We lost our long term problem child to colic and have decided our next will be a rescue.
We looked around and found a prospect we are very serious about (read:adopting provided our application is approved!)
he is a supposedly solid appy, but has absolutely no traits? But that is for another thread he is GREEN and the rescue he is at does not have a whole lot of training resources so he's pretty much ridden once a week by some older middle-high school girls. Note: I absolutely trust what the say they have been very upfront about the horse and his various vices.
His mouth is extremely sensitive I picked up the trot and half halted and he basically did a sliding stop on me haha eventually we figured each other out a bit but it seems like someone with rough hands has really done a job on him, buuuut I could be wrong! Just between the way he went and a couple of pictures of him being ridden on the website (uneducated hands of unbalanced rider hanging on uneducated gaping mouth) There are a couple of things worth considering: 1. He's 6 and been at the rescue since he was 2 and they said it was basically a miracle they managed to get him broke considering their resources 2. He was getting his teeth done today and the last time he was floated they cracked a wolf teeth and their was potential it had begun growing back? Ill be honest I'm embarrassed to admit I am not all they educated on equine dentistry! 3. I rode him in the rescues bridle with an egg butt that was too large for him
I can say with humble confidence I have soft hands and his brakes are plenty good, I had a harder time getting him to go than stop for sure. He doesnt really get quick or anything hes got a tiny scoot when he spook but not quite a bolt or anything! Even turning and such he is very responsive, but too green to really start asking for any sort of head set, getting him to accept contact is going to be a bit of a project but I feel like he needs a lot more work still before we get there. I pushed the boundaries a bit when I rode just to see what he did and didn't know. I've always ridden green beans but he is the greenest so far! I am working with my trainer/boss to develop a program but am still very open to any suggestions!
My question is what bit would you all recommend? Loose ring? Double jointed? Copper? Dog bone? Mullen?
I'd try either a happy Mouth shaped Mullen mouth or a KK ultra D ring or full cheek. Both mild. Some horses love the mullen mouth because it is stable in their mouths. Some love the KK ultra. I'd go with a D ring or Full cheek to help with steering.
Wolf teeth are generally extracted since they are smack in the middle of the interdental space where the bit sits, no idea how they "cracked" one trying to float him? 99% of the time they interfere with any bit and bug the heck out of the horse. Don't worry, not expensive and done on your place and a quick recovery. They don't need to knock them out and drop them, just major tranqs. Gross to watch but doesn't bother them that much, nowhere near like us. And they can grow back if they don't get it all, btdt and an easy fix.
When you get one "messed up" green? Keep in mind they have never been taught what to do, only corrected for doing it wrong so they get confused and sometimes defensive. IMO you have a lot to do before worrying about bits. He need a quick trip back to square one to learn what nobody has taught him yet.
It should go pretty quick and there's tons of good colt starting advice, including introducing the bit and teaching the rein aids which certainly got skipped with him. That gives them positive direction which makes them confident so they trust you and loose the silly spooks.
Get rid of the wolf teeth and take it slow and I bet you make great progress with this one who sounds like he has a pretty good attitude despite discomfort and infrequent sessions with riders of sketchy ability.
Breeders have put so much QH in the Apps (and Paints) they get solids considered "purebred" breeding stock and can even compete at breed shows. That's good for you, you don't care about the spots and many QHs are "born broke"- very willing to learn. Also probably why he ended up at the rescue, result of a failed mating with no value for breeding as a gelding. Far better backstory then a lot of them, he just needs to go to school 3 to 5 days a week for a few months.
Last edited by findeight; May. 7, 2013 at 08:19 AM.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
Thank you so much! That's was more information than I was even hoping for!
I'm glad I was on the right track regarding bits. I totally agree with going back to square one! He has a few lesser vices screaming for groundwork! We have someone who offered to teach him on the long line and teach me to long line her experienced horse. I think that will be a good place to start when he is ready! But even that is in the (hopefully near) future! I'm not interested in rushing him he is a project for me since my guy is leased out
To be honest, this is my first that is not a thoroughbred! I really feel for this guy though he so badly wants to do what you are asking but has absolutely no clue! I am not placing blame on anyone (except maybe the original breeder/owner who starved him and then tried trading him for hay on Craigslist) this rescue has been nothing but upfront about his little quirks and explained they don't really have a trainer and have been trying to do the best they can with what they have in front of them!
My first go to bit is the JP Korsteel oval mouth eggbutt. If they don't like that one, I try the Mullen eggbutt.
I'll put in another just start completely over vote. I've retrained a couple like this and rather than tying to figure out and fix each little hole in the training, its easier to just pretend they've never been broke and start from scratch. I assume they know nothing and go from there. Some parts will move faster (like the learn to wear tack parts) than if the horse truly knew nothing, but I think it's worth it to at least go through the motions. Sometimes it's shocking to see what they really don't know. And this way you don't wind up scratching your head in a year wondering why he won't do X. Or has some bizarre reaction to something he *should* know how to do at this stage of the game, but doesn't because you assumed.
I would try both a loose ring KK or nathe. I think the happy mouth shaped mullen mouth is pretty similar to the nathe, but I've never actually seen one so not sure. Both are very mild, one moves a lot the other pretty stable so it would give you an idea of his preference there.