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rosie9r 02-07-2009 07:53 PM

REALLY chomping at the bit. Weird?
Does anyone else's horse really go at the bit? Riding my OTTB in the round pen today, he really plays with the bit. So much so that foam is all over his face and all over the ground. He wears a Dring snaffle. I have heard that playing with the bit encourages a good soft mouth, but I wasnt sure whether that was bologna or not.

I have only had him for about a month so I am not sure what is normal or what is weird for him yet.

appylover31803 02-07-2009 07:56 PM

I would say that's normal :-)

Spirithorse 02-07-2009 08:11 PM

There are several reasons a horse will chomp on the bit. 1) the rider's hands are hard with too much contact, 2) the bit is harsh, or 3) the bit isn't right for the horse.

Are you familiar with Myler bits? I learned through studying the Myler bits that if a horse chomps the bit that usually means the horse needs more tongue/bar relief. Some horses HATE single jointed snaffles, and rightfully so. Single joints collapse on the tongue and bars and pokes the horse in the roof of the mouth. Unless you have velvet hands you really shouldn't ride with contact with a single jointed bit. And it also prevents the horse from swallowing. So I would look into a Myler bit with tongue/bar relief.

rosie9r 02-07-2009 08:20 PM

That's a good idea Spirit. I do have another bit I was going to try with him, I think its called a french link? Its a snaffle with a flat piece between the joints.

I have him in the dring right now since that is what he has ridden in since coming off the track. I know I have really soft hands, I barely have to move to get a response out of him. Unless I need him to stop, we are working on his whoa, he has lately been backing instead of stopping when cued, even with super soft hands.

appylover31803 02-07-2009 10:00 PM

I still don't think its either a,b or c.
I was always told that a horse that has foam is a good thing. Even when I saw the Lipizzaner horses, the announcer specifically said that the foam was a good thing.

both my mare and gelding will play/chomp on my bit. Its a myler bit. I know it is fitted correctly, and you yourself suggested myler so I dont think its the bit. And there was no contact.

This website seems to think that foam is a great thing to have....
Horse Foam at the Mouth

Lakota 02-07-2009 10:07 PM

My horse chomps on the bit. I don't need a bell necklace on him he makes so much noise. His teeth were done in Dec. and I am on the third bit since getting him in Oct. Currently using a french link curb. He has chomped on the link so much it is getting rough. He turns easily with just a light touch.

rosie9r 02-07-2009 10:24 PM

Thanks for the article appylover. :) I will share that one with some of my riding buddies tomorrow.

appylover31803 02-07-2009 11:14 PM

no problem :)

Spirithorse 02-07-2009 11:26 PM

A lot of times foaming is a sign of stress and anxiety. And chomping on the bit is never a good thing, it's a displaced behavior. My horses never chomp on the bit when working in the bridle, their mouths are completely quiet with no foam.

mayfieldk 02-08-2009 01:15 AM

There's a difference between a quite, almost lazy 'chomp', where the horse does it every once and a while, compared to a horse's mouth that never 'quiets down'.

And on that note, some foam is good. A lot of foam (like dripping) is not. Usually, the horse will foam excessively because they cannot swallow. Take a look at the truly excessive foam on some dressage horses... and then look at how their rider never lets go of their mouth.

Like everything, good in moderation. :)

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