Originally Posted by zzlanova
My horse has a hard mouth. He was an old schoolie, so Im sure its from kids constantly pulling and yanking on his face with harsh bits.
Anyways, I was wondering, does any one in here have experience with this?
Have you tried a hackamore on a horse with a hard mouth with success?
I am thinking about trying one on my gelding to see if he will respond differently if I take a bit out of his mouth.
Of course, I am also working with bending/leg yields, to try and get him to soften up a bit, but I like the idea of trying a hackamore may add some relief for him as well..
Could do. Probably a fair bit of a horse with a hard mouth is not so much an actual hard mouth, in some physical sense, thought that's no doubt there, but its probably as much if not more a behavioural thing.
Probably the hardest mouth horse I have dealt with in the last few years was my horse I had in Jordan. He was pretty dead in the mouth, and no amount of hauling on the bit hard would make a dent in him. He had been used to haul a carriage in through the siq down into Petra and had had his mouth destroyed by someone pulling on his mouth while he was pulling the carriage. When I got him I just set up the same as I would when I hackamore train horses. So basically as his feet were coming into place for him to make the movement I wanted easily, I would pick up the rein and feel out his mouth. When his feet got into place I'd give him whatever pull on the rein he needed to do what I asked, and after I had given him the pull, I let off the pressure entirely.
I didnít use a hackamore on him, just a loose ring snaffle and it got him softened up pretty good. I guess you could probably soften your horse up in a snaffle bit if you wanted. But I guess you could probably retrain him from scratch in a hackamore. Unless you are really wanting to refine your horse a lot its probably less the equipment you use on the horse but the way you use it that will make the difference.