Originally Posted by MidnightDestiny
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.