Thanks everyone! I guess I should have clarified too about her dental history, since that's normally the first thing people ask about in a situation like this. I just had her teeth floated in December, and she did still have wolf teeth, so they removed them back then. So I'm not thinking it's a dental thing, but the more I read about it and from what everyone is saying above, it does sound like a "clicking of teeth" rather than chomping of her bit, and perhaps it is a nervous habit or something she does when she's tired and just doesn't want to work (or a combination of both).
The snaffle I use has only 1 joint, so maybe I'll try something different with a link and see how she likes that. I agree about the shortening the reins - it seems like she only tucks her head more and even sideways when I do that and it doesn't help -- my trainer tells me to shorten them and push her forward at the same time, but it's kind of a balance, you know? She just becomes very difficult to deal with when she gets like that; it's like she becomes really preoccupied with the bit in her mouth and doesn't pay much attention to anything else. She also seems to rush forward instead of her nice slow, controlled trot when she gets into one of these grooves.
She's still just learning, so I have to remember that she's not going to be anywhere near perfect yet. But I just want to make sure I'm not doing anything to cause her any pain or discomfort, physically OR emotionally. I think I'll give her the day off today for a break since she was doing the chomping/clicking a lot yesterday, and see how she does with some light ground work on Monday.
Thanks for the advice everyone!
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
Last edited by Hoofprints in the Sand; 04-26-2009 at 01:34 PM.