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manhirwen 03-23-2009 03:50 PM

Putting a bit in, help
Since I got Wiski a month and a half ago I haven't been able to get a bit in his mouth more than once without help. He clamps his teeth, moves his head up and down or away from me and whatnot. With help I've been able to get a bit in his mouth two other times. He REALLY hates it. I'm waiting for a new bit with copper on it to come in the mail. It's a D ring snaffle so maybe that will help a little. I'm also working on homing in my riding skills but when I can't ride him how can I do that, right?

So I was wondering how I go about riding him either without a bit or is there a way to get him to accept a bit? I hate having to struggle for an hour every time I want to ride him just to get a bit in his mouth and be too pissed off in the end to actually ride. So I have a few options I'm thinking about.

First option is to forget about the bit and just ride him in a rope halter with reins attached to the loops.. only problem with that is the rope halters all seem to be somewhat loose on his muzzle so it might move around a lot.

Second option is to try to figure out how to train him to accept a bit, hopefully the new bit will be more to his liking than the one (curb bit?) that came with the head stall. I'm also waiting on a new headstall to come in the mail.

Third option is to forget a "bit" and go with a hackamore... not much he could do to argue having that put on right?

So I was wondering if anyone knew a good way to train him to accept the bit? I've tried to put the thumb in the side of his mouth but he moves his head away every time and it's so awkward maybe I'm doing it wrong. Any suggestions are welcome at this point.

Side note :Remember to be nice and courteous with your replies as sometimes when people rude about giving advice it prompts people to not ask for it as often from those people.. (not that I've had any problem yet)

Thanks in advance for the help

mls 03-23-2009 04:01 PM

First - when were his teeth last checked by a vet?

What type of bit are you using?

How does he act with the bit in?

How does he do when you are unbridling?

manhirwen 03-23-2009 04:04 PM

Teeth were just done a few weeks ago

The bit is what came with the bridle (only bridle available in town) buying a new bit and headstall, just waiting for the mail to come with it.

Last time I rode him with it he seemed fine but he grabs the reins a lot.

He likes to try to toss the Bridle off his head every time, we've been working on that.. I've been trying to make him wait till he stands still for it or lowers his head without trying to toss it.

xx chico 03-23-2009 04:04 PM

One of the schoolies at my old lesson barn stoped taking the bit once, ended up he needed his teeth floated. But it's probably not that, most horses I think will accept the bit even if they need there teeth floated, it's just when you begin riding them that they get angry since there sore and all.

A trick I used on one of my horses was putting molases(sp?) on his bit, he liked it alot after that lol. Another thing I did (in the winter or whenever the bit was really cold), was warm the bit up before I put his bridle on.

I'm sure theres some other options too though, incase these don't work for you.

manhirwen 03-23-2009 04:08 PM

Hmm I wonder if there's a peppermint flavored spray or something I could put on it LOL

xx chico 03-23-2009 04:11 PM

I know theres a green apple flavoured wrap thing (best description ever eh? lol) you might be able to get. One of the local horse stores near me sells them.

manhirwen 03-23-2009 04:17 PM

Lickity Bits, I found it online. I might just have to buy some of this :)!!-LICKITY...FRwDagodknz55g

But would it make him Expect it every time?

JustDressageIt 03-23-2009 04:30 PM

When I have a hard-to-bit horse. I put the bridle in the right hand, hold their nose with the right hand, and brace his cheek/jaw against my shoulder. With the head in this position, it's hard for them to get going and knock you aside. With the left hand, I take the bit and hold it against his teeth, I may have to tickle his tongue or gums a bit, but eventually he will open his mouth. With my left hand, I slide the bit in, and then pull the headstall up with my right.
Make sure you always put the bit in gently and take it out nicely; a bit banging against the horse's teeth once can cause them to be afraid of it happening again.

G and K's Mom 03-23-2009 04:39 PM

I posted in another thread about putting some molasses or rubbing an apple of the bit. No I don't think he will expect it all the time once he realizes your not going to hurt him.

What I would definitely try is working on him lowering his head. Part of basic training is that when you put pressure on the poll the horse should lower his head. He may of had some rough handling in the past.

With mine, I jiggle their lead rope and say "head" and they drop.

A horse that is tossing his everywhere and generally being a butt head is not only a pain with the bit, but what happens when you need to medicate him? Think broader that just a bit problem, it's a hole in his training.

manhirwen 03-23-2009 05:25 PM

Lot's of good advice. I'm still a bit curious if anyone rides in a rope halter though.

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