View Full Version : Chewing on the bit... problem or not?

Oct. 26, 2009, 08:10 AM
My 8 year old TB gelding chews on the bit almost immediately when I put his bridle on. We event at BN and he does this all the time, even when we are just hacking out an a sunny Sunday. I've had him in a loose ring French snaffle and then switched to an egg butt. I've tightened, loosened and even changed from a 5 and a half to a 5 and a quarter. He is a good horse, obedient, willing, responsive not anxious or nervous. I don't know if he does this out of boredom or what.
Is this a problem or should I just except who he is... a bit chewer? :confused:


Oct. 26, 2009, 08:21 AM
My TB was doing this as well. I think it was pretty much just because he could. I had his teeth done, he wasn't trying to evade the bit. When we worked he was on the bit, light and responsive. As soon as we finished working though, he would chew the bit as we cooled down. Especially annoying as he goes in a rubber eggbutt snaffle, so I was replacing his bit every couple months. Trainer suggested putting a flash noseband on him. Sovled the problem immediately. The flash is pretty loose, I can fit several fingers inside. But just having it there is enough to stop him from chewing.

Oct. 26, 2009, 08:45 AM
I also use a flash but it makes no difference. But, yes, he chews mostly when he is not "working". When we are schooling and he is really paying attention he is quiet. Its just so strange. I also thought it was his teeth and had them floated 2 months ago. hum...

Oct. 26, 2009, 09:00 AM
In dressage chewing is soft and quiet. The mouth does not really open. The horse does not make a loud clacking sound with their teeth. They develop the foam around their lips that is so desirable as it is an indication they accept the bit. It is not very repetitive. Too much chewing means they are starting to drop the contact.
Chomping is something else. The mouth opens like they are snapping at something. It is rapid fire and quick. Usually you can hear the teeth coming together. It is usually a sign of tension. A horse can chomp and still have contact becasue the the bit is on the bars. The tongue is usually pulled back in the mouth.
I work with a very high maintenance TB who is moody. Most days are good. Quiet chewing, foam, relaxed. Other days not so quiet. He always has a great mouth, maintain steady contact with no drama when working. However, on a day with more tension, when he is done he chomps like a machine gun. The same when he wants something, a treat, attention, dinner. He does crib as well.
As with everything there are degrees of this. The horses I see chomping are usually tense about something. Many do it while being ridden. Some do right when they are tacked up until the bit comes out post ride.
Try to figure out is this is the case and work out what may be the issue. Pain, horse confused or stressed those are the usual causes.
Good luck.

Oct. 26, 2009, 10:48 AM
my OTTB chews constantly, even when hes working and it gets worse with a flash. Nothing really bad about it, except slobbering everywhere. I think its one of their "track habits". My guys breeder/trainer says most of his racehorses do it and my horse went through 7 rubber bits within a year when he was racing as a 5 year old.
make sure its not a pain or a bit problem, I actually try to keep them in smooth mullen mouths or a regular snaffle, the joints of a french-link or other double jointed bits can rub on their bars and cause pain (that was my guys problem). Good Luck!