A BIT Stuck: What type of bit should I go with?
I really hope I can get some reliable advice from posting here. I have a 6 year old mare who is kind of a "mutt" so to say. My vet says that she has some Morgan in her. She is a small horse, standing at 14-15 hh. She has a lot of energy and has a lot of troubles with just walking, instead of trotting. I purchased this horse from a summer camp that I work at and have had her almost 2 years. When we had her at camp we always rode her in a Tom Thumb bit - just basic. I have been since riding her in just a tom thumb. The problem that I have is that she likes to kind of "blow through" her bit. When we go on trail I always have to keep a very tight rein on her and even then I can't get her to just walk. By the end of the day, I am frustrated and she has to be sore as her neck is bent the entire time and her mouth has sores from her bit. I haven't cantered more than 2 times on my horse since I bought her and have never galloped on her. She flexes really nice on the ground and under the saddle but it seems that she can't walk and when she gets past a walk she isn't interested in what the bit has to offer. I basically have no control over her when we do canter and the one time I asked her to slow down (a slight pull back and quick release) she came to a dead stop and almost tossed me over the front of her. I don't get it - she doesn't listen to the bit and blows through it but then all of a sudden she stops on a dime and decides to listen. I guess at this point I am at a loss as to what to do. Should I switch my bit? The only reason that I hesitate is because she flexes so nicely (which is a new revelation - she hadn't really understood the concept of flexing until recently) and is so responsive when we aren't walking/trotting around. The only other thing I can think of is if her saddle is pinching her. I have tried multiple saddles and all have produced the same results. Some times when I get on bareback she walks around no problem but other times she is dancing around like she has places to be. So basically, I am open to ANY and ALL advice as long as it isn't rude and hurtful! Thank you in advance for anything you are able to offer - I truly appreciate it!!
I hope this will help you.
I ride a 3 year old 15hh Morgan/saddlebred Gelding, who was gelded late. I ride him at this stable where I Am the leader for trail rides, I continue to keep him in training when he's not on the trails anyway, I have the same tom thumb bit as you but I keep a chain over his nose when riding and when I just lead him with his halter always a chain.
I would suggest having a trainer of somekind check your horse before doing this, But it has worked for me and it may or may not be the right thing for your horse.
I don't think this is a bit problem. Sounds like a training issue to me. Do you have access to a trainer that could help you out?
Say, feel free to post some pictures of her saddle with and without the pad while it is sitting on her back. There are some very experienced saddle fitting people on this forum that could help you determine if that could be a factor in your mare's behavior. Have you ever had your vet check for a sore back on her?
A stronger bit will never correct a problem like this. It is a training issue that really should be addressed for your own safety. The reason that a new bit won't fix it is because she will soon become 'hard' to the new bit as well and you will be back in the same boat you're in now. If you are unsure how to correct the problem yourself, I would suggest trying to find an experienced horse person or trainer than can help you learn how to properly handle your mare to keep her under control.
I would try perhaps a snaffle, and then do a lot of work in an arena, so there is limited room to run off. When she "blows through" the bit, just use one rein to circle her around, and don't stop circling until she is being responsive. You may get dizzy! A horse can't run away with you if you are only pulling on one rein. Also, you might try teaching voice commands on a lunge line, so that you can use them while riding. Good luck!
Not a bit issue. This is a training issue that must be corrected before it escalates. She isn't running through the bit, she's running through YOU. You need to gain repsect, under saddle and on the ground. For under saddle, lots of one-rein circles, or turning away from home and going the other directing when she gets frisky or starts to jig. Best of luck.
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