Doesn't take a bit.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-08-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Doesn't take a bit....

<p>I'm considering a new addition to my barn. A 12 year old appaloosa mare that needs some refreshing. The price is right and if she passes her ppe she will make an excellent summer project for me. </p>
<p>The owner however says she won't take a bit. Prefers bitless. Apparently she throws her head, chews the bit and carries on. When we tried her we rode her bitless in the owners bitless bridle. She needs some work with her breaks but considering she's sat for over a year everything went great. </p>
<p>He teeth look fine, she was floated only two months ago (I know the current owner so am positive about this) so there is no known medical reason for this. </p>
<p>So my question is how can I get her going comfortably in a snaffle? For my own reasons I prefer to ride my horses in a snaffle when on the trail. Would I just start bitting her and maybe ground driving her until she is comfortable? </p>
<p>I'm thinking its just a situation where she was never properly trained to go well in a bit and previous owners just let it go and rode her bitless. </p>
<p>Would really like some input, I've started a few horses using snaffles but have yet to work with a horse that supposedly doesn't take a bit.</p>
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 01:34 PM
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Some horses just don't like bits. She could have a very sensitive mouth or just not like the feel of something in her mouth for long periods of time. You can try bitting her and ground driving but it might not work. Its always good to keep an open mind about the equipment you use to ride your horse in. I would try lunging her before riding her bitless and see if she is better with slowing down. How it works out for you!
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 01:42 PM
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Have you tried using one of those rubber bits? Sometimes it helps them transition from bitless riding into riding with a bit. Also, a metal bit might feel really cold especially in the winter; you can warm up a cold bit with a heating pad.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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She's not my horse yet if I even decide to buy her.

After talking to the current owner a bit more I'm thinking its more a situation where she has never been properly trained to go in a bit.

I am open minded about what my horses will ride in. My gelding will go bitless, with any bit or even with a neck rope. For my own reasons I prefer to ride in a snaffle or other mild bit while trail riding. I like my horses to be good all arounders that will go in anything, not refusing the bit because they were just never trained to carry it.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frlsgirl View Post
Have you tried using one of those rubber bits? Sometimes it helps them transition from bitless riding into riding with a bit. Also, a metal bit might feel really cold especially in the winter; you can warm up a cold bit with a heating pad.
I will defiantly consider a rubber bit, hadn't considered that as an option.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 07:34 PM
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What sort of bit is it that she dislikes?

Mia chews on a bit without a roller when she is nervous or when she wants relief for her tongue or when she is bored...a bit general, I know, but that is the best guess I have based on lots of bits and watching her.

She is less likely to chew on a bit with a port, such as:

If she has a bit with a roller, she'll play with the roller:

An odd choice is a Billy Allen. It is straight across with minimal tongue relief, but I think it has a broad, even pressure that doesn't make her seek relief. They also have rollers in the middle, although she doesn't play with that style of roller as much as a fat copper one.

Mia rarely tosses her head, but I've read that it can be a sign of seeking tongue relief. And in all honesty, she is more likely to chew on the bit and toss her head if I am heavy handed. It could be a symptom of how the current owner rides more than a preference of the horse.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-09-2014, 11:55 PM
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my mare was trained in a bit at 3 yrs., had 30 days of riding on her when I got her. since I have had her I think I put the bit in her mouth once, I ride her bitless and we do tons of trail riding with groups or by myself....she prefers and responds better without a bit.....

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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