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Discussion Starter #1
One of the horse's at the barn continuously pulls on the bit in his mouth and he will tilt his head to the side or even sometimes turn his head completely even on a loose rein. The bit he has is a Korsteel Sweet Iron Full Cheek Snaffle so its not a very powerful bit so I figured the bit isn't bothering him. I also notice that he opens and closes his mouth a lot too. I checked the placement of the bit in his mouth and its not too far back nor is it hitting any of his teeth. I was wondering why is he doing this and what can I do to get him to stop pulling and to relax his neck. Thanks for all your help!! :)
 

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When was the last time he has his teeth done and saddle repacked?

If he's a school horse, he's also probably very used to riders with unsteady hands, so the gaping mouth and pulling may very well be him trying to protect his mouth. In this case, you need to have very good, forgiving and quiet hands to let him know that he's not going to get 'gobbed' with you.
 

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When was the last time he has his teeth done and saddle repacked?

If he's a school horse, he's also probably very used to riders with unsteady hands, so the gaping mouth and pulling may very well be him trying to protect his mouth. In this case, you need to have very good, forgiving and quiet hands to let him know that he's not going to get 'gobbed' with you.
He is getting his teeth done in May but I don't think his teeth are an issue either because he's been doing this for a while, even after he has had his teeth done. I do notice that the rider does pull back a lot even when unnecessary but a lot of the time she needs to sometimes keep a tight rein because he has the bad habit of stopping and putting his head down to graze. But we are working on getting him to stop stopping to graze when not given permission to.
 

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Does he do it all the time? Or is it just a few minutes out of a ride?
 

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My mare does it sometimes, for 3-4 minutes, usually while nothing is going on. I've concluded she's bored and wants something to play with. She doesn't do it when we're busy, and it often comes when there is slack in the reins and nothing is happening...just straight down a path. It is about once/ride, any bit I've ever tried, including after getting her teeth done. The rest of her body is relaxed when she does it. Don't know if that the same or not.
 

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I would maybe find another way to keep him moving forward other than a tight rein? I don't have this problem a lot, but sometimes on the trail my gelding will try to put his head down... I lift (not pull) the reins and urge him with my legs and seat. Alternatively, you could try tapping him with a crop or the end of a split rein to remind him that he needs to pay attention to you! Basically, eliminate his idea that you will always be pulling uncomfortably on the reins so he can relax.
 

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The other option is that he might not like the pressure applied by a single-joint snaffle. You could always try a double-jointed/french-link! I am a big fan of those bits.
 

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He might be just an active horse. Like bsms states, he may need more to do to keep him occupied. I'd maybe try a bit with a cricket in it, I know you can buy a dogbone bit with one that is fairly inexpensive. And try and tell the rider to use lighter hands.
 

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I found my horses absolutely hate the sweet iron bits. They gape their mouths and bull and don't seem "happy in the mouth". If that's not it i would seriously be looking at teeth and if nothing is found change dentist, then get his back and neck, in general his hoe body worked.

If that turns up nothing, change the bits, single joint egg butt is what all my horses like ( i have 5, of the 5, 3 like it, the other to, i haven't worked.) Even straight bar could be an idea. I wont ever again put forward the notion of a a french link/pea/double jointed bit, but i know i just can't stand them, and when i ride with them my horses fuss and fiddle. ;)
 

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The bit may be your problem.

I just posted this reply to another potential bit problem.

Part of your problem my be the bit. And a snaffle may not be of any help. At one time we used a snaffle to start all of our horses, then I found some of them did poorly in the snaffle. After quite a bit of research, I found the cause of the problem. The floor of the mouth of quite a few horses is too shallow to allow the tongue to get under the bit, without a lot of pressure on the tongue. The snaffle is the worst bit you can use if this is the case. We started using the toklat #89-20015 HBT 5" shank w/the SI 01 CI mouth. You can attach the reins to the bit at the connection to the mouth piece, so there is no lever action at all. Then when you ready for lever action move the reins to the shanks. The bit has a raised mouth piece that provides clearance for the tongue.

Many, many hard mouthed horses are made this way because the horse is simply protecting his tongue.

 

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My appy gelding absoultly hates and jointed bit and with gape his mouth open and do everything in his power to avoid the bit. I managed to get in contact with his former owner(he came from a kill pen so it wasn't easy) and they said that he was always that way and he was much more comfortable in a curb bit.
 

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If he neck reins well, try riding him in just a halter. Only when you are comfortable with it though. Maybe get someone to hold him on a lead rope and see how he does with your cues while you're on him. Just my opinion, my horse seems more relaxed and willing when I ride him in a halter. Good luck:)
 
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