Running Through The Bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-11-2008, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Running Through The Bit

My moms 20 year old Thoroughbred mare who LOVES to run. She has begun to be a little snot and has begun running through the bit. She used to be soft enough to ride in an egg-butt snaffle but when she wants to go home, she wants to go home. So, we tried riding her in a tom thumb but she does not like the combination of leverage and a broken mouthpiece and my mom absolutely dislikes tom thumbs she just does not like the way they work. When Dixie is frustrated, confused, or being pulled on too much she will flap her bottom lip and kind of pin her ears. She did that CONSTANTLY with the Tom Thumb but with the EB she stopped doing that but then started running through the bit. We tried riding her in a med/low port curb with about 5" shanks and she did great but then started running through that even, so we tightened the curb strap and she started behaving a wee better but her started flopping her lip again and pinning her ears and doing her back up as soon as pressure was applied, so we loosened it a notch again, and lost control. So we thought maybe since she does better in a solid mouth piece, we will try that on a snaffle. So we got a D-Ring snaffle with a Mullen mouth piece. She ran through that as well.

It is NOT a pain issue. She is ridden in either a custom fitted saddle which was actually made from a mold of her back, or bareback and is the same either way. Would her teeth be the problem? The vet said they could be done, but it is not really effecting her.

What bit should try on her? We've gone back down to total groundwork, ground driving and she does SPECTACULAR until your on her back. She is OK int he arena and it's like getting into a battle with heck anywhere else. It's not a training issue, its a disrespect issue. We have tried join up with her, and Parelli and have not seen a change in her at all so I'm totally stumped.

I want her to be soft without used a twisted wire or corkscrew. I thought of a kimberwicke, what do you guys think?

Please do not be rude or critical, I'm asking if a change of bits will help and if so what bit should we change to, or if there is something we can do with the bits we have to help. We have a trainer that was helping us with her but she thinks we should use a twisted wire or corkscrew and we do not want to.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-11-2008, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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This isn't a bit problem. It's a relationship problem. Since you do some Parelli, it's surprising to me that you haven't gone to that to find your answer. It's in the program, you just have to find it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-11-2008, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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I figured it was respect issue. I've gone to level two ground work with her, and level one riding, and she is not showing any change. I'm going to try a hackmore on her, I'm wondering if it is the fact that I'm using a bit at all. She rides OK in her halter, but tends to run off with that too.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-13-2008, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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I put her in a hackmore with flat leather noseband. SUCCESS. I've never seen Dixie so responsive. She did not pop her lip, shake her head, toss her head, pin her hears, back up or be disrespectful at all. I played all the seven games with her before taking her out, and friendlied her with the hackmore before I put it on her.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-13-2008, 06:07 PM
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that's awesome that you found something to work!

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-24-2008, 11:59 AM
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i always work my horses in a snaffle bit, getting them soft to that. I like Clinton anderson's methods of teaching your horse how to be soft and supple and how to do the one-rein stop. If your horse does not give to you when you pick up the rein, then it is a respect issue. Even if your horse respects you on the ground, in the round pen or wherever else, they still need to learn what you are asking them to do when you want them to get soft or give. Bending their head laterally to the left and right and not releasing the rein until. they give is the most basic and one of the most important things to teach your horse. It can save your life if your horse can do that for you. Once youv'e taught that to them, they still need constant reinforcement and tuning up or they will regress back to their old habits. Every horse will try and see what they can get a way with. I am really not for switching to a new bit, because if your horse is not soft in a snaffle then he is not soft and needs more work. Any horse can run through any bit if they really want to. The only reason one bit works "better" then another is because it just causes more pain or discomfort and is just a bandaid covering the real issue, which is respct and responsiveness or lack of. I really like Clinton's methods because they are really the only ones that I could actually go home, try them on my horse and find that they are easy to understand and really do work. I do like watching all the other clinician's as well because you can't know too much and if one method doesn't work, then try another one. I really believe there isn't one right way. They are all really similar and all bring something to the table.
Good Luck!
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