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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2007
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    814

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    Purp-the first bit is like what I picked up yesterday, hoping to get out and give it a try today, but I woke up with a massive headache and if it doesn't settle down I won't be going anywhere but back to bed

    ideayoda - yes no problem with pushing the jaw around, I checked his teeth and jaw first, and everything seems to be ok. He is due to be floated again in April along with shots, and my vet does the teeth with the power float.

    not again, I agree with the idea of whole horse, he does get regular chiro and massage visits, and is on a 6 week schedule by my farrier. Hocks were injected in July, and they still seem to be doing well.

    He's in lighter work right now as I have been busy with Christmas and holiday stuff, and I think it's good for him to have a bit of time to just chill and be a hayburner when it's cold and gross out. I'm up riding 3-4x weekly until the end of January, then back into a program for the season. I'm also just doing easy flatwork now, just to keep him fit and moving and to keep me in shape!
    Last edited by JustABay; Jan. 30, 2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: oops edited wrong post!



  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2007
    Posts
    814

    Default UPDATE HERE

    Had my 1st lesson with my new BNT. He got on and rode for a bit part way through my lesson to get a feel for what was happening as I was really struggling at the canter, and things were starting to fall apart. He said that my horse is very unhappy in his mouth, and afraid to really reach into the contact. He believes that he would be best suited to go in a mullen mouth bit, so I have bought a loose ring Nathe bit, and a loose ring mullen mouth to try (didn't have any fixed rings @ the tack shop). He also commented that it felt like my horse was afraid to let go and leave the ground, and that he was tight in the area behind the withers and lacked suspension.

    General consensus is to give him a couple months of correct work in the new program with the new bit, and see what we have. I'm a bit discouraged, pro was cautious not to say yes or no as to whether horse will be successful in achieving my goals. Realistically, at coming 15, I'm not really sure if I can undo the past decade of improper riding on my part. I have some great tools to use, and really got the feel of how he *should* be going - it's amazing how a horse feels after a pro rides it for 20 mins! and I'm striving to work towards that more and more consistently in my riding. I am however VERY excited to have the opportunity to work with this pro, and am trying hard to "do my homework" through the week to make my weekend lessons count.

    I guess I'm just a bit frustrated that my horse and I are both square pegs and we can't really find any hole to fit into...I feel like sometimes I'm trying to make us both into something we're not, but we can't be what we used to be as I can't jump anymore. Sorry for the whine. I have a very good boy, he tries, and it's not his fault if he's just not cut out to be a dressage horse



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
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    3,505

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    I dont know what your goals are but any horse can work on the bit at all gaits and that should be your goal for now...

    No one can assume what a horse will absolutely be capable of until he/she is walk trot canter under saddle on the bit and fit IMO.

    I mean you can say that their build will make a b or c difficult, but it doesnt sound like as of right now you are demanding that he be your next GP ride

    My new TB mare is in my blog listed below, and both her and all of the Tb's at are our barn (even the very downhill ones and even the VERY head tossing mouth busy onse) were able to be on the bit from the first ride. Maybe not consistent and not in transitions but for the most part they were able to "settle" onto the bit and keep it for some time each gait. That takes a hand that is SO soft and SO good at following a busy mouthed and high headed horse without accidentally going against.

    This trainer hopefully will show you how to help him reach into contact.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009
    Posts
    6,998

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustABay View Post
    He said that my horse is very unhappy in his mouth, and afraid to really reach into the contact.
    He also commented that it felt like my horse was afraid to let go and leave the ground, and that he was tight in the area behind the withers and lacked suspension.

    General consensus is to give him a couple months of correct work in the new program with the new bit, and see what we have.

    I'm a bit discouraged, pro was cautious not to say yes or no as to whether horse will be successful in achieving my goals. Realistically, at coming 15, I'm not really sure if I can undo the past decade of improper riding on my part.

    it's amazing how a horse feels after a pro rides it for 20 mins!

    I guess I'm just a bit frustrated that my horse and I are both square pegs and we can't really find any hole to fit into...

    I have a very good boy, he tries, and it's not his fault if he's just not cut out to be a dressage horse
    The bolded part tells you that your horse has alot to give.
    I think that you will be amazed at the difference in your horse at this same time next year!
    You will be discouraged at times so try to take video weekly or monthly so that you can see how much progress your horse is making (& you )

    My favorite trainer loves when a horse such as yours comes into her program - because she can make such a difference in how he feels/moves in his body.

