How can you say horse like or dislike the bit?
   

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How can you say horse like or dislike the bit?

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  • Horse rooting head and chomping on bit

 
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    04-07-2009, 07:47 AM
  #1
Showing
How can you say horse like or dislike the bit?

Was always wondering... Are there any signs whether horse likes or dislikes the bit? OK, I assume head tossing means "dislike". Horse is quiet and relaxed means it likes the bit. Any other signs?
     
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    04-07-2009, 11:16 AM
  #2
Foal
When I tried my "bean" style double jointed snaffle on one of my horses he chomped on it a lot (not in the good way) and was moving his head side to side. He still went ok in it, but didn't seem comfortable (I'm guessing it was too much on his big tongue....he likes his thinner single joint better). On the other hand, his brother who isn't very sensitive in the mouth (naturally, not from rough riding) was more responsive in it. Now I'm using it on my current horse because he is more relaxed and willing to "go to" to bit with it. In a single joint he would sometimes brace against it (for example if I wanted him to give his nose right, he would push left and up), which was the main sign maybe I should try a change...
     
    04-07-2009, 03:35 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
Was always wondering... Are there any signs whether horse likes or dislikes the bit? OK, I assume head tossing means "dislike". Horse is quiet and relaxed means it likes the bit. Any other signs?
Gaping mouth, chin tucked too close to the chest/neck, head held high or high-ish with the nose stuck out, chomping/biting the bit, tongue over the bit, or head really low "rooting" can all be signs of mouth discomfort, which may or may not be caused by the bit type. Also if a horse is stiff when you cue with the bit or resists the bit pressure in any way (won't stop or stops too fast).

A horse that is happy with the bit will have a relaxed head and neck, "soft" mouth, may salivate, and responds appropriate to his/her training.
     
    04-07-2009, 09:03 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Flying backwards when there's any bit contact is another one.
     
    04-07-2009, 09:04 PM
  #5
Showing
luvs2ride pretty much covered it. I just wanted to add that these symptoms will usually arise when there is pressure put on the bit - if the horse shows symptoms of dislike while there is no pressure on the reins (therefore the bit is "inactive") then I would be tempted to want to rule out other pain before looking at the bit.
With Denny, you can tell instantly if he likes a bit or not - single jointed bits make him very fussy with his head, he doesn't like them one bit (haha) but stick a double joint in his mouth, and he's very quiet with his head.
     

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