Horse doesn't take a bit

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Horse doesn't take a bit

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    07-01-2013, 11:02 PM
Angry Horse doesn't take a bit

One of the horses I recently rescued(last Sunday) doesn't take the bit. I have tried the string trick, which worked but I don't want to do it every time. She will let me put my hand in her mouth, a lead rope, and of course the string. She just refuses to take the bit. She throws her head up every time I put it towards her mouth. I began doing the "mark the wrong thing hard, and the right thing easy" so I make her work every time she throws her head up. It worked a little she lets me touch her nose and her bottom lip with the bit, but she throws it every time it touches her teeth. She backs up also. I know she knows its wrong because I taught her to put her head down and she does it strait after. It's so frustrating. For two years she hasn't been able to get a bit in. I have gotten it in but I don't want to fight her every time. I have a straight bar bit. Do you think she just doesn't like the big metal bar in? Do you think if I get a snaffle she might take it better? I was planning on getting her one just because she is younger and would make me feel better if she had one on sense she is known to get a bit crazy when she is mad. But do you have any suggestions?

I try and make it pleasurable when its in, like giving her grain as a treat, letting her sit with it in for a while(sense its been two or three years) and petting her making me know its alright. Any ideas? I'm just so frustrated. And I'm trying my best not to be. I have no idea what made her like this.
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    07-01-2013, 11:28 PM
I don't think forcing it in her mouth is going to help.

Maybe she has had her teeth clinked on the metal. Try wrapping it in fruit rollups, or try a happy mouth (plastic) or a leather bit.. or just go without.

There is obviously something she doesn't like about the bit in comparison to the other stuff you've had in her mouth.
    07-01-2013, 11:31 PM
Happy mouth is a possibility but don't try the leather, that is terribly dangerous.

I agree that fruit rollups are great. Or maybe a rubber bit. Or maybe just use a hackamore.
    07-01-2013, 11:32 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Happy mouth is a possibility but don't try the leather, that is terribly dangerous.

I agree that fruit rollups are great. Or maybe a rubber bit. Or maybe just use a hackamore.
Oh why is it dangerous, Sorrelhorse? Just ease of breaking?
    07-01-2013, 11:44 PM
I had a mare that wouldn't let you put a bit in her mouth. She would rear her head up, spin, put her head down to the ground....anything to avoid it.

My technique was quite have to be patient. I stayed very calm and soft spoken when she would act like this. I cupped the bit in my hand, and once she let me touch her lip with it, I held it to her mouth for a few seconds...once she stood still calmly, I took it away. Then a few seconds later, did it again...over and over. I took baby steps and then only asked her to put it between her lips....repeated the process....then finally, during all this used my thumb to tickle the bars and tongue where she would open her mouth and softly slid the bit in.....then I would take it back out....start over again. Sometimes, in the beginning I would stand there with her for an hour at a time. Eventually she calmed down and got over whatever it was.
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    07-02-2013, 12:00 AM
Has she had her teeth checked/floated by a vet? It could be the bit HURTS. So before making her work her butt off, rule out any issues related to pain. Maybe she has a cracked tooth? Broken bone in her mouth...etc.
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    07-02-2013, 02:35 AM
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Oh why is it dangerous, Sorrelhorse? Just ease of breaking?
Yeah, they get torn up pretty fast and leather will definitely break on you with the wear it'd take...
    07-02-2013, 11:52 AM
I don't know if it was right or wrong, but I used to have a horse that refused to take a bit also, and I just coated the bit with grape jelly or apple sauce. After a few times like this I had not more problems.
Like I said, not sure if it was right or wrong, but it worked for me.
    07-02-2013, 01:12 PM
Thank you I will have to try. I'm not sure if she needs her teeth floated. Chances are she does. How much does it usually cost? Is it the vet that usually does it?
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    07-02-2013, 01:52 PM
Ryan Gingerich starts his colts with a lead rope. You take a general measure of the total length of a fitting bridle including the bit, then hook the bullsnap or other to the rope and reteach bridling with it. Do NOT put the snap in the horse's mouth. It looks a lot like this,

And you will want to teach your horse to drop his head down and towards you in the retraining.

bit & bridle, bit bolting bucking, bit problems, horse & rider, horse appaloosa quarter

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