Naturally on the bit?

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Naturally on the bit?

This is a discussion on Naturally on the bit? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        11-11-2009, 09:28 AM
    Naturally on the bit?

    I have a young mare that I bought recently that was sold to me as green. I'm used to having to ask for contact on the bit.

    As soon as I ask her to move forward she lowers her head, breaks at the poll and mouths the bit. I can feel the difference in her back and stride. She has a very sensitive mouth so I'm cautious not to put much pressure on the reins at all. I ride her in a French link eggbutt snaffle.

    A fluke or not truly on the bit?
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        11-11-2009, 09:42 AM
    Probably not truly on the bit. You say she is mouthing the me this would mean that she is still trying to figure out what the heck to do with it. I would forget about her having a very sensitive mouth & go about using the reins in a normal manner. Use your legs to push her into the bridle. When she is comfortable with the bit, she won't be mouthing at it.
        11-11-2009, 09:46 AM
    True. She doesn't mouth it a lot, just seems to chew it. I've had her teeth floated recently. She's very responsive to legs aids.
        11-11-2009, 12:15 PM
    Most young horses are light in the mouth at the beginning, it takes a while for people to screw them up. The two mistakes that I think people make the most frequently are...
    1) Thinking that light feeling is the horse being on the bit and trying to keep it by not allowing them to pull down into the contact.
    2) Being afraid of the young horse and being too tight/holding tension in the reins-which becomes tension in the reins and mouth and neck and shoulders and back etc.
    Just remember that for your horse to be "Through" You should be able to ask her to put her head wherever you want. If you want to bend right or bend left it should be possible, if you want her to lower her head it should be no problem. Just keep riding forward into consistent contact and she'll come through over her back for you.
        11-11-2009, 12:20 PM
    Awesome thank you!

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