Help with a bit problem please - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Allison Finch
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Help with a bit problem please

I bought an 8 year old QH mare. She is well trained and so sweet. Loves attention. Rode 4 or five times she was alittle pasture sour due to the prevoius own had not riden in several months but she did good. Went to ride and she refuses to take her bit. Had her saddled and ready but stood there for an hour trying to get her bit in. I checked her mouth for sores and there are none. Waited a few days and did not saddle but tried the bridle again and she will not take it. Tried alittle feed under the bit in my hand and she just rasies her head and refuses. Stayed out there 2 hours trying every trick I know and she just wont do it. Thought about trying a hackamore with her but never used one before so Im not sure it will give the control a bit does. Any suggestion ?
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 12:18 PM
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First, have her teeth checked to see if the horse needs to have wolfe teeth pulled or sharp points filed down (floating). If the teeth check out OK, it may be that people bridled her very roughly in the past.

I take light molassas and paint the bit nouthpiece with it. I allow the horse to lick it and then, holding the mouthpiece with my middle fingers, I will place my thumb in the gap in the teeth on the side of the mouth. Usually, the horse will open the mouth and then I will carefully push the bit into the mouth. I find that the molassas will encourage the horse to explore the bit and be more willing to accept it. It may take several tries before the horse is willing to lick the bit and settle down with it.

Keep a wet towel around when you do this to wipe your hands. It can be pretty messy. If it is only the bit that the horse resists, and not a bridle over the ears problem, this often helps solve it.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 02:49 PM
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Have you ever bridled her successfully? Did you see the seller bridle her? Have you asked the seller if this is a known issue with her?

My advice, clipped from another thread:

"Stay with the horse and become a student of his body language. Don't become angry, impatient, frustrated, or frightened. It's all matter of fact. Unclip his halter from the lead rope and put his halter around his neck for a handle, if needed. Put the bit up by his mouth. If he clenches his teeth, yes, put your thumb or finger in the toothless gum region on his lower jaw, pressing down with firm pressure, as needed. If he raises his head, runs backwards, whatever--do not back off, and do not force the bit. Just stay with him. Keep the bit/bridle in the exact same position relative to his head throughout his entire display. Don't back off, but don't move forward, either, until he realizes that his antics are futile. Repeat as needed, gradually increasing the "pressure" of the stimulus (position of the bit) until he gives in.

(This is presuming there are no underlying physical issues, like horrible dental hooks, or a injury on his head, etc.)

Read more: How do you get the bit in a horse's mouth?"
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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I know the previous owner and she never had this problem with her. I tried the sweet feed and I have placed my thumbs in the sides of her mouth and she still refuses to open. I did bridle her several times before with no problems. rode one day and went to ride the next day and I will have her teeth checked and I guess take it from there.
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-23-2011, 04:42 PM
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When you put your thumb in her mouth, pinch her lip against a tooth and increase the pressure until she opens her mouth and put the bit in.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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