Grabbing reins in mouth - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By SlideStop
  • 1 Post By PunksTank
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 12-04-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 86
• Horses: 1
Lightbulb Grabbing reins in mouth

Like the title says, I noticed one day (first time he's done this) that he wiggled his mouth to try to grab one of the reins while we were riding.
I haven't noticed him doing this again, but I was just curious about what you do about it if it does persist? When I noticed him doing it, I wiggled the rein to get it away from him lol.
Lafitte is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 12-04-2012, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,504
• Horses: 0
I work with two horses that like to grab the sides of the shanks with their mouths. Its REALLY annoying. The best solution I found was to take the reins and whack them in the side of the face. Not hard, just enough for them to associate grabbing the bit with something unpleasant. One quit doing it totally, the other will do it on occassion. She is typically anxious and also shows other anxiety based behaviors like the ever lovely "flamingo stance". She has also been doing it MUCH longer then the other horse so nip it in the bud FAST. ;)

Along with that look at some of the stuff your doing... WHY does he want to grab that rein? Bored, to hands-y, something pinching?
fawkesfire and Thunderspark like this.
SlideStop is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 12-04-2012, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NC
Posts: 86
• Horses: 1
He was grumpy that we couldn't leave the trail yet.
Lafitte is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 12-04-2012, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,277
• Horses: 4
My driving horse did this all the time! Normally when we were at a red light and I let the reins relax, he'd pick it up and when I got him going again I'd quickly realize he had the reins - not me ;)
I found a sharp tug and a slap with the rein works. He also did this ALL the time while we were standing and waiting for a ride - I'm sure it was boredom.
You could look into bits with rollers to eliminate that potential cause.
marianne21 likes this.
PunksTank is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 12-05-2012, 06:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 9
• Horses: 0
Doesnt sound like he does it all the time. It does sound like your horse is trying to tell you something, boredom, slack rein or just something to do. He might be one of those horses that likes to be doing something different or challenged in some way. Maybe a different trail, open a gate, ride over or around some obstacles just do some change-ups to your rides. Try and observe what is happening when he does it again. Then correct the bad behavior but you might have some insight of why he is doing it.
marianne21 is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 12-06-2012, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Somewhere in WA
Posts: 1,222
• Horses: 11
Scrat does this when we are walking, or standing. Also when he is nervous he starts trying to grab the shank or the reins. I just wiggle it out of his mouth and go on...I usually catch him before he succeeds and after a few tries with failure stops. I don't worry about it to much...

Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.
BarrelRacingLvr is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 12-06-2012, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Ruger, oh lordy. If we're standing still he will reach around and chew on the reins. The first time I put a shank on him (Tiny tiny shank jr. cowhorse) he grabbed the shank and flat INHALED the rein, and I had to fish it out. He reminds me of one of those clowns who eats handkerchiefs, ya know?

I'd just smack him with the end of the rein or a crop or something. I mean not like abuse to the face, but deterrence.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 12-06-2012, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 5,798
• Horses: 3
We used to have a pony that had this issue. She constantly would try to get the bit shank into her mouth, and the reins to follow. With her, we used an "out of the box" method to get her to stop. She HATED having her ears touched while riding. So every single time she would start to play with the bit, whoever was riding her would immediately reach up and GRAB her ear. (She was a pony so that neck was nice and short to reach easily.) She caught on pretty quick that her ear would get grabbed if she went for the bit. That took care of that!!

But normally, I would probably treat this the same way that I would treat a horse that dives for some grass when you are out trail riding: One hard smack on their upper neck with the end of the reins and a loud "NO!". That gets your point across.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Trouble with grabbing mane over jump Ripplewind Horse Riding Critique 25 07-12-2012 09:48 AM
grabbing the bit and going rookie Horse Training 7 07-08-2012 10:32 PM
help! my horse is grabbing the side of his bit were the reins are dakotanight Horse Training 12 04-06-2012 02:11 PM
Grabbing the bit... ladybugsgirl Horse Training 6 06-20-2011 11:20 AM
.:. Pads, Reins, Cavesons, Side Reins, Driving Reins, etc .:. mliponoga Tack and Equipment Classifieds 3 06-05-2011 07:49 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome