horse hates bit, no control in S\S Hackamore
I'm looking for some ideas and advice. I'm still having some trouble with my old (20 yrs) gelding. His teeth were floated a few weeks ago and the dentist pulled some wolf teeth, I gave him some time off to recover. Having a few weeks off is nothing strange to him, so mot expecting any problems. So Yesterday I decided today is D-Day for both of us, we're going on a trail ride like we always do. His teeth having been done recently I expected no problems so I put his bit in and saddled up. To make a long story short we didn't even leave the paddock, he S\S Mechanical Hackamore, we've taken a few relatively successfull rides in the paddock with it, so we should be ok. I had NO Control over him in the hack, He decided to go where he wanted to go and bugger me. :-(
I am worried since he is missing some teeth about possible abcess\ something in his mouth especially since his breath smells Really Bad!! He does have some mild problems with his elbows and seems to drop his right hip a bit more at the trot (I lunged him when we came back home after I jumped off the moment I got a chance with the hackamore ride). On Monday I have thought of long lining him in his bit to see if he fights the bit from the ground - looking to eliminate sore back\ elbows- and if he does I will have the vet out to check his mouth. If he doesn't find anything wrong and he declares him sound enough to ride I'm thinking of rebitting him like a young horse, to see if remembered pain is his problem. Is there anything else I could\ should ask the vet to check if he comes out and can anybody recommend me some form of BB I can use on him till I sort out his mouth?
Is this the same horse you were having respect issues with before?
If so, I would make sure he's not in any pain (getting the vet out), and then start him like I'd start a colt, teaching him to give to pressure, 1 rein stop, bending, flexing, and seat and leg work. And I would use a "soft" bit, such as a basic D-ring snaffle. You never know what important steps he may have missed in his training. And it sounds like he likes to ignore his cues, so starting over by getting him to bend is vital.
Thanks for the quick reply, no this is not the horse I was having respect issues with. I currently own 13 horses, so forgive me if it gets a bit confusing. The horse in question is a 20 year old old style farm horse. If you look at photos of the SA wild horses, you see old Hans. He has never been the best behaved horse, but we've always gotten along, he's always in the past listened to me, sometimes even better than to our farm workers who sometimes get the "privilage" of going to gather cattle with him, something he loves, but I'm not much one for speed. He probably does have some holes in his training, but not as much as the horse I was having respect issues with, who is also a much younger horse. Hans (20 yr old) has done something of everything in his life: Barrel racing, mounted games, endurance. He was sold to me about seven years ago because his young owner wanted to go into endurance seriously and he can only do short distances. I only use him for trail rides, something he isn't particularly fond of, he hates going out alone, but he's always in the past sucked it up. He's always had a bit of a head nod, especially at the canter, but what he did yesterday, he has never done to me before. The level of the head throwing and willfull disobediance when we switched to the Hack is unheared of.
I would assume, from this information, that it is a pain issue then. If he has been a good steady horse for the most part and is now starting to act up, especially after just having some teeth pulled, I would most definitely give him the benefit of the doubt and have a vet come look at him.
We've taken short rides in his stable paddock in the hack, but never out of the paddock before. I'm also suspecting, almost hoping it is a physical issue and that he hasn't decided to go all bratty on me. I was thinking of long lining him in his bit to see if the pain is mouth/ head / teeth related as I'm a big girl and just want to make sure the pain isn't in his back\ hips\ elbows. If his breath is anything to go by, I think I know where the problem lies. It's just furstrating because he's been having teeth issues since about december. the equine dentist have been out three times since then and his teeth were done every time. Every time I give him a few weeks off to try and make sure he shouldn't have any residual pain from the floating\ pulling before trying to take him out again only to encounter the next obstacle.
have you considered a rope noseband sidepull?
rob, I'm busy looking into alternatives, so any suggestions is welcome. I wil definately be looking into sidepulls, get out of his mouth.
good idea,at least until you can rule out teeth problems.
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