Running through the bit - Head up WAY high - Help!

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Running through the bit - Head up WAY high - Help!

This is a discussion on Running through the bit - Head up WAY high - Help! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    11-29-2007, 10:59 PM
Running through the bit - Head up WAY high - Help!

Okay, I need to ask some more questions about Blu. Like I've said before, he really runs through his bit, Twisted Wire Snaffle Wonder Gag to be exact.

Sorry I couldn't find any pics but Blu often does this when I cue him into a lope. He gets over-excited and rushes everything. Including when approaching a jump. I don't want to hurt any horse or any person.

He holds his head up really high and doesn't pay attention to where he is going. I lean and pull the reins down to get control of his head and he starts loping sideways. It takes a while to get him under control. Any ideas??????? I need help. Thanks in advance...
Sponsored Links
    11-29-2007, 11:25 PM
Okay, forgive me for being blunt, but first of all, you need to get that torture device out of his mouth ASAP. If you can't have proper and light communication with your horse with a simple snaffle (nothing twisted, etc) then you have some big holes in your horse's foundation, and in the relationship.

The horse is obviously afraid and he's trying to get away. Pulling on BOTH reins WILL NOT help, in fact, it makes the situation worse. A horse who is obvioiusly fearful, and top that with now feeling claustrophobic and pain from the bit, and you have yourself a major accident waiting to happen, not to mention the horse's confidence in you is going down the drain. You need to use ONE REIN AT A TIME to get control of him, but NOT with the kind of bit you are using.

You need to ask yourself WHY he is exhibiting this behavior. It's not because he's being bad, stubborn, etc. or that he's acting stupid. He's afraid. Plain and simple. And when you get after him it makes things worse. Something you are doing is causing this, and you need to take a step back and analyze yourself. Again, I'm sorry for being blunt. I'm not trying to be rude, but this horse NEEDS you to get more knowledge and change the way you are doing things. He's only acting out of self preservation, and in his mind, if he doesn't try to get away, he will die. It may not seem logical to us, but that's the way a prey animal thinks.
    11-29-2007, 11:34 PM
I tend to agree with the principle behind what spirit horse said although I don't agree with the harshness with which it was said. It seems to me that he really isnt too happy with that bit so he is acting up to let you know something is wrong. Any time I see the word Gag related to a bit I cringe. From what I know, that is a very harsh bit and as mentioned in the previous post, maybe you could consider something like a snaffle???? I know all bits have their place (supposedly) but I don't agree with such harsh bits. If all horses were trained properly we wouldnt even have the need for a bit at all. But seeing as they arent, the least we can do is provide a very subtle bit where possible.

Here is a little test: hop in him in with just a halter on (in a round yard preferably) and have a ride around. If he behaves better then you can assume the bit is the problem. If he keeps acting up though get off quickly so as not to get hurt if he takes advantage of not having a bit in his mouth.

Good luck :)
    11-29-2007, 11:49 PM
I know my post may have souned harsh, but it was in no way to offend anyone. An issue like this, I don't take it lightly. Sometimes we need to face the harsh reality of what is in front of us. I've had to do it, everyone at some point will go through it, but it's something we NEED to realize.
    11-30-2007, 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by Spirithorse
I know my post may have souned harsh, but it was in no way to offend anyone. An issue like this, I don't take it lightly. Sometimes we need to face the harsh reality of what is in front of us. I've had to do it, everyone at some point will go through it, but it's something we NEED to realize.
i totally understand, don't get me wrong :) I just feel a little sorry for peeps sometimes when they don't realise something and they get grilled. I get im a believer in saying it nice the first time and if the person doesnt listen, then get harsh or if the person knows something but is going against it for some reason I get harsh straight away :)
    11-30-2007, 12:35 AM
There is one simple excercise you can do if he's charging jumps: don't jump it. Ask for a full halt a good 3 or 4 yards or so in front of the jump. You don't want to teach him to refuse (don't stop him right in front of the jump), but you do want to tell him that pointing his nose at one doesn't necessarily means he's going over it.

But it really does seem like you need to go back to flatwork. Get him working long and low. Do lots of transition work. Redefine your communication with the horse and the expected response (and response time!) to a cue. When you can do this with simple things, you move on to progressively more difficult and stressful tasks, like jumping.

I would also take him to a milder bit. Harsh bits are a band-aid for bad training; it seems like your boy has reached the point where the short-term fix is turning into a long-term problem if he's blowing through a twisted wire like that.
    11-30-2007, 09:10 PM
.....I really appreciate everyone's replies....

Friendly FYI: I have tried the following bits with Blu:

Plain curb
Tom thumb snaffle
Show curb with copper roller
Dogbone snaffle
Full cheek snaffle
Curb (not aware of full name)
And more!!!

This bit is the best he has responded to. I know he isn't scared. He is often very high-strung. I don't know what to do now. When riding english I might have to switch bits along with the tack. I have had to go over ground work many times before. Blu is not the type of horse that gets scared easily.

When walking and sometimes trotting he has very nice head carriage. He keeps it low and a little tucked. I don't know if I should consider a running martingale for training or not.... anything else?

Thanks again!!!!!!
    11-30-2007, 10:44 PM
.....I give up....
    11-30-2007, 11:30 PM
While I don't disagree with harsh bits in the least way, I don't think it's the right bit for the current situation. I would put him back in something simple and essentially start over. I think you need to concentrate less on your hands and focus more on his respect of your leg. Work on really getting him to move his ribcage away from your leg and taking his inside hind foot and putting it in the MIDDLE of his body (small circles = best friend). Once you feel like you can maneuver his ribcage, start getting him supple in his jaw and poll. Put him back in a smooth loose ring or something, just to start. I understand completely not every horse can go in a smooth snaffle, but we're starting over here. Again, small circles are great. As you do your circles and start asking him to move off you leg, ask him to give to your hand. Do this both directions. He needs to learn that he can't escape your leg OR your hand.

Once you have him starting to get supple and moving off your leg, THAT'S when you can think about something with a little more bite in his mouth. To me it doesn't sound like the horse is afraid at all. It sounds like a case of a horse who is disrespectful and is being corrected the wrong way.

Also, just to be safe, are his teeth up to date? No back problems? Hocks? Stifles?
    12-01-2007, 01:29 PM
I feel I personally want to go back to a snaffle so if I have to start all over....again....I will. And hopefully English riding will help! I still can't wait to get started. I can't do a lot of riding this winter but I will do the very best this spring when 4-H starts and all. I hope I haven't been too much.........

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0