Will your horse respond to your bit? - Page 62

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Will your horse respond to your bit?

This is a discussion on Will your horse respond to your bit? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        03-24-2014, 11:28 PM
    Ellen, that's all any of us can do. Lord knows I've made my share of mistakes and created some problems that didn't need to happen, but that's what helped me learn.
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        04-17-2014, 10:45 AM
    I completely agree with what you're saying. I just have a question though...my mare I currently in an eggbutt snaffle...she is broke but not the best...I'm riding her basically for just around the farm (trail) for right now because she doesn't respect the bit. I understand that half of it is probably my fault. She's stubborn...I'm stubborn,..the more I pull, the more she pulls, the more she goes above the bit, the more I pull, I know it's wrong but it's gotten worse...it's the only way I can almost get her to stop when she's in that kind of stubborn mood.
        04-17-2014, 11:10 AM
    Super Moderator
    It sounds like another of those cases where its not the bit that's at fault its the training behind it
    I teach horses to understand 'whoa' at the lunging stage so when I get on I use that cue along with the gentlest touch on the reins so they learn to connect the one with the other and eventually I drop the verbal cue.
    Once a horse has its head above the bit and you're pulling against the corners of the mouth instead of the bars you might as well give up the fight.
    A leverage bit or gag bit that acts on the poll might help lower or it might make it worse if the horse reacts by moving further away from the pressure - that sort of thing can end in a back flip if you don't give immediate release.
    A straight or low ported bit lowers the head better.
    A running martingale will prevent him getting his head to the point where he's above the bit and the contact is on the wrong part of his mouth
    The more you pull the harder his mouth will get
        04-17-2014, 11:16 AM
    If she won't lunge...which she won't...is it still possible to salvage her mouth by reteaching her "whoa" by just walking her...I understand what your saying and yes..I agree that most is all my fault
        04-17-2014, 12:57 PM
    Super Moderator
    Missing out the lunge stage is not a good idea and really there is no reason why she shouldn't learn how to do it - don't make excuses for her. Its a step in gaining respect and educating them that's very valuable
    Yes you could teach her to whoa, walk on and trot on the lead rein. She can learn to give to pressure and appreciate the release when she does what she's told - you might find it easier to attach the lead rope to a connector that fastens onto both sides of the bit
    A mullen mouth bit might work better if she pulls against you - the snaffle will 'nutcracker' when you pull hard on it and a horse that doesn't know or refuses to give to pressure will try to avoid it by going above the bit to escape the contact - and the more you pull the more uncomfortable it gets the more she tries to get away from it
        06-23-2014, 07:21 PM
    Thank you for writing this.
    I have a few questions, however. I have a young Gypsy Vanner. She is green broke. I have been riding her for months now, and when I first got on her, I have a very non aggressive bit- a rubber dee ring with one joint. She was un responsive to the bit. When I got on her the first time, she bolted. She seemed to be hard mouthed from the start. I have worked with a professional trainer, she is broke to drive singles and doubles, and I don't believe that rein aids and ques are an issue. Someone recommended a dee ring with a very mild twist. I don't think it hurts her- she has no lacerations, and is not anxious when the bit is shown, and accepts the bit nicely. However she still gains control and that is a concern. It takes a lot of pressure to stop her, and to get her to turn. She responds very well to leg and voice aids. Just turning and stopping is a slight issue. I know that "bitting up" is not the answer. But do you have any recommendations? The last thing I want is for her to be hurt, and not get the best she needs. If you have any tips I would appreciate it.
    Thank you
        06-23-2014, 07:34 PM
    Super Moderator
    I can only suggest that she had no clue what you meant when you pulled on that bit - did you train her to any sort of voice command to work alongside the physical cue to whoa?
    How did you ask her to halt when you lunged her?
    smrobs likes this.
        06-23-2014, 07:51 PM
    Yes. She responds very well to voice aids. I accommodated this with the physical lunging. She knows "whoa" and such. Again I have been riding her for months, and even then, we still have issues with turning and stopping, I need almost no pressure on anything besides the turning and stopping. I broke my horse to ride. Another person broke her to drive- before I taught her to ride. Do you think that this may have something to do with the issue? I am just trying to figure it out; because the last thing I want to do is hurt her. I just want the best for her, and I am doing the best I can.
    Thank you for helping me. Any other tips are appreciated.
        06-23-2014, 10:01 PM
    Super Moderator
    Maybe her mouth lost its responsiveness when she was being driven - do you know what bit they used on her
    Have you tried walking alongside her when she's bridled and applying pressure to her bit and saying whoa or long reining her and asking for whoa when you apply pressure?
    smrobs and happybunny070 like this.
        06-23-2014, 11:46 PM
    ^^That's my thinking too, that she has never been taught to be "soft". Many of the driven horses I know are extremely hard mouthed from the constant bit pressure and have a mediocre turn/stop at best.

    If it was me, I would take her back to the very beginning and work with her as if she had never had a bit on in her life. I'd put her in a regular smooth, loose ring snaffle (either a single jointed or french link, whatever she prefers) and work her from the ground with pressure and release for as long as it takes until she's responding the way you want her to respond. Your timing is what will teach her to be soft/hard. Release pressure even a moment too soon or too late and you haven't taught her to be soft.

    Until you have some level of softness (though she'll never be as soft as a horse that was started properly from the beginning), you can never hope to have control.

    Your trainer should be able to help you and if they can't....then you need to seek help from someone who can.
    jaydee and happybunny070 like this.

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