Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Awe, little man is growing up!!
There are bit wipes you can buy in Apple and Peppermint flavors and that can add some nice pleasant flavor to the bit. You can also get what's called bit wraps, which is basically a sheet of sticky candy that you wrap around the bit and it dissolves as the horse works it through their mouth.
Have you decided what type of bit you're starting with? Happy Mouth bits are nice and soft (okay, it's hard plastic, but soft compared to metal) plastic, and are apple flavored (I think? I've never tested that theory... but bitting Denny is much more pleasant with the HM than a metal bit).
Don't make it a huge deal. Wipe some flavor onto it if you want, then I would either use a simple headstall (nothing fancy) and just stick it in. He'll probably react by trying to spit it out - just ignore that. Leave it in for 5-10 mins, even chuck him in a box stall to think things through. Or take him into the arena (lead him by his halter, not the bit) and just lead him around for a bit. (Ha)
Praise him for being a good boy and just leave it at that, take the bridle/bit off/out and call it a day.
Next time you can try lunging him with the bit just in his mouth, again using the halter... the objective is to make the bit be nothing, something that he can work in. Then you can progress to asking him to yield a little to the pressure of the bit, and just work from there.
I hope that answered your questions, maybe???
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com