Injury sustained to jaw bone surface from bit - caused by handler/rider
One of my horses sustained a mouth injury when lunged by an employee. The injury was to the surface of the jawbone. She suddenly started popping up when receiving right rein contact. The employee deemed the horse a B word and that the horse had a bad attitude. I informed this person that horses just don't suddenly start rearing out of the blue, something had to have happened to her to suddenly exhibit such extreme behavior!
Low and behold, the truth came out after I took the horse to the vet. There was a draining duct on her lower jaw near where a bit would sit. There appeared to be some tiny thing poking out of the tract. The vet opened it up and scraped out some damaged bone. 4-6 weeks off.
Now 7 weeks later, it is supposed to be healed, but it looks like there is something poking out of a tract again. We will be going to the vet again next week. Sigh. I can imagine she will need another 4-6 weeks off, and I can only hope that that will be the end of the injury.
Has anyone else had a horse sustain such an injury? What was the outcome? Was the horse able to wear a bit again?
I also posted over in the Dressage section asking for non-bit bridle recommendations. Anyone?
So sorry this happened to you. I can totally see it, if a horse that is green, excited or 'acting up' is being lunged off of a bit. I just don't do it for that reason. There is way too much potential for injury. I get a good cavesson and put it over the bridle or replace the bridle with it.
As far as bridles, I would check out the Micklem. I think it has the greatest potential of staying out of your horse's way while she heals. Just remember that though the riding cues feel the same to you, they feel like totally new things to the horse. You'll have to go through some adjustment of teaching her what your rein cues mean, as if she's a greenie all over again. I also try to take care and be very tactful with the reins - I think its very easy to desensitize a horse to bitless pressure. Use the smallest cue you can get away with, and I don't assume that the communication will be as fine as it was with the bitted bridle.
Good question. We xrayed it. The injury is located on the occlusal rim about 1-2+ inch from the second premolar (first premolar being the wolf tooth). She is a mature horse that if I can remember correctly had only one wolf tooth as a youngster and it was on the upper opposing side. Plus, it turns out there was an incident with maladjusted and mal-handled veinna side reins while she being lunged.
I had a vet break a tooth taking it out and then didn't notice. Same result though, as soon as you picked up the right contact the poor mare freaked out. Unfortunately even after we remedied it it took her some time to relax again on that right rein. Good luck, sorry you are dealing with that.