Issues with bitting and other stuff - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 02-08-2019, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Issues with bitting and other stuff

I rode Tess today with a regular O-ring snaffle. We worked in the "round pen" for a while and she did fine. She got shod today so I decided we'd ride down to the dirt road and have a bit of a run. We did, but she started acting sour on the way home. I let her canter (bad idea) and she took off so I turned her off the side of the dirt road and made her run back the other direction. We did this a few times before she quit trying to run for home. Then when we did go home, I walked past the gate, stopped, turned around and walked past again. Repeat. Then I got off and untacked. I took the the bridle off and checked her mouth, only to find sores on her lips, right where the snaffle puts pressure. It almost looked like the cheek got between the bars and the bit.

Anyway, I feel like an idiot. I wasn't hard handed, though she was pulling a lot. I'm really trying to teach her to ride with pretty loose reins so I'd only pull to correct if she went to fast. I'd always use my voice and seat first, though it did pretty much nothing.
I don't know what to do though. She got rubs like this before but I thought it was the martingale I used. Regardless, it hurt her mouth and I feel horrid about it. This definitely doesn't help soften her up.

When her mouth heals up I could put her in a French link to see if that helps. Though that means backing off the speed until she responds to the gentler bit. I hate that she's hard mouthed and I'm really trying to retrain her but you know, I can't let her run off with me. I did get a little hard when she took off and wouldn't stop but I did a one-rein stop when we got to a wider part of the road and turned her in a circle.

I'm real frustrated about all of this mess. I don't want Tess's mouth to be sore at all and would never hurt her on purpose. She responds well to the bit at low speeds but when she goes faster it's like trying to stop a volkswagen with a bungee cord. I know it's all training holes and we're working on it but STILL. It's hard.

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post #2 of 53 Old 02-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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You can get bit guards to put on the cheek pieces. Or you can get winged loose ring cheeks. Or get a different cheek with the same mouth piece.
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post #3 of 53 Old 02-08-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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I should have clarified- the sore is inside her mouth. I pretty much always have bit guards on my loose ring bits.
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post #4 of 53 Old 02-08-2019, 09:25 PM
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the bit mouthpiece may not be wide enough for her mouth. If so, when you pull back on the reins, the O rings push her lips hard against her teeth.


Could you post a photo of the horse with bridle on as you normally use it? without bit rings, so we can see how well it is sized to her mouth.


you might try the same mouthpiece type that she likes, but use an eggbut, or a D ring, and offset your handpressure, so that one rein is having more contact than the other when you ask her to slow. It might help make her less likely to lean hard on the bit.
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post #5 of 53 Old 02-08-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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I will do that tomorrow. She did have a some marks when I used the D ring but the day before I had used an O ring and didn't check, so that could have caused it. Though these sores heal very fast. I'll put some coconut oil on it and hopefully it'll help. I'll get pictures tomorrow.
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post #6 of 53 Old 02-09-2019, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, here are some bit pictures and a terrible video because she wouldn't hold still long enough for a picture. She couldn't see her pasture buddy from inside the stall and didn't want to stand still. And yes those are the bit guards up on the side of the bridle, I didn't want to take the bit off and put it back on. The owies are at least 50% better than yesterday so that's good. <- video






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post #7 of 53 Old 02-10-2019, 01:37 AM
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That last pic, her eye looks FREAKY! I don't think it looks obviously too small, but you could try a bit wider & see whether there's a difference. And it seems you don't have the old '3 wrinkle fit', but the bit could be pulling at the corner of her mouth a little still. Could try loosening it a hole or 2.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 53 Old 02-10-2019, 02:57 PM
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To me that bit is to tight a fit....it barely fits now.
When you pit the guards in place the little extra space taken up now pinches the mouth to to tight a fit.
See for this reason I do not like o-rings for my horses.
I look at it as soon as you add bit guards you did away with the reasoning behind the o-ring in the first place...so why not use a eggbutt, d-ring and have a different bit end that does not create a pinch surface chance...
I understand the reasons behind o-rings but to me it defeats the purpose when bit guards are now in place..

To use a bit measure inside edge of ring to inside edge of ring is putting the mouth edge in harms way.
To use a bit that is measured to inside edge of a ring that is not hole drilled through and flexing piece of steel...it is a poor description but for me to use that o-ring with bit guards would have that horse in a minimum of 1/4" -1/2" larger mouthpiece to protect that soft tissue from rubs and pinches even with bit guards in place.

I'll try to describe it better/clearer as I think it...
So put the bit guards in place...stretch the bit and measure the inside of bit guard to inside edge of bit guard and what do you have.
If a 5" bit you only have 4.75 of space for the mouth.
If you had a 5.25 or 5.5" you would have 5" of space for the mouth.
...
jmo...
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post #9 of 53 Old 02-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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There's no room for bit guards need a bigger bit that one isn't wide enough. Once bit guards are on it will cause pinching at corners of mouth,most people have there bits adjusted to tightly. Bit only needs to be just touching corners of mouth.
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post #10 of 53 Old 02-10-2019, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I truthfully think she's more comfortable with the D ring anyhow, and I'm going to try it on her (probably) tomorrow, so long as it looks like her mouth is ok. It looks almost totally healed. If the D ring hurts her mouth though, I dunno. Maybe it's her teeth or something else wrong.

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