new to forum.... bit chomping issues
 
 

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new to forum.... bit chomping issues

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  • Why does a horse chomp on the bit
  • Horse chomping at the bit

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  • 1 Post By tinyliny

 
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    06-21-2012, 01:25 AM
  #1
Foal
new to forum.... bit chomping issues

Hello, I'm new to this forum and I am a novice rider but I have a friend who has lent me his horse to practise on. The horse is great except for some minor issues that I am trying to work out, the most annoying being that the moment we stop moving he chomps and pulls on the bit. He is quite large, and extremely strong and it is an arm workout for me everytime we stop to try and keep him from ripping the reins out of my hands. I thought at first he had a mouth or tooth problem but they are fine. He has been on several different kinds of bits (snaffle, chain, curb) but it's always the same. When my friend rides him he smartens up and behaves much better.... what am I doing wrong and how can I fix this??

Thanks in advance!
     
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    06-21-2012, 01:59 AM
  #2
Super Moderator
Be sure that when you are stopped, and just standing there, that you do not have any contact on his mouth. That's #1.
#2. After you release the contact, and he's standing, keep ahold of one rein in your hand, firmly but with a loop in the rein, so horse feels no contact but not so long that the horse can go a long distance stretching downward before he makes the rein taut. When he pulls , you hold him with that one rein only, letting the other one drape down. To resist him, keep your elbow tucked to your side and use the strength of your core muscles to disallow him from pulling the reins away. As soon as he releases, you let him have some slack (back to where you were before). If he starts to really hauling on the rein, boot him forward a step or two, halt him and give him another chance to choose , either more trouble with your hand, or stand quietly on a looped rein.
ThursdayNext likes this.
     
    06-21-2012, 02:01 AM
  #3
Weanling
Welcome to the forum.

It is difficult to assess the sitatuion without seeeing how you ride. However, a horse that pulls the reins out of a rider's hands are attempting to get away from being abused at the mouth. Either they have been pulled on so hard, perhaps with more severe bits that their mouths have toughened up at least enough to exert the force needed to pull the reins from a rider's hands.

Its caused by heavy hands, heavy bits. It hurts. With any mouth problems, the first thing you need to do is have his mouth and teeth checked by a vet/horse dentist.

If the vet gives you the OK on his mouth, it is a rider-caused problem and its time to look at the way you are riding your horse. Make sure you are rewarding rding the horse when he stops. If you ask him to stop, and he does, give to the pressure on the reins as a reward. Don't keep asking him by having tight reins once he's stopped, or he will pull the reins out of your hands, or maybe walk backwards.. let go and reward him when he does as you ask.

Most riders do not realize they are over-riding or being too active or too stiff with their hands. Be gentle, be forgiving. Remember... you wouldn't be too comfortable with a metal bit in your mouth, let alone with heavy hands on the end of it.
     
    06-21-2012, 12:47 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Horses also pull the reins out of a rider's hands because they want to either eat, or are thinking about doing something else too.

As said above, without video of you riding, hard to tell what is going on.

But after years of helping novice riders, I can tell you some of the most common problems is a rider with hands too high, or too tight or bouncing.

If your hands are up above waist area? Too high, ideally I like to see more in below belt area, IF you are riding trail/pleasure etc. Whole different ball of wax for Saddleseat of course. But the hands too high, cause horse's head to come up, as the reins are as the mouth is, meaning the higher the reins, the higher the head. A horse will pull against that.

Secondly, if hands aren't releasing, but are constantly engaging the bit? Horse will not be happy. That means there should be no tension in the reins, and the curb chain is not engaged.

Third. If your hands are bouncing all over the place and you are jiggling the reins? That is irritating as heck to a horse, so you need to steady the hands.

I also have seen some of this happen because of heavy hands, where you are yanking, pulling, and have death grip.

Or also because of bad hands, the curb chain is too tight, and engaging at every bumble. When I teach, I loosen the curb chain to avoid this entirely.

Practice carrying hot cups of coffee around house, as that will teach you to lighten your hands, and disengage elbows and shoulders from wrists.
     
    06-24-2012, 11:14 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by SallyRC123    
Welcome to the forum.

It is difficult to assess the sitatuion without seeeing how you ride. However, a horse that pulls the reins out of a rider's hands are attempting to get away from being abused at the mouth. Either they have been pulled on so hard, perhaps with more severe bits that their mouths have toughened up at least enough to exert the force needed to pull the reins from a rider's hands.

Its caused by heavy hands, heavy bits. It hurts. With any mouth problems, the first thing you need to do is have his mouth and teeth checked by a vet/horse dentist.

If the vet gives you the OK on his mouth, it is a rider-caused problem and its time to look at the way you are riding your horse. Make sure you are rewarding rding the horse when he stops. If you ask him to stop, and he does, give to the pressure on the reins as a reward. Don't keep asking him by having tight reins once he's stopped, or he will pull the reins out of your hands, or maybe walk backwards.. let go and reward him when he does as you ask.

Most riders do not realize they are over-riding or being too active or too stiff with their hands. Be gentle, be forgiving. Remember... you wouldn't be too comfortable with a metal bit in your mouth, let alone with heavy hands on the end of it.
His teeth and mouth are fine, vet checked a few months ago.

Again, this is not my horse so I honestly don't know how he has been ridden in the past. I do know that when I ask him to stop he rarely does! This is another thing we are working on and he's actually gotten much better.

I should have been more clear when describing the problem - it doesn't seem to matter how much rein I give him, he just lowers his head until he feels pressure and then he pulls and chomps. It doesn't make any sense to me because, like you say, it's not comfortable to have a piece of metal pulling in your mouth. I always make sure I have a good loop in the reins when he's settled himself but he just takes it all! I don't let him get his head to the ground, I will usually give a little jerk and move him forward but as soon as we stop he starts again....

I know it's something that I am doing/not doing because like I said when my friend gets on him he behaves.....
     
    06-24-2012, 11:18 PM
  #6
Showing
Welcome!

Via your last post, it sounds as though he's stealing your reins. Engage your abs, hold the reins, don't pull back and give a light squeeze with your calves As soon as he stops pulling, release.

My horse did this as well. It was from overly combing the reins for us.. his previous owner got him hooked!
     

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