bit issues, what to do?
   

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bit issues, what to do?

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        09-23-2011, 09:52 AM
      #1
    bjb
    Weanling
    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
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        09-23-2011, 11:28 AM
      #2
    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, 11:57 AM
      #3
    Foal
    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.
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        09-23-2011, 12:46 PM
      #4
    bjb
    Weanling
    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.

    -jessicapworkman-
    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
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        09-23-2011, 01:02 PM
      #5
    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, 01:31 PM
      #6
    Trained
    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, 02:19 PM
      #7
    Showing
    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, 10:22 PM
      #8
    Foal
    this is midnight my tennessee walker
         
        09-24-2011, 10:26 PM
      #9
    Foal
    this is my walking bit that I don't where the chin strap or chain hook too
         
        09-24-2011, 10:30 PM
      #10
    bjb
    Weanling
    ?? Im sorry but im not following??
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