Softer mouth?

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Softer mouth?

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  • Best bit for a soft mouth horse
  • Soft mouth horse

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  • 2 Post By tinyliny

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    03-25-2012, 05:56 PM
Softer mouth?

Not sure if this is the best place for this or not, but anyway..
I ride my mare in a french link, or a snaffle, depending on which bridle I'm using.
She has a very soft mouth and responds VERY well to leg.
I was just wondering, how do you make a horse's mouth softer?
Drop them down to a snaffle? Or ride them bitless?

I'm not trying to make my horse's mouth softer because she's perfect the way she is, hahah. An we are NOT going to a harsher bit not ever.
I was just curious.
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    03-25-2012, 05:59 PM
I don't really know but im guessing a snaffle. Don't take my advice and wait for others to respond but id think that.
    03-25-2012, 06:03 PM
That would make sense though
    03-25-2012, 08:55 PM
Green Broke
During the winter I ride my mare in her rope halter since we don't do a lot of serious work. It's a good time to really work on seat and leg aides! Then in the summer I put her back into the her bridle, a dog bone snaffle with 5inch shank. She seems to come back much a little "sharper" and is more responsive, especially for a horse that was reined in a 8 inch medium port most of her life.
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    03-25-2012, 09:29 PM
A lot of times I just throw her halter on and go out on the trail. I see her every day, so I try to do something different ll the time
    03-25-2012, 09:57 PM
Green Broke
To have a horse with a soft mouth, you need:

-soft hands
-good seat and leg cues, that your horse responds to

You do NOT necessarily need a soft bit and here's why. If you are cueing the horse mostly with your body (which you should with a well-trained horse), then you should rarely be using the bit at all in the first place. But if you do need a subtle cue with the reins, you're going to use those soft hands that barely move, to quietly cue your horse with an advanced bit (not necessarily harsh bit .... but advanced for lighter cueing with the same effect).

Hence why a finished reining horse is ridden in an advanced curb (shank) bit and their mouth is almost never touched. Versus a reining horse that is in training that is being cued a lot with the reins with a snaffle bit. Just as one example, anyway.
    03-25-2012, 10:01 PM
In super general terms, yes. But, it would make no difference if the riders hands weren't "the right hands" and looking for soft.
    03-25-2012, 10:01 PM
I guess I gave my horse a soft mouth on accident then..
When I started with her 3 years ago, I didn't know how to give leg aides, and it was so hard to turn her, she'd fight and pull me the whole time, but I never let my hands get heavy because i'v seen horses go downhill because of heavy hands.
Now I can touch my pinkie to my rein and she turns
    03-25-2012, 11:08 PM
Super Moderator
You make a horse's mouth softer by having better feel and timing in your hands, and by supporting your rein cues with your body cues (and vice versa).

So, when you ask for something with the rein, the more perceptive you are to the horse answering your request and the quicker you reward that effort by taking the pressure off, the more responsive your horse becomes. THAT is a soft mouthed horse; responsive.

You don't MAKE your horse do things by the rein, you make your horse think about doing what you want him to do, and then he does it. You signal things to the horse, then the horse obeys (in theory) . You don't haul him all over the place. He moves himself , according to your direction. So, your direction only has to be strong enough to get through to the mind of the horse.

The other thing is to be sure to not "hang on the face" or "ride the brakes" of the horse. Be sure that there's an "off" position of the rein contact, so that "on" means something.
~*~anebel~*~ and christopher like this.

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