    If you don't have your boy on oral supplements such as Recovery EQ HA , give it a try: it has made such a difference for young & old TB's that I know



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,925

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    Try not to be too discouraged - we all have baggage and "what ifs" with our horse's training. I said to my new trainer "I wish I had met you when my horse was 3 instead of 10" and she said "he'd be a Grands Prix horse by now if we had met then". Ow.

    Anyway, have you also looked at acupuncture? The reason I mention it is that we have a 5 year old TB here that has been through a lot of accidents and problems. We were trying to get him some training (with above trainer) to be able to rehome him, but he has some major issues and can be quite explosive under tack. Trainer advised that the horse has physical problems, so vets examined him yesterday, and sure enough he has a fat tongue (vet indicated that is a symptom of his blood being unbalanced), as well as some soreness issues in behind. I won't get into all the details, but one of the things we did was acupunture with him and you could really tell where he reacted and see how relaxed he became. We'll follow up in 2 weeks to see how he improves. We use acupunture on our racehorses as well.

    Good luck with your guy!



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2007
    Location
    Andover, MA
    Posts
    5,847

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    I've learned that "giving up" 20 minutes of my lesson to get my trainer on the horse is SO worth it. I know I'm not the greatest rider, however much I strive for it. My horse is well trained, but certainly tells me when I am not riding well! So someone who knows what they are doing, and can do it well, to remind her of her manners, is such a good thing.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2007
    Posts
    814

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    Ah, it's such a frustrating spot to be in

    Alto - yep, he's already on the Recovery, as per vet's instructions, and has been on it for just over a year now. He gets monthly massage and chiro "as needed" but I would have to forego both to afford acupuncture. I have put a small fortune into him over the past year and a bit so my funds are pretty limited, other than what I have budgeted for his "maintenance costs"

    I know he'll be a different horse in a few months, but it sometimes feels like it's just been one big fight to get him here, and of course, the periodic mystery lameness that drains all of my money

    I do have a LOT of faith in my trainer though, he has a wealth of experience and is a beautiful rider, and seemed to just "get" my horse from the moment he got on, so at least that is a positive. Thanks for all the advice and kind words everyone It is greatly appreciated!!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2000
    Location
    Where I am cold most of the time
    Posts
    1,458

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    I feel super smart now because a Happy Mouth mullen mouth was going to be my suggestion. I used one reschooling me and and older TB from hunterland

    The horse had been being used in an IHSA program and the trainer had found he seemed to.prefer a mullen mouth pelham, I figured he had a low palate so went with a Happy Mouth D. I think also psychologically for an ex-hunter rider is is easier to keep a firmer contact than they may be used to with such a mild bit in the horses mouth. Maybe it also felt more stable to him while I bounced around up there



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
    Posts
    7,539

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    i think, after reading this thread, that probably what is happening is as Not Again mentioned.... but "fixing" it with non riding/training methods wont do because this sounds like a rider/training issue.

    Ie the horse is being ridden in such a way that produces the behavior you are talking about.

    Correct riding is the answer. hopefully your new trainer is worth while and will help you.

    also, you might post vids here or PM them to someone (Not Again?) and get that input.

    fwiw, it sounds to me like a sensitive horse that isnt happy about the contact and isnt being ridden into the bit properly....



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2009
    Posts
    552

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    Not all behavior like this is the fault of the rider. some horses need tongue relief.
    You will be happy to know that the USDF just legalized bits with ports the rule changes will be published in Feb.

    You may be amazed the difference a port will make.



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,463

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    Quote Originally Posted by howardh View Post
    Not all behavior like this is the fault of the rider. some horses need tongue relief.
    You will be happy to know that the USDF just legalized bits with ports the rule changes will be published in Feb.

    You may be amazed the difference a port will make.
    I had one of those horses. His thick tongue and low palate made unported bits uncomfortable. I tried many, many bits and had several pros ride my horse. He was better, but not great.

    I wish that ported bits had been allowed then.

    I just gave him another job -- no more dressage or eventing. He became a foxhunter and I rode him bitless. He was happy as a clam.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
    Posts
    5,638

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    Have you tried any of the Dynamic RS mouthpieces? The way they are designed, the French Link makes the bit rest in a nice curve that pretty much gives the same clearance as a ported type snaffle. The middle piece is very rounded and smooth, ... so, basically even if the bit were to touch the upper palette, it would not have any hard edges (like the KK French Link does, or the Stubben French Link).

    Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Aurigan Eggbutt Style Bit

    http://www.smartpakequine.com/herm-s...TopPick-_-7108



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2003
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    Posts
    123

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    "I just gave him another job -- no more dressage or eventing. He became a foxhunter and I rode him bitless. He was happy as a clam."

