How long do you give a horse to adapt to a new bit?
I bought a KKUltra for new horse (who is in transit...but haven't heard from shippers since she left on Monday....) but decided to try it on my filly first. Coregel was previously ridden in a french link hanging snaffle made with Aurigan.
The KK has a slightly thicker mouth peice, but not overly so, so I thought it wouldn't be much different.
She however disagrees, and acts at times like it is wrapped in barbed wire.
Should I give it more time? Put her back in the hanging snaffle and see if the issues go away (to make sure it is the bit)?
Every horse has a different shape of mouth and different sensitivities. I would let her stand in her stall with the bit for a while, lunge her off of a cavesson or halter while wearing the bit, and see what she does. If she is still out of sorts, I'd forget it.
My horse either deems a bit acceptable within a minute or so or he doesn't ever like it. "Doesn't like it" may include, but not be limited to, flinging his head around, acting like a llama, and rearing. Or he likes it, responds to it fine like a sane, rational beast and just does his job.
There are a bajillion bits out there, I don't see any sense in trying to get him used to a bit he doesn't like when I can just try a different one.
I guess I will try her back in the hanging snaffle and see what happens.
I was thinking because she only knows the one bit, that anything different may be shocking to her (she isn't very adaptable), but 4 rides should have been enough for her to realize the bit was ok.
Of course it may not be the bit at all and could be red headed hormones I suppose.
lldowler; I don't lunge her due to an injury as a 2 year old; vet doesn't want repetitive circles being part of her work other wise your idea of lunging her in the bit is a good one. She is fine holding the bit, just over reacts at times.
Just recently I change from a loose ring myler (it is the snaffle with the piece in the middle) to a KK Ultra and the change I saw in my horse was immediate. He never acted like he hated the bit and I thought I would try a Mickmar bridle to see if his fussiness was related to a ticklish tounge/suppleness issues. He immediately went from fussy in the face to calm and relaxed. He actually went more forward and the feeling was like we released the parking break while driving.
I would imagine that you would know if your horse likes a bit immediately.
It is usually immediate in my experience. If my horse loves it, he is quiet in the mouth right away. If he hates it, he is loud in the mouth right away.
She IS quiet in the mouth, and carries it fine in general, it is just when I want to take a stronger contact that she goes all drama queen....yet when I send her into a lengthening she will reach into the bit just fine.
I guess I have had horses like that; where you put a new bit in their mouth and they act super suspicious of it and extra sensitive until they figure the bit out, so suprised a few of you give the horse so little time to adapt to the new bit.
Back to the hanging snaffle for her!
HowardH, I am actually more concerned about staying away from her low palate, and based on the studies the USDF did, the Kkultra and the hanging snaffle acheived that better than the Myler. And yes, I do find shoes break in as you wear them.
And being quiet in the mouth until you ask her to do something isn't being quiet in the mouth!
I don't mean to offend you with my shoe comment but I stand by it. Listen to your horse they are honest and have no agenda. If they are uncomfortable it is up to us to listen to what they say. We often don't and instead listen to tradition and bullshit. Your horses speaks the truth. Seriously watch and listen
And in this day and age if a shoe doesn't fit I don't buy it the same should be said for your horse!,, bloody hell technology is here there is no longer a break in on good shoes!!!, Same for bits there is a solution
Last edited by howardh; Mar. 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM.
A hanging snaffle is similar to a Baucher. As I couldn't lunge her to start her, I opted to start her in the hanging snaffle as I find them very good for in hand work (more stable in the mouth, and won't be pulled through the mouth).