Bit Problems. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Bit Problems.

Okay, So I've had Destiny for about 5.5 years now and she's awful when it comes to bits. She was PERFECT when I bought her, but we went to a boarding facility where the owner was so parelli, she yelled at us when we used a bit, so for the year we where there; She was only ridden about 5 times. But Lunged everyday, and did a lot of rope halter work. When we finally moved her to another stable, we rode just about every day. But she started fighting the bit. Tossing her head, and pushing up against the wall until you got off. I finally got the idea to just get clip on reins and ride in a halter. She was FANTASTIC and still is. But now I want to start doing jumping, and showing. But I can't seem to get her to respond, I was using a basic snaffle on her, no results, Tomthumb, no results, eggbutt style, no result. Finally I borrowed a double twisted wire bit from a friend. Barely had to move my hands with it, But I feel bad about using it, so I stopped and went to a bitless bridal and mechanical hackamore.
But now I need to use a bit. What would you suggest, either it be bits, or training. Anything helps - Rider in Need of a Quick answer.

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post #2 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 04:12 PM
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Does she flex in a snaffle like you would the halter?
Have you had her teeth checked?
Does she have a low palette and require a french link?
Have you tried free longing her with the headstall/bit on?
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightDestiny View Post
Anything helps - Rider in Need of a Quick answer.
Let me just say that it has taken 5 years for this bit problem to develop, so you are NOT going to find a "quick answer" to the problem. The problem didn't form overnight and it isn't going to go away overnight.

First of all, when has your horse had her teeth examined by an equine dentist? When has she been checked by a chiropractor?

If she has tooth pain, that will cause her to resent the bit. Back problems can also cause a head tossing bridle issue too.

We want to make sure she isn't in PAIN before we go about solving the problem.

99% of the time it isn't the bit at fault. It is the hands that hold the reins. Now, I am not saying that you did anything intentionally, but most likely you are not releasing pressure at the proper time to let her understand how the bit works. Especially since your horse was fine when you bought her, and now ignores the bit while she's been in your care.

So we need to go about re-training your horse and re-training you. Are you working with a trainer or taking lessons?

You want to start with a basic snaffle to retrain.

Start from the ground. Stand at you horse's left side. With the left (direct) rein, apply a small amount of pressure. If your horse pulls against you, do NOT pull harder. Simply "stay" with her and keep the pressure 100% consistent. The very instant that she "gives" to your rein and releases the pressure, you need to drop the rein immediately to reward her. If you release the pressure too soon, she learns she doesn't have to give. If you release the pressure too late, she learns that giving wasn't the right answer. This is where timing is very critical and why it is helpful to work with a trainer.

Eventually, your horse will start to understand that if she "gives" you will release the pressure. Never, ever, ever jerk on her mouth because that will only teach her to brace.

Make sure to do this from both sides.

After a couple days and she's doing this well on the ground, you can transition to the saddle. Do the same exercises. Remember to release immeidately when she does the correct thing.

This is going to take some time to fix, because it has taken time to form. And it sounds like this horse has your number. So best to have a trainer helping you soften her to the bit.

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 04:17 PM
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95% of bit problems are caused from unsteady hands! The other 5% is teeth problems.
The fact that you have resorted to stronger and stronger buts rather than work through the probes, says that you need help from am on site experienced person.
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-28-2013, 04:35 PM
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When you say no results can you define? I think since she once was good in a bit she will be again. Make sure to have her teeth checked. Horses do not have hard mouths they have stiff bodies, not riding for a year, and then only riding in a halter, mechanical hackamores and bitless bridles will cause your horse to be stiff. I can sort of understand her resisting the bit after not wearing one for a year, but that is not an excuse and now is a training problem. Go back to a snaffle and do lots of lateral bending, at a stand still. Get her so lite to the touch that you can pick up your rein with two fingers and she gives you her head, make sure you release the pressure as soon as she gives so she learns that giving to you is the right answer horses learn from the release of pressure not the pressure itself. Once she is soft at a stand still then walk her and practice one rein stops, serpentines, circles, anything to get that lateral bend and softness. If she was good once she will be again. Don't expect the softness over night begin asking for a little each day and in month I'll bet she is softer and giving more.
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-29-2013, 11:46 AM
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Check teeth, check bit, check hands. Like gssw5 said, if she was good once she most likely can be great again. But most likely won't be a quick fix. If it was only her teeth, then it could be. If it was just the bit, then it may be to. But fixing your hands takes a lot of time and patience.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-29-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for helping.
She's fine at a walk and trot but at a canter is when she loses it. No body's really noticed and neither have I with my hands. What parelli taught me was to do things in phases. Take it slow and soft, still not responding , be a little tougher. But currently our training is postponed due to a leg injury ):
I'll post videos when she's better.
Again thanks everyone ! ^-^
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-29-2013, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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And it's not turning that's the problem. It's stopping
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-29-2013, 09:02 PM
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Do you stop her with your hands or to you stop her with your seat?
If you are pulling on her mouth, it could be part of the problem.

You should use your seat and stop your hands following her movement to slow her down.

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post #10 of 19 Old 10-29-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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I lean back, dig my feet into the stirrups then slowly start gently pulling back and saying "whoa" but she goes faster or keeps fighting it
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