bit issues, what to do?

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

bit issues, what to do?

This is a discussion on bit issues, what to do? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    09-23-2011, 10:52 AM
bit issues, what to do?

Ok so my mare Reina has been started under saddle for a few months now. She tackles everything like a pro and rides like she's been doing it forever. She's very responsive. Our only issue comes when taking the bit. As soon as we try to put it in her mouth she freaks out and sets back hard once she realizes she's not getting away she calms down. So we try again and nine times out of ten she'll take it calm and nice. Its like she has to get it out of her system first.

I do find it a bit of a hassle so I started riding her in a hackamore and she rides perfect in it. She will go forward, stop, backwards, and turn just fine. So I guess my question is should I just continue to ignore her one quirk and use the hackamore or should I figure out how to get her used to taking the bit. Or wait a while for the bit? Its not like she's dangerous in the hackamore

Thanks for any opinions / advice
Posted via Mobile Device
Sponsored Links
    09-23-2011, 12:28 PM
Super Moderator
I sometimes get horses in that hate taking a bit. I suspect the owners were less than gentle and jammed the bit against the teeth too many times.

I paint the mouth with molassas and let the horse sniff and lick it. I do this several times and, slowly, work to insert it into the mouth. Over a short period of time, I always get better luck when bridling. The horse will even look for the bit after a while.

I am careful to simply hold the bit against the teeth with my middle fingers while inserting my thumb into the tooth gap on the side. When the horse opens the mouth, I slowly bring it into the mouth. Rough treatment gets rough results.
    09-23-2011, 12:57 PM
Honestly if she goes better bitless, I would stay bitless. I dislike bits in general but I recently got a mare who had been trained In a snaffle so I bought a snaffle for her, rode her twice in it and she was nervous, wound up, fussy, would do nothing but backup endlessly with even the slightest bit pressure (a mixture of nerves, being green, and discomfort caused by the bit) and I could do nothing to get her to calm down and pay attention to me. So I tried ridge her in a rope halter and clip on reins, she was a completely different horse, she learned a ton more, paid attention to me, and was visibly 100% calmer than the other two times. In my experience horses almost always dislike bits (I don't blame them). I'm sure there's horses who need bits/ like bits but for me I prefer to ride bitless especially when they do so much better that way. However I understand that many people need more refinement from their horses so I am inexperienced in that way.
Posted via Mobile Device
    09-23-2011, 01:46 PM
Oh that's a good idea! I'll have to give the molassas a try I don't think its a result of bad handeling from the previous owners because she's only 2.5 years old and we're the first ones to actually ride her but I guess its possible they may have bridled her before.

I generally don't like bits either. Once you get the bit in her mouth she rides just as nice as with the hackamore the issue is actually getting it in her mouth. I will probably mostly ride her bitless anyway I just think it would be nice to have the option of the bit "just incase" I ever need it
Posted via Mobile Device
    09-23-2011, 02:02 PM
Super Moderator
Just have a bucket of water to wash your hands handy. The first time or two can be messy!! Or, rinse in the water bucket. The horse will, likely, like the water afterwards.
    09-23-2011, 02:31 PM
Bert still has days like that, but they are getting fewer and further apart.

I have just been really slow and patient with her, I have never tried the molasses, but make sure I actually put the bit in as Alison described there, it's important to be very quiet and very patient with this one.

If she's never had her teeth done, even though she is young then it would be worth checking does she have wolf teeth?

I also never have her tied when bitting, if she has a panic then I just go with her and stay with it until she calms down.

It's also equally important that you are taking the bit out properly as well, slipping the headstall off of the ears, but still holding the bit up, then let her 'spit' it out, rather than just dropping it out.
    09-23-2011, 03:19 PM
I worked with a difficult pony doing clicker training, having him touch the bit with his nose, a click and a treat. He got so he'd try to touch it as soon as he could. I held it to his lips, c&t, 8 or 10 times. When he opened his mouth for the treat the bit was barely inserted and he moved it up in his mouth. C&t. Did the same in reverse so he wouldn't fly back and hurt his mouth. This was done over several days and he's been good to bridle since then. He sometimes get's a treat when bridled just as a little reminder that good things happen.
    09-24-2011, 11:22 PM
this is midnight my tennessee walker
    09-24-2011, 11:26 PM
this is my walking bit that I don't where the chin strap or chain hook too
    09-24-2011, 11:30 PM
?? Im sorry but im not following??
Posted via Mobile Device

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Health Issues Before Training Issues. ChingazMyBoy Horse Training 9 09-12-2011 11:46 PM
Bit issues. ilovemyquarter Horse Grooming 20 07-11-2011 09:20 PM
Just some little issues i'd like help with please! :) SarahRicoh Horse Training 12 09-27-2010 11:28 AM
Issues after Issues....Going to get lessons. Gidget Horse Training 1 06-17-2010 09:38 PM
I have many issues... LOL Nita English Riding 12 08-05-2009 08:58 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0