Horse owners and riders beware. It has recently come to my attention that there is an epidemic among our horses that should be addressed before it can get any worse. I have several horses suffering from symptoms but was unaware that this particular illness had a name until another poster here clued me in. Thank you Hoofprints In The Sand for making me aware that I was not alone in battling this horrible and debilitating illness.
That’s right folks, I’m talking about “Bit Madness”.
Some of you may have horses suffering from this contagion and not even be aware of it.
-Ready willingness to work and compete when wearing a bit and bridle.
-A calm and mellow attitude when shown a bit.
-A lowered head and floppy ears during the bridling process.
-Putting the bit in their own mouth during the bridling process (experts believe it is because the innate psychosis associated with this disease has caused them to mistake the bit for a treat).
-A relaxed and responsive reaction during times of riding.
-Falling asleep during times of inactivity while wearing a bit and bridle.
-Being soft and light in the reins.
Bit madness is a neurological disorder cause by a contagion that is, of yet, unidentified. It appears to be highly contagious because it tends to affect the majority of horses who live in close proximity and have the same owner or the same trainer. I fear that this disease is quickly getting out of hand. There are more and more horses every day who suffer from this illness. You can see many of them in the disciplines of reining, trail riding, pleasure, dressage, and many more. Unfortunately, the only treatment for right now is repeated therapy sessions of bitless riding. Results with this treatment have been sporadic thus far as many horses don’t appear to have the wherewithal to realize that they should be terrified of the pain that the bit must be causing them. The top equine researchers are working hard to try to find a cure but it appears, for the time being, we will just have to deal with the symptoms.
I am posting this here to let others know that they are not alone and that there may be hope looming on the horizon.