Bit for a horse who hate the bit? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 03:42 PM
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I use snaffles on all my horses =)
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post #12 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 03:44 PM
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Shannon, can you tell us the age, and training/riding experience of this horse?.

If it's still young and green the bit your using now is a really bad choice. You should try something less harsh. Try experimenting with different less harsh bits and see what one the horse responds most to.
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post #13 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 03:59 PM
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I agree with Piper.

I also ride my horses with my legs and use snaffles on them. I had a 5 yr old paint that was broke on a mechanical hackamore, and he always performed better with it. Since he was my hobby/pleasure horse that didn't actually WORK, I just kept him in the hack.

Hackamores teach vertical breaking and bending and flexing at the pole, encouraging collection, but make sure you read up on those before you buy or try, as there are some more harsh than others. I would take a soft, braided leather nose hack before I tried a rubber-coated chain or a harder rope noseband. I would also go with a 4 or 5" shank to start them with as opposed to a shorter one, because they have more room to respond to the pressure and you don't have to pull as hard, in turn making them lighter on the mouth. Your horse will eventually learn to neckrein, or rein taut with less pressure, and you can graduate him to a short shank hack.

AAAAAND! You won't have to fight to get the bit in the horse's mouth!

Last edited by westonsma; 06-30-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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post #14 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 04:07 PM
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Also, check to see if he/she has wolf teeth. Some horses, like people, have teeth that don't grow in but are there. My OTTB chewed on the bit and fought it pretty hard before we started examining a little closer. I cannot SEE the tooth, but xrays show it is there, and needs to be removed. If your horse still has the wolf teeth, you can opt out of having them removed by using the hack!
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post #15 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 04:23 PM
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My last horse Pride had some kind of history before I got him, to where he hated even the sound of a bit; even with a lot of desensitization he still seemed leary of the sound of the rings, and the chin strap...I got him to where he would take the bit nicely, but the fact that he was still seemingly afraid of it, bothered me. I was confused, because I am so careful especially when introducing a bit to a horse's mouth; So I bought him a rubber mouthed driving bit, which cut out the sound factor, and for a while, left the chin strap off, and attached it after I had the bridle on. After a couple of weeks, he was perfectly fine with accepting a bit in his mouth, and I was even able to go back to a regular snaffle (my normal bit of choice). I think someone, at one point had just shoved the bit in his mouth on a few occasions, causing both fear, and pain (the latter of which has the most lasting impression in a horse). I don't know it this helps you any, but especially if you don't know 'all' of the horse's history, and why he doesn't like the bit, it could be worth checking into; perhaps find a simple rubber mouthed bit (my driving bit was fairly cheap, just incase it didn't work, I didn't want to spend a ton on another bit!), and work at introducing it like as if he's never had one in his mouth before.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #16 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 05:16 PM
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You could try bitless. It's not a halter and not a hackamore. I have Dr. Cooks Bitless bridle. Works great.
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post #17 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 07:05 PM
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All horses can learn to accept bits that doesn't hurt them.

Check teeth, check mouth conformation (a low palate is a problem to many bits, as well as too little place over that tooth-less area so that the bit will press both jaws if the mouth is closed, or a big tounge, or...etc.)

And there are options to halters, try a riding cavesson, either with a chain or a firm iron. It's as gentle or un-gentle as a bit, but easier for a horse with mouth problems to accept.

And of course, make sure it's not your handeling of the bit that causes the problems.

Good luck :)


Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.


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post #18 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 07:15 PM
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I disagree with "every horse can be taught to accept a bit". Maybe we didn't try hard enough or for long enough, but Shay-la had a 3 year old pony mare that would flat out not take a bit. Because she was a Western pony, she'd been started in a hackamore. When she was closer to 4, she had some real cute pony movement and we got an idea she may be a cute English pony.

I have never seen a horse take such a dislike to the bit. It fit her, it was fitted properly, her teeth were fine, and she flat out would not accept it. The minute it was in, she'd get her tongue over top of it and just keep rolling it, sticking her tongue out the side of her mouth, never stopped moving it. We tried for months, we left her with it on to graze to get her used to it, we briefly tried a flash noseband to prevent her from getting her tongue over. The minute she had the bit in, she would NOT move. Not with a rider, not on the ground. Nothing would convince this mare to move her feet once the bit was in.

She'd never had a bad experience, she was a well broke trail pony by the time we tried a bit. She just did not like the foreign piece of metal in her mouth, and wouldn't budge on the issue. Literally.

Anyway, aside from that story, don't be quick to dismiss a halter type bridle over a bit. A snaffle bit probably has less "whoa power" then a halter believe it or not, depending on the horse. My Arab mare is very sensitive, and actually easier and safer to ride in a normal halter then with a snaffle. She still goes in a bit, but if we were in an open field with a herd of horses galloping up on us, I'd take my halter over a bit any day!

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post #19 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 10:14 PM
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Just a note, the bit you posted, is NOT a snaffle, it is a curb bit. It applies MORE pressure to the mouth than you apply to the reins.

I would take her back to a plain french link snaffle. Personally, I like thinner bits, I just feel it's less junk in their mouth. I also use sweet-iron or brass for the yummy taste.

There are lots of things you can try... Try mullen mouth bits, rubber bits, flavoured bits, honey, bit wraps...

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post #20 of 25 Old 06-30-2009, 10:30 PM
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Some horses just do not like bits. There's nothing wrong with that. The owner has to understand what the horse is saying and use tack accordingly.
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