    When I have been retraining horses with mouth and bitting problems I have ridden them in a rolled leather jumping hackamore, eventually adding an appropriate snaffle [but without reins] as in a double bridle. Then I continue to ride them on the hackamore and let the snaffle hang in the mouth. Eventually I add reins, and eventually I start to use them, always going back to the hackamore when they start to get mouthy. I'v had success with this method so you might give it a try. BTW, I also have used the mouth work shown to me by Linda Tellington Jones and found it very useful to release habitual problems with the tongue. Good luck - this all takes time but so worth the effort.
    Equestrian art is closely related to the wisdom of life - Alois Podhajsky



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2009
    Posts
    552

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    Have you tried any of the Dynamic RS mouthpieces? The way they are designed, the French Link makes the bit rest in a nice curve that pretty much gives the same clearance as a ported type snaffle. The middle piece is very rounded and smooth, ... so, basically even if the bit were to touch the upper palette, it would not have any hard edges (like the KK French Link does, or the Stubben French Link).

    Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Aurigan Eggbutt Style Bit

    http://www.smartpakequine.com/herm-s...TopPick-_-7108
    this bit does not work like a true port. When you pick up on the reins this bit will still drive down on the tongue. It does spread pressure out over a greater arena due to the center piece, but it is STILL a tongue pressure bit.

    When you pick up on the reins with a ported bit, the bit rotates down and off the sides of the tongue, offering tongue relief.

    Everyone needs to hold up their bridle and pick up the reins where your hands would be on the horse to see what really happens inside the mouth. It is simple mechanics.



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008
    Posts
    5,638

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    I didn't say it worked like a true port, I said how the mouthpiece affects the roof of the mouth is similar to a port (and that would be specific ports, I was thinking of a long, low type of port).



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
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    3,505

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    OP do you have any video of this horse going? To make absolutely sure it is the bit you have to have someone look at the hands attatched! lol
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
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    I actually did exactly what you described. For this horse, it was a combination of his mouth constraints and some poor initial training in draw reins. Taking that approach helped, but he was never completely "through". It was a shame in some regards because he had spectacular gaits.

    To be honest, I like foxhunting best and when he chose that job, I decided he was right . He did look very pretty out their in the hunt field.

    Quote Originally Posted by LHL View Post
    "I just gave him another job -- no more dressage or eventing. He became a foxhunter and I rode him bitless. He was happy as a clam."

    When I have been retraining horses with mouth and bitting problems I have ridden them in a rolled leather jumping hackamore, eventually adding an appropriate snaffle [but without reins] as in a double bridle. Then I continue to ride them on the hackamore and let the snaffle hang in the mouth. Eventually I add reins, and eventually I start to use them, always going back to the hackamore when they start to get mouthy. I'v had success with this method so you might give it a try. BTW, I also have used the mouth work shown to me by Linda Tellington Jones and found it very useful to release habitual problems with the tongue. Good luck - this all takes time but so worth the effort.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004
    Posts
    7,539

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    Quote Originally Posted by howardh View Post
    Not all behavior like this is the fault of the rider. some horses need tongue relief..
    of course. but MOST issues are rider issues.... and changing equipment wont help until the rider is well seated and knows how to ride the horse forward into a connection, etc.



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2007
    Posts
    814

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    Unfortunately, I have no video of me riding. I am not saying my hands are perfect, by any means. I'm still learning how to keep a really steady contact, and am much, much better than I used to be. However, he has ALWAYS always been mouthy this way, from the day I got him, and this is only really becoming an issue as I move into dressage. None of my hunter trainers ever cared about it, and it was never an issue that was addressed. Unfortunately, the horse is 14, and I think this might be too little too late, but I guess we'll find out



  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jun. 6, 2000
    Location
    Amherst, MA
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    5,384

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    As several people have said, getting the right bit (or rather the bit that allows for the communication between the horse and rider) can be just a question of trial and error.

    And sometimes one bit will work for several months or even years and then it doesn't anymore. Go figure.

    My mare hated the eggbutt that I first rode her in: constant yawing and trying to put her tongue over the bit, etc. She also hates a flash; put a flash on her and she's instantly behind the bit and ticked off.

    I rode her for a year or so in a Nathe (plastic) mullen mouth and that initially made a world of difference. The yawing pretty much stopped. But after a year or so she began leaning on the bit.

    I then put her in a double-jointed baucher and she's remained happy with that for a long time. I've used the KK Ultra B-ring version for the last 5 years or so, but before that it was a regular baucher with a lozenge.

    It's definitely worth trying the baucher; it's not a magic bit but some horses do like it better.

    Good luck.
    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky



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