refuses the bit - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 11:05 AM
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A twisted mouth snaffle is not a mild bit. I would go to a simple snaffle or a French link and use that. It isn't going to change overnight. Depending on how often you ride him it could take quite a while for him to become more accepting.

I've had similar problems over the years and it's just taken time and patience for a horse to come around. I've done the "bridle on - bridle off" routine or just bridling my horse and walking him around then taking it off. BTW taking it off can be just as stressful.

What I've done as well if I know that he will back up when I go to bridle him is to have his butt against a wall. I'll also bring the bridle up to his mouth and wait. I'll let him go through his antics with me just holding it in place and not fighting him.

It takes a lot of time for a horse to overcome the fear he's built up - and a lot of patience. It's not a quick fix.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Loosewolf View Post
If he don't care what bit to use, how do you figure the happy mouth will help? :)

Only because IF there IS something further going on is his mouth yet undiscovered causing him discomfort, AND because it is a "rubber" covered bit,and it is a straight bit, and no too out of line in price, and the local tack shop has them...

It made sense to me at the time...the "two-piece" common bits everyone has are a slight problem with me, in regards to this Horse.
It becomes a challenge to get him to take what then becomes (for me anyway) an unwieldy folding mess (English cavesson standard type) after the second or third attempt at bridling...
This may help in a few areas, and I am going to Introduce it by Itself first, then the rest of the bridle thereafter

film at 11...(or earlier if all works well) -Lw
Not saying it's a bad idea, just wondering :P
How hard do you strap the cavesson, btw?

There is this very difficult and unheard of trick when it comes to bridles in a mess. ;) Put the bit on a simple neck strap (can be anything really, even a ribbon if that's all you have in hand) when you work with giving him the bit. It would keep the bit in place a few seconds before you take it off but not be a mess with straps everywhere. :)

Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.

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post #13 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Fixed it! Amen

What I wound up doing is, buying a straight Kimblewick, removing the pelham (curb) chain, and its associated extra hardware, buying leather loops that would move the reign position, then taking this contraption to the barn..
I then left this experiment simple...only the loops (for the reigns) and the straight kimblewick, got him over my right shoulder in his stall, the bits center armed with pure molasses, and even though he knew what I was up to, (I swear he knew!) he started to back-up, I followed backwards untill his big-butt stopped at his stall wall, and he partially gave in.
He LICKED the bit!
(part 1 accomplished!)
Then I moved in again, and got him once again (his doing) butt-to-wall, and held it at his lips...He's stalling, stalling..HE THEN TOOK IT!
I kept saying "gently", and helped guide the bit out of his mouth, only slight tooth clunk..did this over and over and over. All thats left in the headstall, but that was never the problem
and there it is, I OUTSMARTED MY HORSE!! (boy that's not pulitzer prize material, eh?) oh well..mission accomplished
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post

It takes a lot of time for a horse to overcome the fear he's built up - and a lot of patience. It's not a quick fix.
Wow, I'm eating my words! Congratulations. A few more times and he'll be taking it like a champ.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
iridehorses is offline  
post #15 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 07:33 PM
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Congrats, I am glad you found something to work for you. Just remember that learned habits are hard to break and he may have several relapses before he is completely over his issues. Keep associating the bit with yummy things or a comforting scratch and soon the problems will stay in the past. :)
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 08:11 PM
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I knew a mare that had that problem. What you need to do is chop up about a half a treat, not even that much, and then keep chopping till its powder (a sharp butterknife works best for this) and then put hot but not boiling water in a tuperware container and mix around the powdered treat with the water using a spoon or something. Place the bit in the water and let it set for about 15 minutes. When you take the bit out of the tuperware it will smell like the treat. Any flavor treat works well for this, also grain bits. Then take a treat and offer it to your horse but hold your hand down low and have the bit in the other then place the bit across your hand and let him sniff it. *Leave the bit unattached to the bridle* and then ask him to open his mouth by rubbing his top lip against his top teeth gently and then if that doesn't work then stick your index finger into the side of his mouth about a centimeter and wiggle your finger around until he opens his mouth. Don't put the bit in yet. Wait a while, repeat the steps, then try putting the bit in his mouth. Let him be the one to decide to hold it there. When he opens his mouth again let it fall to the ground. Continue doing that until he opens his mouth for the bit alone then work on putting the bridle on then attach the bit to the bridle once hes okay with a bitless bridle and plain bit and he should respond well.
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 05:13 PM
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How long has it been since he had his teeth checked? That could be a problem. I would see about getting an equine dentist out to check out his teeth.

15 15hh QH/Arab gelding Spy--my horse
30 16hh Qh gelding BJ--my girls' horse
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post #18 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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As yet I do not have all the Vet/dental/farrier info, but upon Inspection by myself, and more qualified "others", we are unable to find anything out of the ordinary. The "new" good news is, Today, he accepted bit and full bridle, TWICE, went out for our ride, but is still getting overanxious when it's time to release the bit...I am on it. However, I am amazed at his speed of progress...Can't have it all though....patience patience and then more patience...I am still very happy at the progress so far....He IS a tough old man...but then so am I....
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 10:37 PM
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my quarter horse was the same way when i first got him i thought maybe he needed to get used to me and after awhile of waiting and going thru so many bits (lots of money spent on those) i decided to try a hackamore and its been perfect for him. hes done so well with it im excited cause its also a better way for him. so maybe you could try that out.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 PM
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I usually let a horse of this case wear a snaffle snapped to their halter for a week or so. All day long and all night. They usually forget about it and accept it after a few days good luck!

Sherry hannan-novak

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