Obsession with the bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-05-2010, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question Obsession with the bit

My horse is obsessed with getting his tounge over top of the bit instead to under it. His old owners didn't ride him with a flash, so we added one with his bridle and that sort of fixed the problem. When you first but on the bridle he starts fitteling with the bit, once you put the flash on he reliezes he can't open his mouth and he stops, until he starts to move. When you get on him you can feel him playing with the bit, when you ride his head is always moving and his mouth is always opening and closing ( well opening and cosing as much as the flash allows) It makes it realy hard to keep contact with him. When he stops he continues chewing. This habit is exceedingly annoying, and it's not very attractive. Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop this?
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-05-2010, 10:12 PM
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My friends horse would try to do that. they dont use a flash but instead they have a bit and put a curb chain under their chin and that helps. they said it was the only way she would stop doing it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-07-2010, 11:13 AM
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tight curb wont do much. try a figure 8 noseband it'll distribute the pressure better most horses like those better than flashes atleast i've found anyway.

playing with the bit isnt a bad thing.. atleast IMO. Does he slobber or drool at all when you ride him? If he does then thats a GOOD thing. it means his mouth is relaxed . my younger mare does it even with the flash noseband. some horses are just mouthy. make the flash or figure 8 noseband tight . dont pinch him but make it tight enough.

If none of this works i'd get his teeth checked and make sure the bit fits him properly. some horses play when the bit is too big or its bothering them.

Last edited by barnprincess; 02-07-2010 at 11:16 AM.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-08-2010, 01:34 PM
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Once you are sure the horse is not getting hurt by the bit, via wolf teeth or such, you could try raising the bit where the horse cannot get his tongue over the bit and start re-teaching him how to respond to the bit being sure he is not justified by getting hurt. I have a mare that does not like the snaffle as the direct pull pushes her cheek into her teeth. I have to keep her floated and ride in a shank most of the time. When I do ride in the snaffle and she gets too mouthy, I do not release her from a request until she will do it with her mouth quiet. For example, I am asking her to back and she starts fussing with the bit, I keep her backing until she backs and keeps her mouth closed. The moment she does I release her. I ask her, do this AND keep your mouth quiet. To me there are two reasons a horse will mouth the bit, one they are afraid of getting hurt (justified or not) or two they are arguing. A young horse will do it also, when it is new, but they usually quit once they understand the bit.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-09-2010, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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i know the bit isn't hurting him, and his teeth are good so they aren't bothering him. He is trying to get his tounge over top of the bit instead of under it. he isn't arguing, he does it whenever he has the bit in his mouth pretty much. he has gotten better while standing, but the moment you start moving him around he starts playing with it.
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-09-2010, 06:38 PM
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I had a pony who did this and when he got his tongue over it would cut his mouth up - it was horrible. It was a nervous reaction in his case.

There are a few things you can do.

We tried a rubber 'tongue layer' A bit of rubber that looks like a human tongue that you strap on to your bit so it lays up the tongue. Worked well but he chewed trhoguh the rubber eventually!

You can also buy bits that have an inbuilt, metal tongue layer - most often used on racehorses. they are quite $$$ so we didn't buy one.

Another option (And what we finally settled on) is a bit with a port adjusted fairly high in the mouth. Again - the port blocks the tongue from coming over the bit and also gives them some tongue relief which is often an issue with these horses.

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bit , chewing

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