Why would he hold his head up rigidly? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Why would he hold his head up rigidly?

I changed my boy from an FM single jointed snaffle to a flat plate eggbut french link today. The reason for this was due to him having a thick tongue and low palate and on closer inspection, I saw there was very little room in there.

Previously he had been keen to drop his head low (almost nose to the ground) and quick to do the evasions of coughing, sneezing and yawning when work was mentioned.

He is soft in the mouth and I believe I have soft hands.

But now when asked to trot, instead of the occasional snatch he would do, he is now holding his neck quite rigidly up high. Mouth is closed, neck stretched, nose up, ears forward. Is he just expecting discomfort? Getting used to the bit? Or something worse?

Any ideas why? Grateful as ever for any input.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 02:29 AM
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yeah, probably getting used to bit. i didn't comprehend all of your post. What is "FM" single jointed snaffle.
Anyway, a double jointed snaffle like a Frech link puts more tongue pressure as opposed to bar pressure from single jointed. Some horse don't do will with tongue pressure.
YOu could always go back to a single jointed but get a skinnier one. A lot of western single jointed sweet iron snaffles are pretty skinny.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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FM bit with the side bars for a learner horse. Fulmer snaffle ?
Single jointed with nutcracker action (which it turns out would have been hitting his palate) snaffle.

Last edited by offinthedistance; 02-02-2011 at 04:28 AM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 06:33 AM
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I'd suggest that he is working hard to avoid the bit and he doesn't like it.
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 06:39 AM
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Sounds like a pain reaction. Hard to tell if it is actual pain or pain that he is expecting. It might not be his mouth, it might be his back. But it for sure sounds like pain.

I am still not sure what FM stands for. Going to go google now.

ETA: Is this what you mean?

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post #6 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 08:19 AM
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He may just need to re-learn how to accept the bit now that it is not causing him pain. Then again, he may not like the increased tounge pressure. I would try to ride in it for a few days and try to re-teach him to accept the contact. If he still feels uncomfortable after a few days, then I would look into alternative bits. Hope this helps.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-02-2011, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, that picture is what i know as an FM bit. It's like a training bra; first bit.

Rode him again today, just a short session and he is starting to relax I think, although he did hold his nose up just a little. His ears are forward and I get the impression he's just holding on 'just in case'. I believe the nutcracker of the fm bit dug in a lot actually (and yes, i feel awful about it).

Doing lots of slow work to get him balanced again and feeling that he's even lighter in the mouth with this bit in a walk at least.
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