Suddenly wont take the bit! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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Suddenly wont take the bit!

My gelding, Colt, was always a perfect gentleman while taking the bit, but recently has been kind of a butt about it! He swings his head away and holds his head up high (hes 16 hands) I don't know why he is suddenly so reluctant! I've been putting on bridles since I was little and I've been riding him for several years and it is quite suddenly that he steps away, swings his head, etc. I have tried making him work when he refuses to give me his head, making him do small circles repeatedly till he decides standing still is easier. It's no fun when I have to do this every time before I ride, and I feel as if it's not getting better. Advice? Tips? Training ideas? Or maybe he just plain needs his teeth done. However he couldn't care less once the bit is in, doesn't act in pain, and his eating is normal
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nine Mile Falls, Washington
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Just to get this out of the way:
Has he been vetted, chiro'd, floated?

When horses are in pain, they may fight the use of our tools (I.e. Has ulcers, so may move when cinched up). His teeth might be hurting him/ too long.

What bit do you use? Has it rubbed or pinched him at all? Does the bridle fit so its not pulling the bit too high?
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 02:42 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
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Dentist first, and then your routine, let him ride from time to time without being worked. Tale him out on the trail, or just a simple ride around the pasture if there are no trails.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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He's about due for the dentist but he JUST was seen by the chiropractor so it cant be that. I use a kimberwick with a low port and his bridle is well fitted. I can see maybe the too much schooling, I guess I haven't given him a nice break and gone for a trailride in a few months. Totally my fault. I'll try all of the above
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 11:53 AM
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Good luck!
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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Could also be as simple as not liking the cold bit- maybe try warming it up a few rides in a row to see if he takes it better when he knows it won't be freezing?
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:31 PM
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Location: Surrey BC
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good luck
welcome to the forum nice to meet you

Country Woman

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:35 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 4,378
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Could be any number of things - but I like to start with eliminating pain as my starting point with any problem because you can't train away pain and trying to address it as a training issue if it's a pain issue just makes for one frustrated horse/human. So, I'd have the teeth/mouth checked (I say mouth as it could be a sore/ulcer on the tongue, the edges of the mouth where the bit touches, etc). From there I'd look at how the bit is put in and taken out - are you the only one who tacks/untacks the horse, if not you need to consider how anyone else that handles him is doing this too - if he has gotten an unpleasant bump or two during the in/out process he may have decided it's best to avoid the bit all together. If I still wasn't finding the cause I'd work my way on down the list of possible causes.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 151
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I'll try warming up the bit as well as getting him scheduled for the dentist. I'm the only one tacking him up at the moment. Thanks so much everyone!
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