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Stressing/Anxious About Bit

This is a discussion on Stressing/Anxious About Bit within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        05-26-2010, 06:34 AM
    Personally, I would think trying the bitless might help. I found that when I tried it, you had much more control than you think. I am totally against roundpenning in this case, unless you keep a line on him, since you have said the bit makes him want to go faster and stress.....I had one like that just go faster and faster in the roundpen. The most helpless feeling in the whole world-and he jumped out! Legs got tangled in the gate-it was ugly. Thankfully he was ok, and as soon as he was free he just dropped his head and grazed......but scary!
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        05-26-2010, 07:29 AM
    We have a horse at the TB Rerun I work at that does the same thing. We figured it was because he was getting excited/anxious to ride because he figured bridle+person=racing.

    Before you put a bridle on, work him in the roundpen at just the walk and trot. He needs to know that it's easier to go slow and that's what you want, is for him to go slow. It might take awhile but once he learns your commands then move up to the bridle. I would use a regular snaffle, training ones will encourage him to play with the bit more. And some horses will never outgrow the habit, it's not the worst. When you first put it on leave it on for 5-10 mins and take it out and reward him by saying "good boy". Then do it again the next day.

    Just take it slow :)
        05-26-2010, 12:03 PM
    I agree with just keep calmly introducing the bit. I am working with a Mustang right now that gets anxious with the bit and I just put it on him and tie him up and then start grooming him and tacking him up. Then I take him out and lunge him and untack him before it comes back out. I never attach anything to the bit but he is just learning to carry it in his mouth quietly. I also suggest a 3 piece large bit. Like a loose-ring with a lozenge instead of a link or a full cheek with a lozenge. In my experience taking horses off the track they associate a plain snaffle, specially a loose or dee ring with excitement. But the mild three piece bits they don't get excited about as much in general. I also think that bitless bridles are allowed in FEI dressage up until Prix St Georges or 4th level. I know you can show in them in the lower levels for sure just not sure where the cut-off is. Maybe the same place you have to start using a double bridle? I would look it up or contact the FEI. If you think he's readyto ride and want to start him bitless that's up to you and once he realizes that riding doesn't = go! Then maybe he will learn that bit doesn't = go! Either. Good luck!

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