Bit question - we recently bought a Tenn Walker. He is 9 and was a show horse and not very well treated outside the ring, not "abused" per se but not given a lot of room to run free outside of his show time in the ring - but is healthy and responding really well to lots of TLC. Hanldes like a dream outside of 2 things: 1) he HATES having the bit put in his mouth, to the point where he wont even open up for treats if he thinks a bit is anywhere near him - it takes 10 minutes to get a bit into his mouth so I am hoping there is a (kind) trick to getting a horse to open up for us and 2) he always on GO FAST mode...anything but tension to him means GO FASTER, I don't want to hard rein him back, he hates the bit enough already, but if there is no tension he takes off like a bullet no matter how tired he is. Is this bit related too? Thank you for helping.
I have recently been given a standardbred gelding that I am training in a snaffle bit but likes to get his tongue over the bit I am using just a plain noseband at the moment but what would you recommend to do to stop him getting his tongue over the bit?
Any suggestions would be great
Hi I'm new to this forum. I'm a veterinarian and since I do bit fitting sessions I find this post very interesting...
Midnight Rider: When a horse so clearly dislikes the bit you shouldn't try to get it into his mouth. It sounds like he's stressed out and that he combines the bit with being ridden and from what you describe it doesn't sound like he likes to be ridden. You can train him to react to stop and go from the ground. If you're interested I can explain you how to... When you've got control from the ground you use the same aids from the back but don't put the bit in his mouth before he's relaxed when ridden. He has to experience that being ridden can be a good experience before re-introducing the bit.
jk123: It's important that the noseband isn't tight. You should be able to have to fingers on top of each other on the nose under the noseband. My experience is that horses put their tongue over the bit if the bit is putting too much pressure on the tongue or if the bit is too mobile (typically double jointed snaffles). Make sure you measure the width of the mouth. The majority of horses don't like mobile bits...
I'm new here too -- and I see there are a lot of folks with a lot more training experience than I have, but here is my 2 cents: I have a lot of different bits worth a lot of dollars in my horse's walk-in closet (tack shed). The favorite among the all the ponies has always been the cheap $5 rusty iron regular fat snaffles that I got at the feed store. I use those 90% of the time. But I like to finish my horse for trail riding in a low port curb bit. I haven't made the transition yet on my current horse, but there is no hurry.