Mare can't handle the bit in her mouth!
So we adopted this 12 y/o mare from our local rescue (to read her story check out my horse, Gracelyn). When I rode her before we adopted her she was fine with the bit in her mouth, but since we brought her home she hates the bit. She throws her head when trying to put the bridle on and once on, she puts the bit over and under her tounge the whole time. She is so focused on messing with the bit that I cant get her to move the way I want. We have tried many bits, right now we have a very thin twisted one, the thinnest, smallest, lightest, bit I could find, still hates it. I have tried a mouth tie, to keep her mouth closed, hates it too. And I don't think it's her teeth because I looked in her mouth, no sores or anything, we are going to get her teeth rasped, but they aren't bad enought to cause any problems. She was trained with a bit so I don't know why all of a sudden she is doing this. I can ride her with a halter, but I really want to see if we could fix this problem first. Ay ideas????
A thin twisted bit? That is NOT a nice bit. What have you already tried? Have you considered this is a rider problem, not a horse problem? That's what it sounds like to me. Would love to see a video.
Unfortunately I don't have any videos. I have tried, heavy and lightweight bits, snaffles, curbed, and twisted. It's not me, even when others ride her, she does the same thing. When I rode her before we got her it was the first time in a month, she might have just been showing off and now we see the real stuff.
have you tried a happy mouth ? they tend to be not too thick and pretty light. i would also have a professional look at her teeth.
does she have problems when she is being ridden or just before ? or both ?
Our TWH mare is like this.. I think, her woolf teeth need pulled, but I ride her in a halter, and she does fine with that, so I don't need the bit really.. But, I did get her used to it, to where she quit doing that tongue thing with the bit, and she listens to it more.
A Twisted wire snaffle Isn't a "Mean" bit, More like, then next step up from a smooth mouth Snaffle.. I wouldn't go putting a Shanked bit in her mouth, but maybe something with a Straight mouth piece, rather than a broken one.. Our mare Hates a broken mouth piece.
And what are YOU doing when trying to bridle her?
Do you let the bit bang on her teeth when you put the bridle on or take it off?
Have you taught her to drop her head when you ask? (with or without a halter)
How are her ground manners otherwise? Does she ever rub her head on you? Does she ever pull you around on the leadrope? Does she crowd your space?
Throwing her head while bridling can be associated with pain and she's "lashing out" from it, but most certainly it is a training issue.
Smaller isn't always better. You don't want the width of the bit too be too small or that will create pinching issues.
How are YOU asking her with the bit? Are you releasing pressure at the proper time? This could be rider error.
I would like to see pictures of the bits you have tried, since you used "thinnest" and "lightest" in the same sentence which don't work together. Bluntly put, I am doubting your knowledge of bits (although I am certainly not a bit guru myself, but I do have a general understanding).
Are you an equine dentist? I'm not, and I wouldn't know squat just be looking into my own horse's mouth. Plus, you aren't even getting a look at the back molars without having a mouth speculum.
So if she has NOT been seen by the dentist, then you do not know if she has a tooth problem. Get that done first. If she's 12 years old and has NEVER had her teeth done, she could have some very real problems.
Let's try an exercise here. Put her into a plain snaffle. And by that I mean:
Start with her saddled and bridled, and you on the ground.
Stand on her left side and apply direct rein pressure on the left rein, to ask her to "give" to her left. Apply firm, but gradual pressure, and then hold gently until she gives you a correct response. The very, very instant she puts slack into the rein, you must release the rein, immediately. Praise her. Her reward for giving to the bit, was you releasing. If you do not do it at the proper time, she learns nothing and will just pull and fight the bit.
Do this over, and over, and over (From both sides) until she is very consistent with giving to a very small amount of pressure.
Then apply slightly more pressure to ask her nose to move twice as far until she gets her release. Never pull harder on the rein. Just hold steady until she gets it. Immediately release when she gets it right. Again, repeat over and over on both sides until she gets really good at it.
This should be your method for cueing her to do anything. Hold pressure steady until you get a correct response. Then release immeidately and praise.
Sometimes a bit issue can arise if the rider is not doing pressure release properly, so that is why I bring it up.
Get her teeth checked, make sure the bridle fits correctly around the ears as well as the bit being the right height in her mouth.
99% of the time when all is well with the teeth, it is the hands holding the reins that are the problem!
First off there is no need to be rude. The mouth tie is'nt mean she can still open her mouth half way, just wanted to try it because I see a lot of people try it and her previous trainers told me to try it. And of course I don't let it hit her teeth! I have tought her to put her head down but now she just won't do it. Her ground manners are good. I used the same bit I rode her in when we got her, still doesn't like it. Its the same one you have in the pic and that one she hates the most. No I'm not an equine dentist or a "bit" expert, but I'm not ignorant, I do know some things about this stuff. She has had her teeth done before but I just think its time to do it again. I know all about cues, and pressure and all that. So not to sound rude but, it's not me, I have had trainers watch me ride her and they said it wasn't me. So thanks but I don't think that's it. Also whether im rideing her or not she hates the bit. As for the "happy mouth", what is that?
Is it possible she hurts elsewhere? Abscess,sore back, etc.... And she knows the bit meens riding which means pain. So she doesn't want the bit cause she don't wanna ride. Just a thought. My wife's first mare did that, had an abscess.
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If you have a stall or small pen, remove the reins then put the bridle on her with a snaffle. Turn her loose and give her hay and let her deal with the bit. If she hadn't been ridden in a long while except for your ride you could have made her mouth sore. I'm not suggesting you did anything to hurt it, many horses are hypersensitive to a bit after a long while. Keep and eye on her leave the bit on for about an hour. Do this daily for about a week.
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