Filly's first time with a bit...
 
 

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Filly's first time with a bit...

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  • What bit to use on horse for first time

 
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    09-14-2010, 09:57 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Filly's first time with a bit...

So this filly I'm breaking out takes the bit just fine, but chews and chews and chews and when she finally finishes chewing, she lets her tongue hang out and sometimes she just hangs her mouth open. Any pressure on the bit just makes her chew some more, and she ends up getting off focus and off balance when I ask her to move out on the longe line. This is only day 3 of me working with her, but I can see a bigger problem developing quickly. She's a quick filly, and she's only being broke to do trails and pleasure riding. I am sort of considering using a hackamore on her, because she just REALLY isn't liking this bit. Suggestions? She's almost 4. I'm using a full-cheek snaffle on her. I'd really like to soften her up but she just fights it SO much, she might be dangerous in the saddle (rearing, flipping, head tossing). Gahh!
     
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    09-14-2010, 10:23 PM
  #2
Foal
First of all, make sure she doesn't have any teeth issues or mouth sores that could be causing her any undue discomfort. Also, is she working her tongue until it goes over the bit and then she's kind of hanging it out and "stuck?"

Experiment with the bit position. Some horses like the bit a little snugger than others. Count the wrinkles in the corner of her mouth with the bit in. Some horses ride at 2 wrinkles, but I'd say never go more than 2. Some horses like 1 wrinkle, and some horses like a bit to hang fairly loose with no corner wrinkles. Of course a loose bit will encourage a horse to get their tongue over the bit, so if that is happening you may need to adjust it to 1-2 wrinkles for sure!


Personally, I prefer to start my horses in bosal hackamores. If the bit just isn't working out, maybe that would be a good thing to try.
     
    09-14-2010, 10:50 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt    
Personally, I prefer to start my horses in bosal hackamores. If the bit just isn't working out, maybe that would be a good thing to try.
Yeah I've done that in the past and the owners were on the fence about it because they think the horse won't listen unless there's a bit in their mouth. I'd like to enforce the "I'm the trainer, I know what I'm doing" part, but if the owner feels secure with a bit, I'm going to use a bit. I guess they don't understand that the pressure from the noseband is what the young horse is familiar with, and what they will respond to immediately. I am keeping the halter on this filly when the bridle is on. I have it hanging as loose as I can without her rolling her tongue over it (which she WILL try to do), and I have tried it more snug as well... she's just a turd, I guess! :)
     
    09-14-2010, 11:04 PM
  #4
Trained
How many times has she had the bit in her mouth? It's entirely possible she just isn't used to it yet. In that case, just give her time. If this has been going on for awhile, I would maybe look into a French link or a different bit in general. And do some work on the ground asking her to turn her head and such.
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    09-14-2010, 11:10 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
How many times has she had the bit in her mouth? It's entirely possible she just isn't used to it yet. In that case, just give her time. If this has been going on for awhile, I would maybe look into a French link or a different bit in general. And do some work on the ground asking her to turn her head and such.
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I'd have to ask her owner how many times she's taken the bit. She told me the filly has had it in before I showed up but how many times and how she did is unknown. I have had her working with the bit for 3 days consecutively, but typically they will stop chewing after ten to twenty minutes. After an hour with the bit in, this filly was still at it... we've done lots of turning exercises: me standing on her offside and giving pressure and turning her away from me... she does it perfectly. No head tossing or anything... but that's about it
     
    09-14-2010, 11:21 PM
  #6
Trained
It's still likely that she just isn't used to it. I would play around with bits and find the one for her. I have my little one in a d-ring French link. Other than that, if pain can be ruled out [wolf teeth?], I'd just ignore it and see if she settles.
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    09-15-2010, 07:11 AM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
It's still likely that she just isn't used to it. I would play around with bits and find the one for her. I have my little one in a d-ring French link. Other than that, if pain can be ruled out [wolf teeth?], I'd just ignore it and see if she settles.
This!

Though I used a loose ring french link, but other than that, what Ricci said.

I have four other bits I bought (one at a time) when trying to find the bit my mare liked best.
     
    09-15-2010, 07:41 AM
  #8
Green Broke
It sounds to me like she is not used to the bit. I have seen this before when I was breaking and yeah they play with it but most of the time, I would let them wear the bridle until they quieted their mouth. Could take 15min, could take 2hrs? Up to the horse. As long as you are around or just working around the area this is safe. Leave her in the pen tacked up until she settles and when she does her release is taking it off. Let her rest and maybe do it again later. Make sure that bridle/bit fits her so the bit is not loose in her mouth but not too tight either. Don't make a big deal when she plays with it. Its like having a bratty child whos crying and if you give him/her attention they learn that they can get what they want. This filly is looking to get rid of the bit and if you remove it too soon she will continue to play around or act up until you do. As long as you know she isnt hurting and she is safe let her wear it. Good luck.
     
    09-15-2010, 11:47 AM
  #9
Showing
First off, why are you using a full cheek?

Generally speaking, you want to start off with very gentle bit. Full cheek it's quite rough of a start for a horse who's just being broke. Get yourself a loose ring snaffle, or a loose ring french link(my preference). They are a much better start I think and you can always change bits and get something a little stronger when you start riding her.

What steps are you taking when you're putting the bridle on? Has been a matter of slapping it on and leaving it there?

What myself I like to do, and again my own method here is start off with small sessions. I put the bridle on, and feed with it on. You want her to learn that this new weird metal thing means something good-a treat. Do that for the first half dozen sessions. To this new thing, it means good FOOD! And it also asks to close her mouth while she eats. Chances are she will make a mess, but it might also be fine with it and quickly learn to close her mouth. Remove the bridle. Keep the sessions short and sweet. Increase the time. Put the bridle on, feed and lead her out to the arena, and start working with her.

Playing with the bit is a pretty normal thing to do I think with a youngin' and it will be a few weeks if not months before she settles with the bit.
     
    09-15-2010, 01:28 PM
  #10
Weanling
Have you tried a bit with a mullen mouthpiece. I once had a mare that could not tolerate a snaffle bit, she gapped all the time, and tossed her head. I switched her bit out with a kimberwick with a mullen mouth, and she settled right into that bit, no more gapping or tossing her head. I used the slot on the kimberwick that was the 1:1 ratio, and never had to increase to any more leverage than that. Some horses just don't like a broken mouth piece, and do much better in a solid one.
     

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bit, filly, horse, training

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