View Full Version : horse unable to accept bit?????WWYD

Mar. 3, 2010, 06:07 PM
Has anyone worked with a horse that didn't accept the bit by holding the tongue in the back of his mouth? On a long rein the horse is fine but when contact is taken he sucks his tongue to the back of his mouth.
This is not my horse but I am contemplating taking this project on.
Any ideas?

Mar. 3, 2010, 06:15 PM
I retrained a horse that did that. After getting his teeth done I inspected his mouth and found that he had a very low palate and a very thick tongue.

Understandably he found thick bits or single jointed bits uncomfortable. He worked best in the thin Myler Comfort mouth.

I started to retrain him bitless, so that he would loose the habit, then with a bit but reins still on the bitless, then slowly switched over to the bit.

I am not sure I would buy a horse with that known issue though, unless you are prepared to continue bitless, as it may be a habit now, and not easy to retain.

Mar. 3, 2010, 06:43 PM
I recently inquired about a horse (posted on the internet), that has this issue (currently being worked bitless). I decided to pass as I have had a tough enough time with the ones that are just fussy and inconsistent about contact without this much of an issue this early in their career

Mar. 3, 2010, 06:58 PM
I have one now that does that. Pretty sure they probably tied his tongue at the track.

You can put one of rubber bit ports on your bit...but you can't show with that. http://www.statelinetack.com/item/rubber-bit-port-black/SLT731873/?srccode=CJSLT&intid=CJSLT

I also agree with finding the correct shaped bit to fit his mouth. I haven't tried the myler as the current bit I'm using is working well but the myler was the next one on my list. I think this is the one that I'm using:


the mouth is really shaped....

I don't think going without a bit really helps you much. My guy does it standing on the cross ties with NO bit in his mouth:eek:

I do now crank his mouth shut as we are getting into the competition season and that has actually helped a lot.

He is also just getting a lot better with work. I make sure that I'm not pulling...nice steading contact and riding him forward and straight. Not a lot of small circles...and not expecting him to be really round right away...by the end of each ride, he is round, coming over his back and accepting of the bit....but it does take time.

I'm not overly concerned with my guy. He is getting better and better. He really hasn't been in work very long. I am confident that he will let go of the habit as he gets more educated.

I had another one that I started who did that initally....stopped after being in work about 3 months. Again, finding a bit that worked for him...and we did put the rubber bit port on him quickly for about 30 days. It really isn't that uncommon of an issue.....now my guy doing it in the cross ties...well, he's a bit special ;)

Mar. 3, 2010, 07:36 PM
Thanks! He's in a bitless now but I will find out any and all tricks she has tried.

Mar. 3, 2010, 08:48 PM
The first thing you want to check is how the horse reacts to comfortably adjusted side reins while on the longe, preferably using a cavesson to avoid putting any uneven pressure on his mouth.

Simultaneously, you may want to try working with someone who does nothing but dressage, and is capable of riding 3rd level in a snaffle.

There are horses who suck back their tongues, and usually they are extremely difficult to retrain. It takes very careful hands. And sometimes just a softer bit.

Mar. 3, 2010, 09:10 PM
The first thing you want to check is how the horse reacts to comfortably adjusted side reins while on the longe, preferably using a cavesson to avoid putting any uneven pressure on his mouth.

mine still sucks his tongue into a ball in the back of his mouth with side reins. Also with no bit in his mouth...just hanging out with his halter on:eek:. But I do agree...that is a good thing to do. It is also a good way to help them learn to accept the bit.

But honestly...I'd rather deal with this issue than one who sticks his tongue out ;)

Mar. 3, 2010, 09:18 PM
Either is frustrating.:sigh: