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stadiumjumper101 03-10-2009 08:18 PM

mouth cuts - HELP!!
About 2 days ago, I was riding my horse in an open field when he spooked and ran off bucking. I bailed because I was afraid he was going to slam into a fence or a tree. Apparently he got tangled in the reins as he was running off, because they were broken when I found him and his mouth was bleeding. I was riding him in a jointed Segunda bit, which has an upside-down "U" shaped port with sharp points on the edges of the port (pictured below). Today, I went out and looked in his mouth, and I saw that he had two bad cuts: one one the left side of his tongue, and one on the left gum where the bit sits. The cuts weren't bleeding, but the one on his tongue was almost an inch long. He wasn't sore at all, and I rode him today in the same bit (with very light hands!!) without problems. He is also eating normally. Does this mean it has already healed? If so, will he always have a scar? If not, what can I do to make it heal faster? Should I ride him in a hackamore until it does? Thanks.

toosleepy 03-10-2009 09:05 PM

if it were me and he had a cut on his tongue i wouldn't ride in a bit for a few weeks to give it time to heal, try a bosal or hackamore. i'd also find that bit with out the sharp edges on it if possible.

stadiumjumper101 03-10-2009 09:24 PM

that's a good idea, thanks!!

NorthernMama 03-10-2009 10:11 PM

Minor mouth, especially tongue injuries heal VERY quickly if horses are anything like people. I remember when my son cut his tongue and as a young mom I was freaking because I couldn't figure out where the blood was coming from. The doctor in ER said I couldn find it because by the time I washed him up and started looking, it was already closing up. She said you wouldn't even see it the next day if you knew where to look.

However, I wouldn't use that bit -- again... Why the points? Seems dangerous to me.

stadiumjumper101 03-10-2009 10:34 PM

When I bought him, his trainer said that he went crazy if he was ridden in any other bit. I can ride him in the arena with a plain double jointed full cheek, but out in the open, he needs a more severe bit or else he will run off.

CJ82Sky 03-10-2009 10:42 PM

Sounds to me like a training issue, not a horse issue. I'd get away from that bit as it can be VERY dangerous and incredibly painful. Also a few more incidents like the one you already had, then your horse will have scar tissue and will have SERIOUS bitting issues when his tongue is all scarred up.

If you need more control in a field, learn how to use your leg to move his hind end over, haunches in, leg yield, circles, get him to pay attention. If you aren't able to do this with him then I highly suggest that you find a trainer to work with who can work with both your horse and you. Overall that bit can do a lot of damage and there are far more less harsh alternatives to riding a horse safely without a bit of that caliber and danger.

stadiumjumper101 03-10-2009 11:44 PM

Getting him to pay attention is not the issue, we are quite schooled in the lateral movements, and my trainer is a Grand Prix jumper. The problem is that he will suddenly get out of hand, running off like crazy. Before I bought him, his trainer said that he threw a girl into a fence when she was riding him out in the open in a plain snaffle. They also said they tried various hackamores and some very WEIRD looking bits, and found the segunda to be the easiest to ride him in. He was a lesson horse for a few years before I bought him, and he was always ridden in this bit, even by inexperienced riders. I think that this has caused him to have a very hard mouth and be difficult to bit. I'm leaning towards this bit - - because I've heard a lot of lovely things about it. This event has definitely scared me out of using my segunda again, and until I can work up enough money to buy the pessoa, I'm riding him in a dr. bristol full cheek.

CJ82Sky 03-11-2009 12:08 AM

any horse can be retrained to have a more sensitive mouth - a hard mouthed horse is usually just one that learned to ignore the bit all together. I've been retraining a 21 year old Morgan that was ridden ALL his life in double twisted wires and double bridles and was as hard mouthed as they come - in lessons AND by children....

He's now in a happy mouth snaffle outside and in the ring, and learning to respond to seat and aids other than the bit in his mouth.

If your horse is getting out of hand and running off like crazy as you say, I'd more than definitely say that there's an issue with him paying attention to you! If he was completely focused on you, then running off wouldn't be an issue at all.

stadiumjumper101 03-11-2009 12:42 AM

It's weird, we'll be out happily hacking in the field, and then suddenly, a bush will move, or a helicopter will fly overhead, or a squirrel will come down a tree, and he jumps a foot and runs off. It doesn't matter what we're doing too, we could be walking on the buckle or schooling cross country, but he always find something to spook at. He's been like this since the moment I got on him, and I've just recently tried using Parelli methods to calm him down. He spooks in the arenas too, but once he spooks out in the polo field (where we hack at my barn), he's almost unstoppable. He seems to do it less when I lounge him before riding, but I did lounge him before he threw me off.

CJ82Sky 03-11-2009 12:52 AM

While not a fan of parelli per se, i think the games are a great idea. if you can teach him to STAY focused on you (it sounds like you have him focused, he just loses focus), then you should be fine in a softer bit. Also try exercises outside the ring but on the ground where if he takes off, you're not getting thrown and I'd assume that he'd come back after his run to the barn since that is where he's fed (assuming there are no dangerous/nearby roads). If you work on keeping his focus while longing, it will be easier to keep his focus while riding. Try whispering while longing so he has to strain to hear you, and stay focused on YOU not on stuff around him. Good luck!

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