Overly sensative to pressure on the bit

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Overly sensative to pressure on the bit

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        04-01-2012, 07:48 PM
    Overly sensative to pressure on the bit

    A horse at the barn was sent away to be started over fences. When she came back it was evident that there were some issues... sure she jumps buts, but you can't touch her mouth without her flipping her head or worse. She wasn't like this before she left.

    Her owner is a bit put off by the head flipping as she is accustom to riding with contact and nearly caused the mare to rear/flip.

    I'm riding her now, and I have to start out on a lose rein and work up to light contact. I can manage a rein with no loop and constant contact, but there's barely any weight on the reins. However, when I start asking for engagement from behind, she will push on the bit which causes her to flip her head repeatedly. Advancing her beyond the very basics is slow going at best.

    I've tried riding her through, holding the reins till she "gives", ignoring the head flipping thing, but nothing works, she just escalates and will smack you in the nose or pop up. The only thing that settles her is giving her back loose contact.

    I am not sure what occurred at training but any kind of restraint on her head/mouth causes her to panic and rear/back/flip head. The owners are understandably hesitant to send her away again for training, but now just feel that she needs to be sold or found a home as their daughter is scared of her and the possibility of her rearing. So I'm left trying to figure out how to make her sellable and happy so that someone who gets her will want her.

    Any idea on lowering her defenses and stopping the head flipping?
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        04-01-2012, 07:51 PM
    The bit. My experience with some trainers is that shove a big bit on 'em and other stuff to make them go good in a short period of time. Specially jumping horses. What do you ride her in now?
        04-01-2012, 07:55 PM
    Well, 1. You should find out if where they sent her has a history off being, um, 'hard' on horses. Hard meaning aggressive. Aggressive as in flat out mean. 2. Have you tried reins without a bit? Western, maybe? The horses at my barn have those and work really well. Great horses. Hope the horse gets better!!!
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        04-01-2012, 07:56 PM
    I'd find the mildest bit possible and go from there.
        04-01-2012, 08:01 PM
    Ok. Some horses just don't like bits. I guess it's the teeny tiny part of them that remembers they used to be wild.
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        04-01-2012, 08:01 PM
    She is currently going in a Happy Mouth (rubber 3 piece snaffle).

    The trainer has an excellent reputation for turning out nice performance horses, can't find a person who has a mean thing to say about the operation.
        04-01-2012, 08:02 PM
    I would do the mildest bit thing, but if her mouth has been permanently ruined....Maybe bitless is a good way to go.
        04-01-2012, 08:06 PM
    Oh, good thing about the trainer. People who overreact on animals are all to common*sigh*. Maybe if you even have to go as far as using a lunge line with your horse in a harness. I've even seen people ride with reins attached to the harness. Good luck!!
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        04-02-2012, 02:51 PM
    *sighs* this is why I never send my horses out.

    I am going to try a straight hack (english hack... not mechanical) if I can find one to borrow. She's in such a mild bit, there should be a way to desensatize her.
        04-02-2012, 03:06 PM
    It sounds like you are doing everything that you can do for her, thinking of everything you can do to help the situation. I think that it is just going to take time and lots of patience. Unfortunately, it takes a lot less time to ruin them and a lot more time to fix them! You are on the right track.

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