Grabbing the bit...

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Grabbing the bit...

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    06-19-2011, 10:28 PM
Grabbing the bit...

So I have only had my horse a month and a day. When he is being ridden he likes to take "grabs the bit" and is heavy on your hands. He had his teeth done last year. I currently ride him in a 5" french link. The lady I got him from said she would ride him in a 5" so I was going to do the samebut when I put my bit in it is small in his mouth so I ordered a 5.5" french link which I think well be alittle more comfortable for him. But any tips would be great.
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    06-19-2011, 10:50 PM
A horse who grabs the bit, does so because they are unbalanced and are looking to you, the rider, for that false sense of balance. They lean into your hands, because they are on their forehand, not using themselves properly - instead of working off of their back end and carrying themselves.

I suggest you start taking dressage lessons if you can, or arent' already doing so. If you are, I would sit down with your coach and discuss this issue so that they can help you be more effective in the saddle, to help your horse be more effective with using themselves.
    06-19-2011, 10:57 PM
Does he do this at all gaits? Can he balance himself at the walk without resistance? Do you have an video? It might just be uncomfortable to him. No real way of knowing without seeing him moving.
    06-20-2011, 12:48 AM
Forgot to put in that his steering needs work but has gotten better and is doing so much better with moving off leg then when I got him as well. But I thought he felt like he was more on the fore because I could feel it alittle but because I couldn't ride and watch him at the same time I wasn't certain. I have a girl riding him and when she rides I am able to view what he is doing I well try to get a video
    06-20-2011, 01:44 AM
Our horses reflect 100% of what we are doing in the saddle - so if the rider isn't using themselves properly, to encourage the horse to use themselves properly, it wont get fixed.

It isn't what the horse is doing - the question is, what is it that you are doing?
    06-20-2011, 02:45 AM
I use alot of transations to try to help him get off the fore and use his hind. I know the previous owner didnt do much with him and just let him do his own thing and told me that she just let him go where he wants because she couldnt get him to go where she wanted him to go . I don't think its necessary me as a rider doing anything wrong but trying to correct the 8 years of him being ridden that way. I've only had him a month and even in that short time he seems to have improved slowly but surely. He still tries to test me but he's found that im not as lenient(spelling) as his old mom was.
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    06-20-2011, 12:20 PM
I don't think testing has anything to do with it - it's the fact that he isn't using his body properly. There is no quick cure fix for this, he is unbalanced, going around on his forehand and not using himself properly.

Only his rider is going to beable to teach him to use himself correctly, but that can only be achieved if the rider is using themselves properly.

My horse used to be heavy in my hands a lot when I first started riding him. His previous owner could get on him, and get him using himself properly. Then I would get on him, and guess what - he'd go right back to hanging off my hands.

When I learnt how to use myself correctly, to get him to use himself properly, the issue went away. Dressage, dressage, dressage, dressage - learning how to ride in a proper position, using my seat and my legs and driving him forward into the bit - riding back to front, not front to back - that's what fixed it.

Now I can ride him without him being on my hands. If he gets heavy, I correctly myself first, and then correct him. I can have friends get on him, and guess what - he's heavy on their hands, because they aren't riding him correctly to get him to use himself properly. He says "oh hey, free ride, this will be easy" and guess what, he's right.

Remember, our horses reflect 100% of what we do in the tack.

This is a horse that is moving how he knows how to move. As you said, he has been going this way for years because his rider didn't know how to use herself properly, to get him to use himself effeciantly. So he has 0 muscle development to allow him to carry himself, so how is he supposed to if he's not being shown how? That is why he is heavy in your hands - because he is unbalanced, undeveloped, and is relying on you to carry him.

Start doing exercises to get him off of his forehand. Seat into Legs into Hands - inside leg into outside rein. Drive that back end, get him to open up and move under himself, tracking up, engaged, back lifted up into your seat.

Your body must be correct as well, you must beable to use yourself to help him. Your body cannot be on his forehand, strong seat, legs lifting his back up into your seat, strong core, opened hip angle, tall upper body, opened chest, carried hands - ride back to front.

I suggest dressage lessons if you can do it - that will help both you and your horse.

I wish you all the best!

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