Join Date: May 2010
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
When I brought my TB off the track, he had typical TB bit issues. He worried about it, stressed out about it a LOT, and was very difficult to ride. He fought me hard. He felt comfort from pressure on his mouth, and pressure on his mouth told him to go faster...so I couldn't get him to slow down, relax, or stop stressing. Since I ride dressage and bitless isn't an option competetively, I had to find a way to get him to stop stressing over the bit. My trainer had a very unorthodox suggestion...something she still uses w/ some of her high level competition horses. She suggested I wrap a fruit rollup around the bit.
IT WORKED! He was so thrilled by the tasty treat that he relaxed! He started to look forward to the bit, and became very realxed. I also found that, for him, a bit about 1/2" too large for him is what he's comfortable in...and he wants to ride in a french link snaffle (it has 2 joints instead of 1). The vet checked his teeth, his teeth are fine...he is just particular. After a few weeks I didn't need to wrap it w/ fruit rollups any more.
Just a thought. Maybe if you can get him to stop stressing about the bit, he'll be able to focus more on the task at hand and you'll find the ride more enjoyable for both. Just a thought.