Bit problem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question Bit problem

Bit problem
i have an appaloosa 6 yrs. Old i got him when he was 3. When i purchased him he took the bit fine for the guy & me, but after we got him home he was good to take the bit for a couple weeks then after that he didnt want to take it i called guy back that i purchased from he said he didnt have any problems with him takin it & that some horses are like that & that i could just use a hackamore we have tried different things & there sometimes we can get it in his mouth but next day he refuses.. Had vet out to look at teeth & mouth & he says the horse is perfectly fine nothin wrong. So any advice or should i just use the hackamore?
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 09:05 PM
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Are you positive you aren't bumping the bit against his teeth or bridling him roughly in some way? My horse takes a bit great for me but refuses with my bf because he's knocked it into his teeth a few times(and I am teaching the bf to do it properly. He's better now but Lucky remembers and still refuses)
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 09:08 PM
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If he's never had any problems, and didn't have any issues when you first got him, then it could be something you have done in the bridleling process; Anything from accidently bumping his teeth, pinching a lip, or pulling an ear too hard when putting the head stall on, can quickly cause a horse to resent the bridle being put on. SO, now it's up to you to figure out where the problem lies. I don't believe that a horse "just decides" that he doesn't like something, and I definitely don't agree with just switching to something else, simply because you can't figure out how to change it.

The first thing you need to 'reteach' him is to lower his head for you. This will make bridleing so much easier if he knows how to lower his head, and keep it lowered. Take your right hand and put it on the top of his poll and put light pressure with two or three fingers. I have my left hand on the front of his face, to keep it turned slightly toward me. Now just wait for him to 'give' to the pressure. AS SOON as he drops his head even a centimeter, release your right hand's pressure, and pet or scratch him on the neck. Rinse, wash, repeat until all you need to do is put your hand on his poll without necessarily applying pressure and he drops his head almost in your lap. Remember it is in the release of pressure that he will remember what it is you want, so be quick about releasing when he gives you the right answer.

Now lets move to another exercise, to rule out his 'ears' being the root cause of his problem. Take a halter that you can unclip the throatlatch, and leave the crown peice adjusted to where the halter fits the horse properly when it is on him. Now you are going to just practice slipping this on and off his head, over and over, ask him to lower his head, and slide the halter on, like you would a bridle; you will find out immediately if it's his ears that are the problem, if he raises his head when you go to slip it over them. Don't rush to slide it on before he can get out of your reach, instead, give him the cue for lowering his head again. Wait a few moments, before attempting to take the halter off; again, if he raises his head, instead of trying to quickly remove the halter, just ask him to lower his head, and then procede again. Rinse, wash, repeat, until he keeps his head lowered, for the entire process.

Now for the bit. For the initial stages of bitting him up again, I would remove the throatlatch, and brow band, so all you have is the crown peice, and bit. Now use your lowering cue, and insert your left thumb (the hand that will, or should be holding the bit for the horse to accept from), into the side of his mouth, to ask him to open his mouth. You will have your right hand up on his neck, holding the bridle, to slide over his head. If he tries to pull away, again, just give him the lower your head cue, and try again. Make sure when he opens his mouth for you that you don't bang his teeth with the mouthpeice, and pull the bridle on smoothly, not in a jerky manner...since this can tug on his mouth, and tweek his ears. good luck

"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 #4 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 09:12 PM
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What exactly does he do when he "refuses" to take the bit? Do you stick your finger in his mouth and he just won't open it? Does he take it then spit it back out? Does he just throw his head up out of your reach? What kind of bit do you have? It's possible that he's unhappy with the bit you're using? My opinion is that you should spend a little extra money to get a happy mouth plain snaffle bit that's flavored! It will encourage him to take it since it smells good. But a lot of horses will outsmart that pretty fast since there isn't actually anything for him to eat on it. Another way you can encourage taking the bit to be fun is buy a packet of fruit roll ups, and wrap the fruit roll-up around your bit! (this is cheaper at first too, but unless you can get them in bulk from costco or something the numbers will soon add up!)
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-24-2011, 10:34 PM
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this a walking bitd but i dont know where to hook the chin strap or chain too

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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ridinhorsegurl, when i go to put bit in his mouth he throws his head up & jumps back, but most times he just jerks his head up repeatedly & momtopride i will try the head thing, i really dont think its his ears cause we can mess with his ears an if we unhook the bit from the bridle he will just let us put on the bridle. i will try what everyone has posted & see how that goes & let you know thanks everbody
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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ooo i forgot i use a broken bit thats what he was usin when i got him so i stuck with it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 11:52 AM
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Niterider, if you have a question, you need to start your own thread. You will probably not get an answer to your question in another person's thread.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 12:21 PM
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Ok one of the member told me how to do it
thank you

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