Horse won't open for the bit! Help! - Page 3

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Horse won't open for the bit! Help!

This is a discussion on Horse won't open for the bit! Help! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    07-29-2009, 04:44 PM
When I first got my little OTTB he had the same problem. My trainer said back him into a wall so he couldnt go anywhere and wrap your right arm around his nose (remember to put your fingers in his mouth). Like your problem, sometimes this still didnt work (he could lift his head really high lol) so sometimes we had to have our taller (I'm vertically challenged) instructor do it to teach him no. Sometimes we even used footstools and peppermints. Anything so he couldnt get away with it. After a few weeks he didnt even care at all.

I sometimes have the occasional problem if he's being stubborn... but being 4' 10" I just use the footstool. He almost always just lets you slide it in though as long as you stick your fingers in the sides of his mouth.

Good luck :)
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    07-29-2009, 08:30 PM
Hear, hear, Qtswede!

Not a lot of people think about the bit bashing into their teeth. Just imagine if someone took a spoon and smacked your teeth with it. It would HURT!

I ride my horse in a solid rubber bit, so if you got one and do accidentally bump his teeth, at least it won't hurt. It's still best to be really cautious when bridling, but it could still help. As long as he isn't too heavy on the bit, and doesn't try to grab it and go, I think a rubber bit is a great idea. Then when he accepts taking the bridle and you have the routine down, you can go back to a metal bit.
    07-29-2009, 09:25 PM
It probably is banging, but it could also be banging out of his mouth, don't rip the bit out of their mouth, instead hover it as you pull off and let them remove their head from the bit. Try switching to a rubber bit just to be sure, it may not work at first, but once he figures out that it can't hurt him and you won't hurt him, he will probably get better about it. And familiarizing yourself with that spot you can stick your fingers in can be helpful, I always do it so their mouth is open before the bit even gets there, but you have to stand beside your horse facing the direction he is, and be able to bridle that way. I see so many people who have had horses for years, not know the proper way to bridle and stand facing them to bridle. Yeah it works, until a horse that is headshy, sneaky, scared, young, green, etc. comes by. Really learn to bridle with the noseband, headstall, throat latch, gathered in your right hand, and the bit in your left, which positions it perfectly to stick a finger in the side of their mouth, if you practice this, you should be able to bridle any horse.
    07-29-2009, 09:55 PM
Glad you put that in there TB. I was overly focused on her getting the bit IN. To try to paint a picture for you, when you take the headstall off, slip if over the ears and just wait a second for them to kind of spit it out. You'll see him open his mouth a little to get rid of it, when he does, start to go down with the headstall slowly, or even, put your finger back in the corner of his mouth to catch the bit, help him open a little wider, and be sure you don't smack the back side of his front teeth.
    07-29-2009, 09:57 PM
Green Broke
If he can ride using a bit, you don't want to just avoid the problem.

Try what I suggested :) I can garentee it will work! Just take it slow!
    07-30-2009, 03:19 AM
As others said, get his teeth check first.

I also wanted to comment about using treats to get him to take the bit. We have a horse at our equestrian therapy center that is absolutely horrendous with the bit. His previous owners spoiled him completely, and he refuses to take the bit unless you have a treat with you. He resists to the point where he's dragging the pole/the person holding him backwards and looks like he's going to flip over. It depends on the horse, but I personally wouldn't take the chance to have a horse that will only bridle if you wave a treat in front of his face.

I also want to second having him lower his head. I would try putting pressure on his poll until he lowers his head with nothing or just a halter on. Get to the point where he lowers his head immediately when you put pressure on his poll.

One last thing, at my barn, we have a school horse that's impossible to bridle until you hook an arm over his ears. Then he'll lower his head immediately. Sometimes a horse might just have a little quirk.

Good luck!
    07-30-2009, 07:13 AM
^^ Good point about some horses having quirks, Chevalier. My little arab freaks out being bridled unless you put an arm over between his ears. Come at him any other way and you'd think he'd never had his head touched.
    07-30-2009, 08:13 AM
Green Broke
My trainer had a horse like that. What we did was we'd have 3 people and the bridler would stand on a mounting block. And we bridled him 2X day even if he want being ridden. He takes the bit willingly now.
    07-30-2009, 10:14 AM
I have the same problem with my Belgain(18.2 hds)so putting my arms down between his ears isn't possible. My guy will drop his head for you to halter or whatever but as soon as the bit comes into play his head is up in the air. What I've started doing that has helped, not perfect yet but better. I unbuckle one side of the headstall, put that over his ears, kind of wrapping the bit around his mouth. Then I stand right in front of him with the bit(oring snaffle) holding one "o" ring in each hand and try and open his lips and lay the bit up to his teeth don't slam it in and slightly stick my finger in the corner of his mouth and he's getting better at grabing the bit himself. The reason I stand in front of him is when he starts backing I can stay with him and I have a better view of where I'm putting the bit. It's not prefect but its getting better. I have started making him take the bit every day so it's good practice for him and me also.
    07-30-2009, 04:10 PM
My Quarter Horse Rusty had this problem. I started to give him a treat each time I put the bit in and out of his mouth. Place the bit in front of his mouth as if you are going to insert it in. Just behind the bit hold a treat or cookie so that he can smell and feel it with his lips. He should open his mouth for the treat and when he does insert the bit and give him the cookie... After a while they can't wait for you to put their bits in so they get treats... try it... it works for my guys...

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