Bit troubles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Bit troubles?

Hello!
My friend has a horse (this thread isn't for me. my friend doesn't have an account. i just want to help her out) who responds kinda iffy-iffy to the bit. Her horse is believed to be a Quarter Horse and Paint mix but she isn't sure. Her horse, whose name is Lady, was a rescue horse. She is a little green but nothing that my friend can't handle.
ANYWAYS, the bit problem. She is hard in the mouth. My friend wants a way to make her softer and respond better. She already has a few training methods, such as bending her with the bit in her mouth, while riding, ummm, that's all I can think out of the top of my head (sorry!). So yeah. She just wants some training methods for a hard-mouthed horse.
Thank you in advance!

Last edited by evensteven; 03-17-2013 at 04:46 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 04:57 PM
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What kind of bit is she riding in? How much training does the horse actually have? What exactly is the horse doing to make you think she's hard-mouthed?

I've only ever dealt with one truly hard-mouthed horse. He had been ridden direct reined in a twisted wire snaffle with his head cranked down to his chest. Even after working at softening from the ground in a French link snaffle, he would still ignore the bit. So, you kind of had to bump his mouth instead of applying steady pressure or he would completely ignore you.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 05:17 PM
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Show your friend these videos. I used to have hands of iron, I ruined a lot of horses because I pulled so much, but these tips helped me to understand how you teach a horse to be soft, and how to soften your own hands.

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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She rides in a D-ring snaffle. Her horse is 8, so she doesn't know exactly how long or how much the horse was trained. I'm not sure exactly. I asked her, but she hasn't replied yet. But she does take a little bit to slow down and stop. Although, that's probably normal for almost every horse.

Thank you! I'll definitely show her those.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 05:33 PM
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Being slow to stop is usually due to the horse not knowing or understand the cue(s), not due to being hard-mouthed. Another thing to consider is if your friend is using her seat to stop the horse, or relying completely on the bit.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-17-2013, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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ALRIGHT. She thinks that Lady either had a past rider who had hard hands - who yanked on her mouth, wasn't finished training or hadn't been ridden for awhile. That's what she says at least.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-20-2013, 12:47 AM
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Try lots of transitions, and rewarding any change in speed when you ask for a downward transition or a halt. Use your seat and legs to steer and a horse will be less likely to brace.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-24-2013, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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I'll tell her to try those things out. Thank you!
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-24-2013, 05:25 PM
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Work on her 'back-up'. No horse stops any better than they back up. No horse stops or backs any better than they 'give' their head and 'break' at the poll at a stand-still and in all gaits. All are interrelated and you cannot have the stop without the willingness to 'give' to the bit at the stand-still, forward gaits and the back-up.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-25-2013, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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So, backing up with the bit. Make her give in then release? That's good too. I'll tell her that tomorrow. Thanks!
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