Bitting a horse adding flavor to bit
So I have been thinking of starting to bit Cobalt but my issue is how sweet this boy is and the idea of what it's going to be like to bit him. I have gone thru this process twice in the past with babies so that isn't the issue. What I want to know is more of, what can I do to make this experience less unpleasant?
With my last guy I fed him after the bit was on to teach him things were ok. I have been playing with the idea of addind some flavoring on the bit? something he might like??
Never done it, never heard anyone do it. Would love some opinions. Thanks everyone.
Awe, little man is growing up!!
There are bit wipes you can buy in Apple and Peppermint flavors and that can add some nice pleasant flavor to the bit. You can also get what's called bit wraps, which is basically a sheet of sticky candy that you wrap around the bit and it dissolves as the horse works it through their mouth.
Have you decided what type of bit you're starting with? Happy Mouth bits are nice and soft (okay, it's hard plastic, but soft compared to metal) plastic, and are apple flavored (I think? I've never tested that theory... but bitting Denny is much more pleasant with the HM than a metal bit).
Don't make it a huge deal. Wipe some flavor onto it if you want, then I would either use a simple headstall (nothing fancy) and just stick it in. He'll probably react by trying to spit it out - just ignore that. Leave it in for 5-10 mins, even chuck him in a box stall to think things through. Or take him into the arena (lead him by his halter, not the bit) and just lead him around for a bit. (Ha)
Praise him for being a good boy and just leave it at that, take the bridle/bit off/out and call it a day.
Next time you can try lunging him with the bit just in his mouth, again using the halter... the objective is to make the bit be nothing, something that he can work in. Then you can progress to asking him to yield a little to the pressure of the bit, and just work from there.
I hope that answered your questions, maybe???
You did answer my question. I was going to go along with a loosering snaffle but it has been brought up by skyhuntress once before to get a happy mouth as well. Guess I'll me making a stop on the way home:D
As for lunging, I find it's to much of a risk on their joints especially at that age. Won't be doing that until he is at least 3. Having said that tho, come spring time when he turns 2 I'm going to start ground driving him to teach him to turn and "whoa", tho I could even start once he has the bridle idea down.
Thank you for your reply, getting the bit :D
When i worked with the bit with thunder, i just stuck it in lol. he did raise his head at first and wouldnt accept it at first, but then we worked in it and he forgot it was there. everytime i put it in, he would fight it. turns out he needed his teeth done. i waited a month after that (for my own reasons) and it he just keeps his head down and takes it just fine now. surprisingly he acts like he already knows whta to do with the bit lol (yeilding, ect). we are just using a simple d ring snaffle. if thunder didn't take it so well the last time i tried, i was prepared to try honey or some other flavor as mentioned above. good luck and im sure he wont even give you trouble!
You prolly already were planning on doing this, but keep it nice and warm before you put it in his mouth. Nothing is worse than really cold metal in a warm mouth
See??? I forgot how young he is again!! About the lunging - I realize I wasn't clear at all about that... I meant just having him work at a walk around you for a few minutes, sorry.. didn't mean to imply anything more than that. Just to get him comfortable working away from you while carrying the bit. Sorry again, my mistake!!!
Are you going with a straight bar, single or double joint? What bit did you end up getting? (& what size is he??)
I would usually place the bit in and if the horse reacted badly, I would give treats with the bit in (at first, they tend to spit out more than they swallow). I like a regular loose ring snaffle or the Billy Allen snaffle. They prevent the nutcracker action. If you have a small paddock, you might turn him out in the bit and let him graze with it in just to get used to it. You can use the flavors or any number of other ideas. Just remember to always make bitting a pleasant experience and soon, he will bridle himself for you. LOL
Honey Hunny :D. I like to put a dab of honey on the bit, it's messy so have some baby wipes close by for your hands, but I've never had a horse spit out a bit with honey on it. He may mouth it a bit to make sure the honey is all gone, but after that, it never seemed like a big deal to the horses.
ETA- I prefer the honey because a horse will usually lose more of the cookie or bite of grain with the new bit in it's mouth than it eats, so then their head goes straight to the ground looking for what they dropped. I find the honey keeps their head up where you can fuss with the bit easier.
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