How Can You Tell if a Horse Likes a Bit or Not?

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How Can You Tell if a Horse Likes a Bit or Not?

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    06-14-2010, 10:04 PM
How Can You Tell if a Horse Likes a Bit or Not?

I was just wondering... How can you tell if a horse likes the bit that you're riding in or not? I've never really seen a horse show any signs of flipping out or bucking and stuff because of a bit, so how do you know?
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    06-14-2010, 10:40 PM
If the horse takes it in a mouth nicely, doesn't chomp like crazy, or waive head and so on, and is relaxed during riding then I'd say horse is at least OK with the bit.

I tried loose rings (same mouthpiece) couple times on my qh and every time she waived her head like crazy and tried to run me into the fence. Switched back to eggbutt - different attitude.
    06-15-2010, 02:05 AM
Kitten Val is right

A horse that is in pain ( poorly fitting saddle ) will buck and mess about, generally not liking being ridden
A horse that is unhappy in it's mouth will head shake a lot and make it difficult to maintain a steady contact . Some other things to look for is bit evasion like opening it's mouth , chucking its head up and running off - it's very easy to strap the mouth closed and slap on a martingale, but if the bit is the problem then you will be doing neither you nor your horse any favours
    06-16-2010, 10:22 PM
With a bit (tried many types) my horse refused to turn, stop, go or back up, and he would flip his head up very high to avoid contact, also, he would rear.
I switched to a bitless bridle and all the bad behaviour stopped. I've always used the same, well fitting saddle.
    06-17-2010, 01:48 PM
This is all true.. However sometimes if a horse is flipping his head it could also be his teeth because sometimes a bit doesnt rest easy in their mouth if they don't have a proper 'bit seat'. And a horse may slightly chomp at the bit and they do that for several reasons some being that it may be a copper mouth piece or they are just getting the feel of a new bit or if they are young they sometimes just like to 'play' with the bit which is why some bits have rollers to keep a horse occupied
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    06-18-2010, 03:57 AM
Oh you'll know. Flipping up his head, opening his mouth, just generally fighting it.
    06-18-2010, 04:59 AM
Well, usually anyone who knows their horse and has general horse sense can tell. Basically, he's just going to look pissed off.

My last horse had several issues and the right bit was critical, so when I started leasing him, I decided to try different bits because the bit the barn had for him was not working too well. I thought maybe he might like a D ring with copper rollers, to give him something to play with. He pinned his ears, traveled sideways, and stuck his nose in the air. He was sending me a clear message "Sorry, I hate this one, can we try a different one?!"

I tried him with a loose ring snaffle and he was happier than I'd ever seen him. And not every horse will like the same just test until you find one that your horse seems to be calm and happy to have in his mouth.
    06-22-2010, 09:04 PM
Ok, I have a question. I had Stiffler's teeth floated and some other work and when I rode him afterwards, he was no longer fighting the bit but he was frothing at the mouth like CRAZY. The BO told me that means he likes it and is playing with it. Is that true?
    06-22-2010, 09:27 PM
Originally Posted by Amarea    
Ok, I have a question. I had Stiffler's teeth floated and some other work and when I rode him afterwards, he was no longer fighting the bit but he was frothing at the mouth like CRAZY. The BO told me that means he likes it and is playing with it. Is that true?
Considering he was not fighting you, I'd say what your BO has told you is true. Given all foam from the mouth isn't a good sign, however, when coupled with a happy, willing horse, it's just a sign that he/she has accepted the bit and is playing with it.
    06-22-2010, 11:07 PM
Before he had his canines filed down (they were HUGE!) he spent the vast majority of his time throwing his head and doing the motion as if he was yawning. This time he was just frothing like crazy. I was just curious about it because I thought a little froth was ok but this was the equivalent of a Saint Bernard LOL! Thanks for your input!

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