Iíve been working with this gorgeous OTTB for the past few months or so and recently weíve been running into a problem. Iíve had him in a french link hunter dee snaffle bit and lately heís been constantly tugging at the bit. I was able to avoid it for some time while trotting and cantering allowing him to pull through until he finally realized that there was nothing resisting against him, (instead of playing tug-0-war) and he would stretch down and I would be able to ask him to move onto the bit.
But now heís constantly doing it. Whether it be walk trot or canter, heís constantly pulling and toying with the bit and its very fussy when I ask him for a downward transition and seems to fling his head when asking for an upwards transition. Today I found when asking him for a halt or a down transition that if I take my leg off, close my thigh and sit deeper in the saddle he slowly comes to a halt, but still yet fussing and flinging with his head. And I'm assuming he's being fussy on the transitions because he wants me to take hold of the reins and ask him to go, lol.
He just recently had his teeth done, and we were hoping that would help a bit but it really didnít really seem to address any issues. (weíre also having the chiropractor come out and take a look at him) Iíve tried switching up the bits to introduce some new things to him, like a waterford hunter dee bit and he still seemed very agitated by it. We also tried a gag (the ones where the reins go through the center of the bit to go over the head) for more leverage. We seemed to get a little bit better of a result with his transitions. He also has a flash on right now because he is very chompy with any bit we put on him.
Just for some more background, I'm not harsh on his mouth by any means. He has a very soft mouth and can be very easily pushed onto the bit, and by God has a beautiful headset. He also raced for probably about 3 years and did very well on the track, so much of his life was dominated by racing.
What I wanted to know from the description I gave you, what do you think the problem may be? Should we continue working with the gag, and itíll just take constant work for him to understand what weíre asking of him? Maybe try a full-cheek snaffle or a loose ring (with guards) so he won't lean? I'm open to all opinions but I don't know all to much about how the different bits will work in some ways, so if you could just explain how they would help that would be GREATLY appreciated!