Patchy and learning to accept the bit.. help? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-10-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question Patchy and learning to accept the bit.. help?

Good day everyone!
I have a bit question, and a sort of story.. LOL
Well, When I first got my gelding patchy, the trainer said "I've been working with him to take the bit." I have had him for a year and a half now, and after 2 months of trying, I gave up, he would open his mouth wide, and when you would be trotting on him or walking, he would lower his whole head to the ground with his mouth open trying to like.. I guess drop it out? So ever since then, I have just used a hackamore. Patchy is very head strong, and I want to get a bit on him, to work on correct headset, etc etc.
So I decided I am going to take all the right steps to make this work, I called my vet out, we floated his teeth, he DID have some ulcers because his teeth were quite sharp, I was SHOCKED. I was thinking "wow no wonder he didn't want that thing in his mouth." (people, if your horse is giving you a sign like mine did, don't think they are being stubborn.. something is wrong...) anyway, So we let him get used to his new bite, and let the ulcers heal, so he is all ready to go & learn. So my question is.. What is the best way to go about starting? So far, I put the bridle on him, and he did the same "open my mouth and hopefully it will fall out" thing. My thoughts are i'm just going to put it on him for a while every day and let him get used to the feel..What else should I do? to maybe get him to like the bit if that's possible!
Sorry this is kind of lengthy, but thanks for reading! Share your opinions.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-10-2012, 10:48 PM
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Please understand I'm no expert, but I do have something I think should help ...

Given everything is healed, and he is just doing this ... to do it -

I think he is doing one of two things -
A. He is used to the bit hurting, so he wants to drop it before it does
B. He just doesn't like the bit

Out of curiousity, what type of bit are you using? I would hope a smooth snaffle or french link ... I hate loose rings, but that's just because I'm like that, not because anything special :) I would put him in a french link if at all possible. Just the most comfy. Or a Myler if you can afford it, but I know I can't :p

I would just keep doing what your doing, if what your doing is what I think your doing (make sense?) ...
I would just maybe put him in a small dry lot, if you can, arena, something to that nature, and let him go. Just put the saddle and bridle on, run up the stirrups, take off the reins, and let him go. Just let him do his own thing. Don't particularly make him work unless he tries to roll or something ;) Just do this as much as you can. I would just not ride untill he chills. Then just light work :)

Hope I helped!!

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post #3 of 8 Old 05-10-2012, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJumperx View Post
Please understand I'm no expert, but I do have something I think should help ...

Given everything is healed, and he is just doing this ... to do it -

I think he is doing one of two things -
A. He is used to the bit hurting, so he wants to drop it before it does
B. He just doesn't like the bit

Out of curiousity, what type of bit are you using? I would hope a smooth snaffle or french link ... I hate loose rings, but that's just because I'm like that, not because anything special :) I would put him in a french link if at all possible. Just the most comfy. Or a Myler if you can afford it, but I know I can't :p

I would just keep doing what your doing, if what your doing is what I think your doing (make sense?) ...
I would just maybe put him in a small dry lot, if you can, arena, something to that nature, and let him go. Just put the saddle and bridle on, run up the stirrups, take off the reins, and let him go. Just let him do his own thing. Don't particularly make him work unless he tries to roll or something ;) Just do this as much as you can. I would just not ride untill he chills. Then just light work :)

Hope I helped!!
Hey! Yes, crap I meant to put the type of bit i'm using. it's just your regular old snaffle, they always work great for me.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-10-2012, 11:55 PM
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Maybe try a french link. My gelding hates a regular snaffle. Gapes his mouth and runs through my hands. I put him in a french link and he's amazingly responsive (especially for a greenbroke three-year-old). I do need to get his teeth done before I ride him outside the arena again, though. *sigh*

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post #5 of 8 Old 05-11-2012, 12:09 AM
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I had this same problem with my gelding, not to the same extreme with ulcers and stuff but his teeth were pretty sharp and he was not a happy camper. But after his teeth were floated he swung right back into his career plenty happy. (No ulcers so not much healing needed, once he realized there was no pain he got over it.) If he is cranky with the bit, what I'd do is just if you have a 'crappy' headstall put it on him and let him wear it out in pasture. He'll get used to the bit with eating and drinking, let it on him for a week until he could care less about it. This is what we did with my gelding a few years before his teeth got too bad when he was purely mouthy. He learned to carry it a lot better, and they can only waste so much time fiddling with it before their motive is grass. But make sure it isn't one you care too much about, one of my mares lost my old bridle in the fall and it stayed buried in snow and dirt until spring came around and I stumbled upon it. (Some people use binder twine to tie the bit to their halter, but I think using an actual western bridle is safer because the leather would break if the really got stuck and it would slide off easier.) I just use a regular snaffle bit, too. ;3

Sorry for the novel, but I hope it helped some. Good luck.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-11-2012, 12:09 AM
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Try a happy mouth (rubber) bit.

Also peeps on horse forum, what's your take on biting a horse up (having them wear the bit via attached to halter for a few days) ?

I saw someone do this with a 3 year old who had parrot mouth (pre-surgery) and then after everything was good to go, they had the bit on her (it was a roller dee without any breaks in it) and she ate with it, she ran in pasture with it, etc. for a few days and then she rode in it fine.

Honestly maybe the bit is hitting the hoof of his mouth or your horse has a low palate. Maybe it pinches. Could be too thick or too thin.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-11-2012, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Also peeps on horse forum, what's your take on biting a horse up (having them wear the bit via attached to halter for a few days) ?
I think it is great, I just don't like when it is attached to a halter. It is one thing for a horse to get stuck on something with a halter, but if they have a bit in their mouth it could do a bit of damage to the inside. After a while they just get chill with it and figure they have to eat anyway. Assuming you don't have a crazy-reactive or fearful horse, it is a pretty good way to desensitize them, rather than working with the bit right away.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-11-2012, 12:32 AM
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I don't know about letting the horse go out in a big pasture with lots of places to get snagged on with a bit inhis mouth. But a paddock? I think it might be a great way to train, with a breakaway headstall.

Also, start biting with a fruit rollup wrapped around the bit.
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