Ok so my boy is a very hot 15 yr old arabian gelding. I took him back to a snaffle and generally ride him in that but I compete and ride a lot in his jr. cow horse short shank with a roller. Now when I first put him in that bit he was great responsive and worked amazingly but now he fights me in it and it takes quite a bit to stop him which resulted in me falling off after he ran me into a fence when I tried to one rein stop him. So today I decided to try my friends wonder gag bit on him and he was an absolute dream low head gave to the bit even got a gorgeous flying lead change from him. I don't want to have to keep switching him I would love to have just one but I'm at a loss as to why he started acting that way nothing was changed on his bridle and I ride him the same everytime.
So my question to you guys is
Do you think a horse can become so used to a bit that he gets bored/learns how to evade it?
I ask this because my friends arab/quarter mare was one that had to constantly have a bit change as she would only work well in one for about 3-6 months before she started acting 'silly'.
these are the current bits he uses
this is the cow horse( this one has a chain)
the wonder gag(this has a nylon chin strap no chain)
horse.com SS Sweet Iron Mouth Wonder Gag Bit 5 in Mouth#
snaffle(not copper mouthed with leather bit hobble)
Reinsman Offset Copper D Ring Snaffle
however someone suggested this to me (dont have one to try on him)
Barrel Racer Tack Store: Reinsman Ring bit combination w/ twistd wire
I do not believe this is a bit problem. I believe this is a rider problem.
See I would agree accept its how he has always been when I first started riding him he was in some sort of ported bit and a tom thumb which were switched back and forth before I started him in the snaffle..
I don't ride him any different then I always do. Nothing has changed for him. I ride him 2-3 times a week once a week in his snaffle as the other 2 times its used for another horse the other 2 days. I have very calm hands and try my best not to hang on his mouth but I do keep some contact. He has been in the Jr. cowhorse since august and I have had no problems until this past couple weeks. After changing his bit up he was worked amazingly. Once again that is the only thing that changed my riding was the same.
A video would be nice. I'd like to see the horse's body language through these fits. Have you checked his teeth recently?
If I had a video of his fits I would post it but I ddn't have my camera last week or today. His teeth are fine as far as I know they look fine to me and he definitely isn't having any issues eating as hes quite a fatty haha.
I have also considered that maybe its the weather, its been a lot warmer lately, or possibly even that the alfalfa we have is making him hotter however today he was calmed down and riding normally so I'm at a loss.
Have you been able to look all the way back to his molars? That's where the issues usually happen.
If it were his teeth wouldn't there be other signs such as having trouble eating or not wanting to take the bit or head tossing and such? because he doesn't have those issues and wouldn't it happen with every bit all the time? This is just lately and only with that bit as I can ride him in his snaffle or the gag with no problems...
Not neccessarily, if he's needed them to be done for a while, he might be used to the feeling. My one vet said this horse she checked was perfectly normal for his weight but once she checked his teeth, he was ulcerated all up his cheeks on both sides.
I would have to ask when he was lat done but if I remember the last time he was checked the vet said he was perfectly fine. Although that would have been awhile ago when we did all the oldies teeth. I'm hesitant on that being the problem though as he has never shown any stress from the bit which at one point he would have if they started bothering him since he is a horse to tell you when something is wrong. I will check him though.
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