Speaking of Bits...maybe someone can shed some light on this... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-31-2013, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Speaking of Bits...maybe someone can shed some light on this...

I have an Arabian who is a lovely horse (go ahead and sigh and shake your head, we Arabian owners are used to it ), but really he is a great little guy. I am currently conditioning him for some Limited Distance rides (25 milers) and he's doing well.

He came from a farm as a 'park and pleasure' horse (all that high stepping knee action). He rode in a half cheek jointed bit, so I put him in a regular snaffle when he arrived. He seemed fine in it, but would tongue it constantly. And no he doesnt' put his tongue over the bit, but hangs it out to the side or folds it up behind the bit and hangs the rest to the side...it's rather humerous to watch him in full action, but it freaks other people out. I will also add that I am uninterested in putting a caveson on him. This doesn't bother me in the slightest, but for safety sake and for his comfort I'm trying to figure out if it's bothering him...

He mainly does this when we are standing. He will occasionally do it when riding along, but he never pulls on my hands or tosses his head up. And most of the time he responds nicely to the bit-his worst part is backing, but where he came from they didn't do a lot of that under saddle, so he is willing, but learning how to go about it.

He is currently riding in a Myler comfort snaffle, 3 ring combo that looks like this on him and this is what he does:



Attachment 243105

This is not an overly thick bit and it lays nicely in his mouth. He does not like bits touching his teeth and whenever I take it out (did it at the farm too), he sticks his head way up, sets it in his teeth and then drops it at me. I've tried getting him to open up and let me take it, but it seems they let him do it at the farm too, so....it's taking some work to get him to stop. He will put his head down to poll pressure any time I ask, except when he knows I'm taking the bridle off.

Here is the bit Myler 3-Ring Combo w/Sweet Iron Comfort Snaffle - Adams Horse and Pet Supply , it's supposed to provide more tongue relief than a regular bit which I thought would help. He did seem to be more quiet when we started using it, but now he tongues it too. I also use it on the last ring which allows for moderate leverage, but he doesn't normally require a whole lot of rein.

Last edited by Horsesaplenty; 07-31-2013 at 05:50 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-31-2013, 06:03 PM
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I'm going to ask the obvious question first: Has his teeth been checked by an equine dentist? You didn't say.

Curious, how old is he?

And how many days have you had the new bit in his mouth?

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post #3 of 9 Old 07-31-2013, 06:14 PM
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When is the last time you had his teeth floated? If you haven't had it done, that might be worth looking at first because it's a relatively easy fix if it's a tooth problem.

If it's not that, my best guess would be that he's just a busy-mouthed horse. It may have come about while he was at the previous barn as an outlet for nervous energy. If it has turned into a habit, you may never get him to stop.

While, in general, I'm not a fan of bits with keys or rollers that the horse can play with, your guy might appreciate them. You can find mouthing bits in http://www.amazon.com/Coronet-211573-Mouthing-Bit-Players/dp/B002HJ538G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375304815&sr=8-2&keywords=horse+mouthing+bits and http://www.amazon.com/Korsteel-Copper-Cheek-Training-Snaffle/dp/B002HWD5QU/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1375304864&sr=8-10&keywords=snaffle+bit+with+keys mouth styles or, if you're more interested in a western style bit, you can do a search for bits will rollers and you'll find all sorts of stuff like this




If you're up for experimenting with him, you might try something with a higher port, he may not like tongue pressure or, if he's the other way and doesn't like bar pressure, he might really like a mullen mouth bit.

Have you tried him in a sidepull or hackamore?

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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A hackamore was my next thought. His teeth have been looked at and are fine. He's 5 years old. He has been in his current bit for over two months and its becoming more frequent.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 01:24 PM
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I'm still thinking teeth. When I first got my horse, he used to do the same thing and on close inspection, our eq. dentist found a shard of a canine under the gum line. After extraction and some healing time he was a totally different horse. The shard was about twice the size of a grain of rice but was just under the surface. The bit laying on it must have been painful.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 01:30 PM
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"Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP), my SON--don't worry I have 3 daughters--was an Arabian, and I schooled him in 3 different snaffles. He never threw his head around from a bit. When we did CW Reenacting with him he wore a low port, long s-shanked curb with a curb CHAIN.
From your picture I believe you don't adjust the bit correctly. A snaffle should be adjusted so that it just touches the corners of the mouth. Sorry to sound preachy but you adjust the bridle with the cheek pieces. (We never KNOW you is trolling this site for horse education, sigh.)
You have it too low and I think the bit is hitting his front teeth.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
"Corporal", (1982-2009, RIP), my SON--don't worry I have 3 daughters--was an Arabian, and I schooled him in 3 different snaffles. He never threw his head around from a bit. When we did CW Reenacting with him he wore a low port, long s-shanked curb with a curb CHAIN.
From your picture I believe you don't adjust the bit correctly. A snaffle should be adjusted so that it just touches the corners of the mouth. Sorry to sound preachy but you adjust the bridle with the cheek pieces. (We never KNOW you is trolling this site for horse education, sigh.)
You have it too low and I think the bit is hitting his front teeth.
It does not touch his front teeth, I stated that he does NOT throw his head, only tongues at the bit. There is no clanking, no grabbing, no mouthing of it, no pulling of my hands. He just keeps his tongue swept up and to the side with the rest of his lower tongue stuck out to the side when he wants to.

It's ok, I'm aware how it's supposed to sit in his mouth :) Been riding for quite some time, mostly in snaffles or hackamores.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 05:36 PM
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He could just be green. Have you thought about pulling the reins and letting him be bridled in his stall for a few hours daily?

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post #9 of 9 Old 08-01-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
He could just be green. Have you thought about pulling the reins and letting him be bridled in his stall for a few hours daily?
I actually have had him stand tied for a few hours while I work other horses...It hasn't seemed to help, plus I'm riding him mostly three days a week and trying to work another 1 or 2 days of ground work and obstacle training. I'm beginning to think it's just him. I am going to switch to some bosal work for him and try to soften him. He has had 2 1/2 years of bit work so one would think he'd have settled that tongue by now...but obviously not.
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