet and/or turnout can make a big difference!
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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You might have him checked over by a chiropratcor, and have him/her check your saddle fit and his jaw/poll area. Have you dicussed this with your vet? Could be some discomfort due to teeth needing floating.

I do agree with Kevin though, usually bit chewing is behavioral, not because of physical pain. I do like to rule out physical pain first though, as it's easier to deal with than training or psyche issues. If he checks out physically (and don't just assume he's fine, get him looked at!), then I would spend more time doing ground work with him and bonding. I'd also keep things to flat work if you're jumping him. Work on your Dressage work and some trail rides.

I would also look at his diet and turnout. Feed can give your horse too much energy, which can manifest negatively. What kind of feed does he get (exact brand/type), how much, and how often? What kind of supplements does he get? What kind of hay does he get, how much, and how often? How much turnout does he get? Any grazing? Is he turned out alone or with friends? How much room does he have? How big is his stall? Do you have any stall toys?

A simple change in diet and/or turnout can make a big difference!
I just had a ride on him today and used a looser rein and praising him a lot and he didn't chew HALF as much! He hadn't been ridden in a couple weeks so he was pretty crazy LOL
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-20-2010, 11:27 PM
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Well then, sounds like you need to take it slower with your riding and build more confidence.

I would consider his feed and turnout though, especially if he was "pretty crazy" today.
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