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Ginger and her bit

This is a discussion on Ginger and her bit within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        06-13-2012, 04:19 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    One of our horses will readily take a snaffle, any snaffle, but try to insert a reining bit and you might just as well pound sand.. she knows the difference and will not submit to the solid reining bit.. haven't tried a tom thumb. She does well enough with the snaffle, I'm not pushing it.
         
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        06-13-2012, 04:19 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stargrazing    
    Well,, just an update on Ginger and her bit problem. This morning I tried again to put her bit in her mouth, and failed. This time she broke the hitching post. I don't know. The previous owners must of done a number on her. I tried pulling down on her chin and falled. I wrapped the bit with fruit roll ups and showed her. No luck.
    The poor girl! I feel so bad for her. I can put my fingers in her mouth and play with her tongue , rub her teeth ect. And she does nothing. I don't get it.
    She sees that bit coming and panics. Bad memories I guess.
    I am hoping in time she will trust me enough that I will not hurt her. But in the mean time does anyone know about bridling a horse without a bit??
    When I first got my horse, we had very similar problems. Sadly, she was abused when she was younger and doesn't like her ears being touched at all as well. So what we would do is undo the cheek pieces, and put the headpiece over her ears first. Then we would put some molasses on her bit, reattach the cheek pieces. I'd hold her nose and rub onto her teeth. She was NOT happy the first few times, it was messy, and she would throw a huge fit. Eventually she realized it wasn't too bad, and the bit tasted really good. Horses really like the smell and taste of molasses. I would also have her halter around her neck, with someone holding the lead rope. She wouldn't go far, backing up a bit-- being tied up makes them freak out more. I would make sure the gates were closed.

    Over, and over, and over we did this. It didn't get any better. I had her vet records so I knew she just got her teeth floated a few months before hand. But I had the vet look at her mouth anyway because I could feel a lot of sharp points. He said her teeth had never been floated-- she was only 5. After we got her fixed up, it only took a few more times for her to realize that the bit didn't hurt anymore. She was a lot better, still a little bratty. So we gave her cut up carrots after she accepted the bit (instead of molasses). Now she tries to help me put her bit in, and I only give her the carrots every once in a while.

    You could try something like that. But you really should have a vet look at her mouth and make sure there isn't any problems. Otherwise you need to make the bit process as stress free as possible. I ride my horse in a jumping hackamore often tho (bitless option). She really likes it but I have troubles doing more than walking.
         
        06-13-2012, 04:43 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    I'm met horses that seem to know what the bit is even without seeing it and will freak out for a bit they dislike but not for another...

    I'd try what equiniphile suggested, try her in a snaffle (btw, nothing with shanks) and see what happens. I'd set her up to really succeed and use Tinyliny's suggestion about wrapping fruit by the foot around the bit. That way, once you get the bit in, she gets what's called a "jackpot" (a huge "amazing" reward for a certain "great" behavior - in this case, the bit going in the mouth, she'll begin to associate the bit going in her mouth with a really tasty treat).

    I would also start doing this^^ with her daily or whenever you work with her. Make the bit super tasty and something she really really wants in her mouth. Make sure to have her untied (some horses freak out when at all contained during bridling), maybe wrap the lead rope around her neck, and just repeat bridling her and unbridling her. Act like she's the most amazing, best, horse in the world when she has the bit in and basically ignore her protests about having the bit be put in - act like they're no big deal at all.
    Just go slow and steady and make the experience super rewarding for her once the bit is in (through use of a super gentle bit and tastiness on the bit +major owner happiness once she's bridled).


    Another thing I've seen is horses that protest the bit becuase they dislike the bridle... What kind of bridle are you using? Is she ear shy at all? What order do you put her ears through the bridle?

    Sorry, so many questions! But there are so many variables that I've seen... :)
    stargrazing likes this.
         
        06-13-2012, 04:47 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    Is the horse head shy at all? Other than refusing the bit? Can you halter it fine? And... when was the last time she had her teeth looked at?

    Anyway, I personally would not be using a tom thumb, especially if your getting her to accept a bit. A tom thumb isnt the kindest bit. I would remove the bit from the bridle completely, and with her halter on, I would try and put it in her mouth. That way your not dealing with the whole bridle, and only working with her mouth. If she isnt accepting the bit, and she freaks, let her cool down, then try with some food on the bit. Say a fruit roll. Take a piece off, and let her smell it, then give the rest to her. Now take another one, and rap it around the bit, and ask for her to take the treat. Whatever you do, don't try and force her to accept the bit when she is all freaks out, that will result in making it worse.
         
        06-13-2012, 05:40 PM
      #15
    Foal
    Ginger and her bit

    Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have been working with her daily, and I have tried other bits and bridles on her. Her ears had raw spots on them when I first got her from a rope halter. I cut it off and treated the wounds. She was very patient and never pulled up or shyed for me touching her ears. The previous owners said they used to tie her head down,because she had given the women a bloody nose from raising her head.
    I don't do this. I am being very patient with her. I can put my fingers/thumbs ect. In her mouth and she will close her eyes and stand very quiet. I rub her gums and tongue with no problem. I have looked for sores but I don't see any. They said she just had her teeth floated. But I have notice that when I give her cookies she looses crumbs , when eating oats....
    I have trained my other horse with a gentle hand and I prefer doing the same with Ginger. I love this horse. I read up on a hackamore ,but the pros and cons arent' convincing enough for me to do this. I haven't tried a snaffle but I am willing to try.
         

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