Horse very mouthy on bit... any ideas? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Horse very mouthy on bit... any ideas?

Posting this for a friend- he has had his horse ( who is about 5 or 6 I believe) only since spring. Has always ridden him with a hackamore ( his previous horse liked it, so he just kept it up with the new horse...) THe last few days Gunner has been tipping his chin till he could get the bar at the bottom of the hackamore into his mouth, chewing on it and tossing his head. It almost reminds me of a toddler teething... just chewing and chewing. He has also been more wound up than usual. His owner tried a bit, and while the horse is more controllable on a bit, he chews and chews on it... trying to pull the sides into his mouth as well. Not just kind of mouthing it... he chomps and chomps on it. ( I am not sure what kind of bit the owner tried but probably a snaffle- nothing fancy) ANy ideas?
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 03:46 PM
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Could he need his teeth floated?
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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I wondered that myself... I will suggest it to him... (since he has only had him a short time I dont know if he even knows when or if they have been floated..)
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 04:09 PM
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My mare does that when she gets bored. With her, a roller helps.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 04:25 PM
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My horse does this exact same behavior whenever I put a single or double jointed snaffle in his mouth. He prefers a solid low and medium port bit.

If your friend can ask the previous owner, he should find out what type of bit (make/model/size) the horse has used in the past.

Moving to the hackamore and then a snaffle bit may have caused the horse confusion.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 05:33 PM
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If the teeth are good, I don't see an issue with what type of bit or hack they use, the problem is a board or worried horse. Tell your friend to work the heck out of the horse if it starts showing this behavior. Get his mind back on business. Then let it relax. If it starts the chewing again...then back to work....pick drills the horse doesn't like to do.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-22-2013, 05:37 PM
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Make sure that there is copper on the bit so his mouth doesn't go dry and irritate him. Copper helps a horse's mouth salivate - and sometimes they can salivate a lot and continue chewing and chomping. Also make sure nothing is twisted, pinching, and his teeth are in great shape.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-23-2013, 10:08 AM
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Could he actually be younger than you think and teething?

I put a rubber d-ring snaffle on my horses bridle the other day. She obviously doesn't like it. Shakes her head, chews at it. Been riding her with a kimberwick with a copper roller but she really doesn't need the curb action so I figured this bit would be fine, wrong. She hates it. Somewhere I know I have a dog bone snaffle. Going to find that and try it. If not I'll just get another kimberwick like she has on the nylon bridle.

Watch with him grabbing shanks. It could become a really terrible thing. I had a booger for years and year that if he didn't want to do something would get the shank in his mouth and clamp down and head home. He came to me that way and try as many bits as I could he managed to clamp down on all. I actually couldn't ride him. He would buck like a fiend if anybody truly tried to give him direction. Put a passenger on that was willing to just sit there and follow me and he was fine. I had to be riding a dark mare though. Only a dark mare. Miserable boy did it his way until the moment he died.

I actually went to list one of his bits on ebay a few weeks ago and looking it over I found the usual tooth marks in the copper but was shocked to see toothmarks in the steel shanks too. Know just when it happened. Decided to keep the bit as a memento.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-23-2013, 10:33 AM
Green Broke
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I put a rubber d-ring snaffle on my horses bridle the other day. She obviously doesn't like it.

for many horses rubber is very dry, which causes friction and discomfort. They are also often overly thick. I tried using rubber bits starting colts when I was younger, but quickly realized that they were much happier going directly into a much thinner metal snaffle.

Finding the right bit is trial and error. I generally find that many horses do fine in a stainless single jointed snaffle, but a good portion of horses prefer a double jointed bit, and many would prefer sweet iron or a copper inlay over stainless. My arab loves her single jointed stainless bit, and hates all others, while my appy loves a sweet iron mouth piece, and hates a double jointed bit. Its all trial and error.

before trying different bits, get his teeth done, and if he is bad with grabbing the shanks, maybe try something with an s shaped shank, or a really swept back one, although I think a snaffle would be ideal.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-23-2013, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.. I am passing this all on to him!
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