How can you say horse like or dislike the bit? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 04-07-2009, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 23,907
• Horses: 2
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?
kitten_Val is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 04-07-2009, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 35
• Horses: 0
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...
Pally is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-07-2009, 03:35 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,138
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
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.
luvs2ride1979 is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 04-07-2009, 09:03 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 7,713
• Horses: 2
Flying backwards when there's any bit contact is another one.
Wallaby is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 04-07-2009, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,772
• Horses: 0
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.

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
JustDressageIt is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome