Fighting the Bit. NEED ADVICE!

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Fighting the Bit. NEED ADVICE!

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  • What to do if my horse fights the bit
  • My horse fights bit

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    11-26-2010, 12:34 PM
Exclamation Fighting the Bit. NEED ADVICE!

So I have a 15 year old Arabian Gelding I have been using a regular round ring snaffle since I got him. I have been working with him a lot this summer (4-5x a week) and collection has been a huge part of it, and just recently a couple weeks ago I noticed he keeps pulling his head forward like he's trying to pull the reins out of my hands and when I try to correct him or back him up he lifts his head high and shakes his head... What do I do? Someone suggested a new bit.
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    11-26-2010, 12:57 PM
There are several things that could contribute to him doing this.
A problem with the bit is definitely a maybe-cause.
Another possibility is your saddle has become too tight for him? He might have developed muscle over the course of the summer, and the type of work you're asking him to do, could be inhibited if the saddle is too tight.
Maybe try riding him in a bit with something like an elliptical or french link and see if there's an improvement.
Otherwise, if there isn't, get your saddle checked out.
    11-26-2010, 01:04 PM
Agree with Shimla and would also add to have his teeth checked as he may need a dental. Always check for physical causes first such as sharp teeth or need to see a chiropractor, saddle fit, bridle fit. Then look to your technique, then work on his obedience. People are so quick to think a horse is being obstinate sometimes (not saying you are, just something I've seen) and then realize it is a pain issue.

I worked my horse a lot over the summer and he developed so much topline that his saddle no longer fit properly (as Shimla mentioned). Once I got him in a better fit he started going nicely again, definitely worth looking in to.
    11-26-2010, 07:52 PM
Well actually my saddle is too large for him I have to have a thicker saddle pad for him but I do plan on getting him measured for a new saddle fit.
I have just gotten his teeth done a month prior to his fighting and he's getting them done again in the spring.
Do you think trying another bit would work? =/
    11-26-2010, 10:16 PM
When you say too what way is it too large? Is the gullet too wide for him, or is the actual seat of the saddle too long? A too big saddle can do just as much harm as a too small one. What's your clearance in front? IE: When you're riding and you stick your fingers between the wither and the pommel, you should have at least 2 to 3 fingers of space.
But yeah, as I said, try him in another bit, something with an elliptical or french link, to see if he's any better.
    11-26-2010, 11:04 PM
You can always try another bit, tho I would wonder why all of a sudden, a bit that had been working just fine before would not work now. Of course, looking
At the saddle fit is also a good idea.
Maybe, just maybe, you are riding differently? Are, perhaps you have done so much work on collection that the horse is souring to it? You don't want to lose the "forward" mentality by too much work on the head. That might be what's happening, you are getting stronger in your asking of the horse to flex.
I am just wondering about different possibilitys but the first that always comes to mind is a physical issue.
    11-26-2010, 11:49 PM
Are, perhaps you have done so much work on collection that the horse is souring to it? You don't want to lose the "forward" mentality by too much work on the head. That might be what's happening, you are getting stronger in your asking of the horse to flex.
Very good point! I agree, it might also be worth giving the collection thing a bit of a break and letting him just stretch out and move forward.
    11-27-2010, 08:57 AM
Green Broke
I would try a french link or bean/oval mouth loose ring. I would make sure the bit fits, not too small and not too big. Arabians can have interesting mouths... I'd also go with a thinner bit as Arabs often have low pallates.

Definitely get a new saddle as soon as possible, one that is not long front to back. You want the tree to be 2" behind the shoulder blade and the back should not extend over the flanks.

I would also take some Dressage lessons. You want to make sure you're not doing something to cause her to toss her head or be tense.
    11-27-2010, 09:15 AM
I wouldn't jump to changing tack so quickly sometimes horses will engage in behaviors like this if you ask them for collection for too long or you use (even if only for an instant) too much hand with out your leg to back it up.
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    11-28-2010, 11:50 PM
I have a Qh bar saddle on him. He needs a semi. The saddle is the perfect length and weight for him and I've never had trouble with the saddle. I changed my headstall and he did perfectly fine... So I don't know if he just didnt like the other headstall or something... he didnt tug on my reins at all when I put his old one on.

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