Advice on training and bitting my new mare - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-15-2009, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Advice on training and bitting my new mare

I have recently acquired a new horse. She was being boarded at the place I take lessons. The owner put here out there in January and had not paid board since. So, I got her for free and will be moving her out to my place soon. You can see pictures of her on my other thread in the Horse and Rider Critique section. I am a English rider and would like to do some low level dressage and maybe hunters. My goal is that she can be a really quite horse that if I want to just ride with a friend without much riding experience she can be that horse.

She is a small paint of unknown breeding. She is around 14 hands maybe a little bigger (so really a pony) and 6 years old. All I know about here training is that she was broke in a high ported long shanked western curb and that apparently the owner put kids on her. She does not tie, just moves all around and gets all worked up. I know how to fix that. I have been grooming and tacking her up in her stall, but am going to start to work on being in cross ties today.

My trainer said that for the first couple of rides we should use a kemberwicke with a low port, since she has had horses that were broke in a curb like that run out on her when you put them in a snaffle. She is very willing and a quick study. She is also very calm and relaxed for the most part, so I am thinking of putting her in a snaffle next time I work with her. I really feel like she is overbitted in a curb.

When I ride her the first time I just walked and worked on steering. I have been ridding her on a really lose open rain, just like you would on a green horse. I have been using my seat to ask for down transitions and very little with the rains. When I asked for the trot she tensed up and shot her head straight up, I kept my rains real lose and after a while she did relax a bit. She is a bit barn sour, but has been getting better and when I rode her last night after a while walked right by the gate without hesitation.

What is your advice on the bit to use? I have a french link dee and a plain jointed eggbutt on hand.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-15-2009, 08:54 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
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haha - reading your title I thought you said "biting" your new horse.

Honestly, I look at each horse as their own horse - meaning that what your trainer has experienced with other horses would not really impact how I approached this horse. I like to start with the least and work up from there IF needed - why use anything more severe than you actually need, and how will you know how mild you can go if you don't start at the most mild end of the spectrum. As long as you are going to be in a controlled space, you can afford to take the risk, imo.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-15-2009, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2009
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I agree with you about working up, but I did not want to change too much on her. Since that one bit was all that she ever had in her mouth. Maybe this is not the right idea. I want to change to a snaffle and my trainer agrees, since I think she was yanked around a lot before and that is part of her problem will throwing her head up.
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