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View Full Version : My horse is eating his bit!



Hillside H Ranch
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:03 PM
Just curious if anyone else has had this problem. My 4 year old gelding has decided to literally eat his bit. He was started last summer in a KK Ultra loose ring. When I re-started him this spring, I switched him to a Happy Mouth D-Ring. He has a very soft mouth and I want to keep it that way. The first D-ring lasted for two months, and then I noticed he had chomped some pieces out of it. I just replaced it and it lasted for two rides, and now he has chomped out more pieces, in the exact same spots as the last one! He seems to love the bit; when I go to bridle him he literally reaches for it (and it is hard to keep it away from him to get the bridle on) like a dog going after a chew toy. When I ride, he is a little mouthy, in that he is always lightly playing with the bit (he did that with the loose ring, too), but nothing horrible. I have had his teethed worked on and everything there checks out fine. I'm not sure what he is doing to be able to gouge pieces out like this? Anyway, I'm thinking about switching him to the KK Ultra D-Ring, but he goes so well in the Happy Mouth and really loves it that I hate to switch, but I hate to replace bits so often, especially now that he seems to have figured out how to destroy them so quickly! Any thoughts? He has always been mouthy, in that he eats his own turn-out blankets, boots, his buddies halters, etc. When he is tied he loves to chew his leadrope and if you leave his halter within his reach he will eat that too.

ImJumpin
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:16 PM
My horse does not chew at his bits except the one time I had a happy mouth-- same situation-- horse chewed that sucker up! I suppose that's part of their design. I wasn't into replacing a bit so often either, so I just switched to a metal one. You could always try wrapping a metal one in latex and seeing if you can get a similar effect with his bit acceptance. Much more cost effective to replace a latex wrap than the whole bit!

dwblover
Apr. 2, 2009, 05:43 PM
It could be the apple scent in the Happy Mouth bits.

Small Change
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:48 PM
To make your Happy Mouth last longer, you can try using a Dremmel to smooth out the rough edges from him chewing, as long as the missing chunks aren't so substantial as to change how the bit sits in his mouth.

Penthilisea
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:55 PM
My TB goes through a happy mouth about 1 per 6 months. I do use a rasp to keep the chewed edges from becoming too sharp. I figure its better for him to chew something that gives rather then steel that might hurt his teeth. He is very mouthy in general, a licker not a biter though.

kookicat
Apr. 2, 2009, 06:56 PM
Happy Mouths seem to encourage chewing. I'm not sure why. Maybe try him with a nathe bit and see if he still does it?

dogchushu
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:02 PM
If you find out a cure, let me know.

My horse goes well in a happy mouth, but she eats them (yes, "them" as in plural... I have to replace them every couple of months). It's not so much when she's being worked. Then she's fine. However, when I have her on the buckle or am leading her around, it's chew, chew, chew time! It's a shame becuase she does go well in the bit.

I haven't tried a dremmel, but I did try to file the chewed bits with sandpaper. It didn't work well. The plastic is kind of like an onion and the more I filed, the more pointy pieces started poking out. It's a pain to buy more bits, but I'm also concerned about having pointy things in her mouth or bits of plastic coming loose and getting swallowed.

MintHillFarm
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:05 PM
My then 4yr old Paint, Alex, last year went through 3 Happy Mouths and a regular rubber D. I switched to a Myler D ring and all the chewing has stopped. He has had regular dental checkups and floating. Maybe the Happy Mouth did encourage the chewing or his mouth was changing a lot last summer. Anyway, I love the Myler D, it sits really well through his mouth and he is very happy with it; no chewing, no head tilting etc...

Horseymama
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:06 PM
Funny, I was just about to post the exact same thing! I have two horses that have chewed through their happy mouths, I actually had to throw one away today because it was almost gone and that would be rather disconcerting to be riding around and have the bit fall out of their mouth! I was wondering if that was normal, but I guess from the other posts, it is. One horse took 4 months, the other only 1.5. Seems expensive!

Jumper6252
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:47 PM
My horse grinds his teeth so much and bites or knaws on the bit! If he were in a rubber bit I'm sure it would be eaten and chewed up!

Pirateer
Apr. 2, 2009, 08:49 PM
Try a hard rubber one vs the Happy Mouth. Or wrap the darned thing in Latex and dare him to chew through ;)

Hillside H Ranch
Apr. 2, 2009, 09:11 PM
I think I'm going to try the latex suggestion, but I'm so glad to know that my horse isn't the only one who does this! And now that I think about it, I think that most of the chewing does occur when he is walking on a free-rein, or standing around. When he is forward and working there is definitely a lot less going on with his mouth.

Quin
Apr. 2, 2009, 09:13 PM
Another vote for the hard rubber. You'll still have to replace it periodically (ask me how I know this......) but the Korsteel hard rubber ones I get are a LOT cheaper. And I find the partially-chewed-up hard rubber bit offers less potential 'edges' to damage to the mouth than the partially-chewed-up Happy Mouth.

Hillside H Ranch
Apr. 2, 2009, 09:38 PM
Another vote for the hard rubber. You'll still have to replace it periodically (ask me how I know this......) but the Korsteel hard rubber ones I get are a LOT cheaper. And I find the partially-chewed-up hard rubber bit offers less potential 'edges' to damage to the mouth than the partially-chewed-up Happy Mouth.

Okay, I'm going to have to get a hard rubber bit, too! Before I thought to post here I had already ordered the KK Ultra D ring, I have latex here and if I get the hard rubber then surely I can find something my horse and I will both be happy with :) LOL!

Dun Ciarain
Apr. 2, 2009, 10:24 PM
I also had one that chewed up her Happy Mouth bits. She was more like a one bit a year mare though.