Problems with the bit.
So I have a 8 year old appy that I have huge behavioral issues with and he is very unpredictable. Sometimes he is so sweet and respectful and other times he storms off like a freight train and act like he doesnt even know who I am. One of the biggest issue we have always had is with the bit.
I have been working him in a simple d-ring snaffle and not only does it take like 5 minutes to get it in his mouth but he completely blows off the fact that there is a bit in his mouth, he ignores my ques for direction changes and pulls constantly and tried to get ahead of the bit.
So I recently bought a twisted full cheek snaffle and he will not open his mouth to save his life anymore. I literally tried every trick I know for about 30 minutes and he just got more and more frustrated and hot with me until he just shoved me over and took off.
I literally have no clue what to do about him accepting a bit and I a stuck in a rut regarding his training.
If anyone has any suggestions or advice please please help.
When was the last time his teeth were floated? Has the saddle been checked by a professional?
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Have you had his teeth checked?
So neither of those could be issues.
i would highly suggest finding a trainer to help you with your horse. it sounds like your horse has figured out that if he doesn't open his mouth for the bit, he doesn't have to be ridden. he's figured out that if he doesn't listen while you are riding, he doesn't have to work, and gets put away to relax like he wants to.
switching to a stronger bit - in your instance going from the plain D ring to the twisted mouthpiece, is not going to solve anything.
a trainer that understands this horse's issues is what you two need.
Have you tried him in a bitless bridle of any kind (even just a halter) to see how he reacts?
It really sounds like he just has your number.
OP, I learned to jump on an appy who sounds similar to your horse. She would refuse to open her mouth when I would try to bridle her. My trainer would allow me to try for around 10-15 minutes, then send someone out to help me. Every time the more experienced person could get it right in her mouth and it frustrated me so much, because it seemed like they were using the same trick of sticking my finger on her tongue that I had been trying unsuccessfully for so long! Eventually I could get the bit in her mouth in a short amount of time, but it took me months.
The horse was smart, like Appys tend to be, and knew the difference between me who was new to her tricks and someone who had experience with her who she knew she couldn't pull anything over on. Eventually I became one of those people too, but it took a lot of time and work on my part to prove that I wasn't going to put up with her crap.
If you have ruled out all physical options, then I'd say it is probably the same with your horse. He is smart and knows he can push you around. I would get a trainer of some sort to work with you, so that you can show him that you won't put up with his antics anymore.
Doing a bunch of groundwork exercises to gain that leadership position would be beneficial. It sounds like your horse doesn't fully respect you as the leader. Once your horse views you as number one in the relationship everything else you do with him is simple. But if he doesn't fully respect you yet then you're going to have troubles.
Backing is a great exercise for getting that leadership position. Yielding the hindquarters. Roundpenning with LOTS of changes of direction to the inside. Lunging with LOTS of changes of direction. And when I say changes of direction I mean it should look like a cutting horse......the horse plants it's hind end and swings it's front end through with energy. If he's just lolly gagging around then he's not really respecting what your asking of him. Actually all exercises there should be energy in the horses feet when you ask for it.....so long as he already knows the exercise, if he gets lazy and crowds you ever you need to up the pressure to make him hustle.....establish that leadership position by making him move his feet. Lots and lots of groundwork exercises where you are constantly asking the horse to change directions would help you out. I know it's not specific to you putting a bit in his mouth, but once you gain his trust in you as being his leader it will make everything else easier.
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