Grinding the Bit? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Grinding the Bit?

I recently bought my walker a D-ring snaffle with the intent of fine-tuning him in place of a typical walker bit. He was okay in it, but he ground it a lot, so, thinking it was too big, I switched him back to the walker bit. Today I bought a full-cheek snaffle which looks the correct size, but he still grinds it. It's resting at the corners of his, I don't even know what teeth he's managing to grind it on. Could he just not like the broken mouth-piece or something?
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 09:27 PM
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When a horse grinds their teeth, it is more than likely the cause of tension, stress and frustration. Grinding teeth can be signs of holes in your horse and your training.

On that note, Grinding can also be signs of pain, ulcurs, muscle issues.

When I started riding Nelson, he was a tooth grinder - he ground so loudly, my coach would even beable to hear it during our lessons. I would ask her why, and she just passed it off as he is frustrated.

So I ignored it until I got help from a friend who is very involved in the Dressage World - she told me right from the start that it is a sign that things are going badly in his training. So why would that be ok at all? Lots and lots of relaxation back at square one and work him back up again.

Grinding is his way of stressing out when he can't do it any other way if he is trapped between the bit and the spur/whip. He has no other way out.

Relaxation is a huge step to accomplish and all training is worthless if it is built on top of tension.

Some horses are higher strung than others and will get tight and tense very fast vs some that can go around and never get upset. If that is the horse you pick to be your partner, you have to give him as long as he needs to stop grinding at walk, trot and canter before you move on. Back to square one.

Here is a great article to read about the Training Scale - even though you aren't using a flash, Jim Woffords words are very educational.

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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He didn't much grind it when I rode, just on the ground, and he had no problem with the low-port walker bit. He's also very laid back.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 09:33 PM
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Well maybe stick with the walker bit? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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I don't want to ride him two-handed with it is all.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-03-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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I'd stay with the snaffle. PLEASE, if you can get away with a snaffle, please use it. It's probably just boredom. You can also use a straight bar snaffle if he dosen't like the jointed feel.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-04-2009, 11:36 AM
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Is he grinding his teeth or gnawing on the bit? there is a big difference! Teeth grinding as MIE said, is a sign of anger, frustration, etc etc. It's kind of a wierd squeakish grating sounding noise. Hard to describe! I know a horse who grinds his teeth at every little thing, even just standing in the cross ties!

gnawing and chomping on the bit is entirely different. sometimes they do that when they're angry/frustrated. they will also do it if the bit is too low in their mouth. make sure that it is properly fitted. and there are some horses i know who just happily chomp and chomp on the bit regardless of what you put in their mouth.

i generally think with bits, if the horse likes it, why change?
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-04-2009, 06:21 PM
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Great post upnover!

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-04-2009, 09:12 PM
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He might not like the mouthpiece. If it's a single jointed bit, that could be the reason why. Single jointed bits pinch the mouth and can be very uncomfortable. Try a snaffle with a roller or a link in the middle so it eliminates the nut-cracker effect.

He also might not like the tongue contact a snaffle has. Some horses HATE tongue contact, while others need it. Do you know anyone who has some Myler bits you can try out? They have different mouthpieces you could try.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-10-2009, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, thanks. I don't know anyone though.

The snaffle doesn't work. It's not a question of behavior, but fit.
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