My miniature stallion who I broke to drive and have been driving for 2-3 years, has a really bad habit of playing with his bit. He has been this way since day one of his training and I have never really tried anyhing to stop it but I am worried that he might be marked down in a show. He likes to stick his tongue out in the corner of his mouth and sort of wiggle the bit around. He doesn't put his tongue over the bit or anything though. Is there anyway to stop him from doing this?
In the AMHA rule book it says that a horse with a gapping mouth will be penelized and it's not like his mouth is gapping open but I don't want a judge to see him do it and think he is resisting the bit or anything.
#2, he might do better with a different bit: roller, copper inlay for good taste & salivation, etc. Make sure that no part of bit is pinching/poking him.
#3, his training must be such that he IS accepting the bit, IS not trying to evade it.
If these 3 are good, yet he still tends to play with it, just use a flash/mouth-shutter for shows, because you reduce the communication with him & are rather riding his head, instead of communicating with him via a flexible jaw, when you strap his jaw to the rest of his head.