First Time With The Bit!
Today while I was grooming my gelding, he started playing with his lead rope. He took it in his mouth & started to chew on it. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I asked him to put the lead rope in his mouth again. When he did, I put pressure on his mouth, cuing him to back up. He did this with such ease. So, I went to my tack shed and grabbed the bridle that I use on my older gelding. I put the bridle on him, letting the bit dangle under his chin. After I did this, I just loosened the bridle enough for the bit to go in his mouth. I didn't shove the bit in his mouth or anything like that. He completely took it himself! I quickly tightened the bridle again, and let him get used to the bit before I clipped on the lead rope and started leading him around the pen. I am SO excited that I just don't know what to do with myself. I'm so happy/excited/proud of my boy. :)
Got to love the easy going fellows!
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By all means put the bridle on him for the next few days but use your halter and lead over top. His mouth will get sensitive carrying the bit and it needs a little time to toughen. Not the same as a hard mouth.
He looks really good in it! Like he's worn it for years =] I would recommend for now leaving the bit very loose in his mouth, like halfway down where it should be so that he learns to hold it with is tongue and not just let it sit in his mouth where he just ignores it. This will teach the horse ahead of time not to learn to put their tongue over it, and also gets them ready for lateral flexion so when you pick up on one rein, they'll already be holding it and following the pressure instead of just letting the bit slide through their mouth.
Thank you for the helpful advice, everyone! This is my first time to teach a horse to accept the bit, so I'm glad that I have such a willing student. lol
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