I'm new! Bit problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm new! Bit problems

So I ran across this site and was very excited, see I just got this new horse and i'm not an experisenced horse person, but I'm not dumb either haha I say this because when I got te horse something told me he wasn't from the best of homes... He's a little thin, he doesn't like his feet being touched and when I go to tighten the girth to the western saddle he gets very nervous and moves around and blows. However, he is an extremely sweet horse and when he gets upset he looks at me like 'HELP!!' but he has a sweet temperment and is very quiet and laid-back. He is also an appaloosa that's mainly all white. Anyways... my main problem that I'm wondering about it when I put the bridle on he seems to HATE the bit, he licks and chomps and opens his mouth trying to spit it out. It looks too small maybe? But I was also wondering if maybe he needed a differant bit. I'm using a snaffle bit. I was thinking a Mullen or maybe curb bit? I had a curb strap on it but took that off as well and tried it without it and he was still upset and wouldn't even move until my mom came out and walked him Any Ideas on what's going through his head? Oh and the headstall is a sliding one ear, if that changes anything... Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 12:21 PM
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Alright, first of all, changing to a harsher bit is never a way to solve the problem, even more so because you probably don't have experience handling a bit like that in a horses mouth.

Have you checked that his teeth have been floated recently? If he did come from a less-than-ideal home, that may be a problem.


Also, has he been worked recently? I know before I got my horse Ice, he was well cared for but never ridden, so when I went to go put a bit in his mouth, he did everything that your horse is doing just because it was so uncomfortable. After a few weeks, he started accepting the bit (once it was in his mouth) but then a few more weeks and he started to throw his head every time I tried to put the bridle on--I now use a hackamore and he's much happier with that.

You might also want to check how the bit fits....you don't want to corners of the O/D-rings slipping in to his mouth, nor hanging loose off the sides...when he's standing still with his mouth closed, you want there to be two "smile lines" or wrinkles in the edges of his lips where the bit comes in contact.
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post #3 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 12:26 PM
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you definitley should not change to a curb. Snaffle bits are the mildest and you shouldn't need anything more. Also, if you were to use a curb bit you could seriously confuse him because you probably don't know how to use it properly.

If I were you I would check the fit of the bit and get a simple headstall, not a sliding one ear, and try to work through it. Most horses take time to adjust to having a piece of metal shoved in their mouths.
You may want to check the fit of your saddle too. Also, do the girth up gradually and he won't freak out as much.
Is this horse trained?
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post #4 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 01:31 PM
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Why does everyone immediatly think that a curb bit has to be harsh?? Almost all western horses wear curb bits. I could point to a post in this forum where people show their trail horses and nearly every single one wears a curb bit.
Just because someone uses a snaffle doesn't mean they have soft hands.
A curb bit used correctly is alot easier on a horse then a harsh pair of hands and a snaffle bit.
If you are riding western then a curb is the way to go. That and a curb chain

Check out these trail horses and see how many use curb bits?
Pictures of your trailhorse!

Last edited by RiosDad; 10-09-2009 at 01:34 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 02:33 PM
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Curb bits are not a bad tool, and yes, many western riders use them, but for a horse who is already sensitive to the bit, and a green rider, it's going to be a better option to stick to a snaffle.
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsambam08 View Post
You might also want to check how the bit fits....you don't want to corners of the O/D-rings slipping in to his mouth, nor hanging loose off the sides...when he's standing still with his mouth closed, you want there to be two "smile lines" or wrinkles in the edges of his lips where the bit comes in contact.
^^Yep! LoL, this seems so obvious, but my horse was doing this, too. She just needed the bit pulled up more...lol, which a 17 year old girl had to tell me. My horse actually prefers that her bit up in her mouth more so than a little loose. It looks uncomfortable to me, but that's just what she likes. Unless she has the two "smile lines" she's going to chew and chew. She always does that a little at first to let me know whether the bit is in correctly...once it's where she likes it, the chewing immediately stops.
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post #7 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiosDad View Post
Why does everyone immediatly think that a curb bit has to be harsh?? Almost all western horses wear curb bits. I could point to a post in this forum where people show their trail horses and nearly every single one wears a curb bit.
Just because someone uses a snaffle doesn't mean they have soft hands.
A curb bit used correctly is alot easier on a horse then a harsh pair of hands and a snaffle bit.
If you are riding western then a curb is the way to go. That and a curb chain

Check out these trail horses and see how many use curb bits?
Pictures of your trailhorse!
Sorry if this is off-topic, but does the curb refer to the fact that the bit is unbroken (a solid bar with a "bump" in the middle), or to the fact that it has a shank?

I use a bit that is snaffle, but also has shanks...I think 4". LoL, so what is it? It works great for me...I've been through a few bits, but my horse likes this type best. It would be nice to know what I'm talking about if I ever need to buy another one. You know, like being able to say something sensible rather than, "Yeah, gimme one of those bits that are in two parts but with the things that hang down a little..."
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post #8 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lori1983 View Post
Sorry if this is off-topic, but does the curb refer to the fact that the bit is unbroken (a solid bar with a "bump" in the middle), or to the fact that it has a shank?

I use a bit that is snaffle, but also has shanks...I think 4". LoL, so what is it? It works great for me...I've been through a few bits, but my horse likes this type best. It would be nice to know what I'm talking about if I ever need to buy another one. You know, like being able to say something sensible rather than, "Yeah, gimme one of those bits that are in two parts but with the things that hang down a little..."
You're using a curb bit. A curb bit works off of leverage and the curb strap under the chin. Any bit that uses shanks and a curb strap is a curb bit.

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post #9 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 03:42 PM
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"Snaffle" has nothing to do with the mouthpiece - a snaffle bit can have any kind of mouthpiece you want, and so can a curb. A snaffle deals with direct pressure on the mouth: a one to one ration.
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post #10 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 03:52 PM
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Thanks guys...makes sense now. Sooo...the mouthpiece being "broken" (which I was incorrectly calling "snaffle") rather than solid...what is that called?

To be more clear...

It looks just like this:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...%3Den%26um%3D1

They call it a snaffle on the site?
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