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Bitting issues

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  • Bitting issues

    I'm hoping someone here can give me some things to try.

    I have a four year old paso/arab colt that I am getting started. He's a pretty good little guy, easy going, learns quickly and willingly, and is willing to try anything for me. Currently, he is under saddle at a walk and trot, both on the trail and in the arena. He's been a breeze to train so far, except for the whole bit thing.

    I started him in a myler comfort snaffle. From day one, he'll accept the bit readily with no fussing, but once it's in his mouth, he yawns, drags his head down, braces, and fusses. This is with NO contact from me. Add any bit contact, and it gets worse. So, thinking he didn't like the myler, I started playing the "which bit will you accept" game. I've used a french link, a kimberwick, a regular snaffle, a thinner snaffle, a thicker snaffle, a happy mouth, a rubber snaffle, etc, etc. He doesn't like any of them.

    I've left him in the stall wearing the bridle trying to get him used to it. Yeah, that didn't do much good either. I've about come to the conclusing that it's causing him some form of pain. He is getting worse and worse about his bit complaints, and has become hard to ride because he's so busy fussing that he can't pay attention.

    Currently, I've pulled the bit completely and am riding him in his rope halter. All of the sudden, my easy going, easy to train pony is back. No more head tossing, yawning, dragging, or anything else.

    So what else to do? I know he is teething at the moment, his canines are coming in, but he's been doing this since I started him as a three year old, so I don't think it's just a teething issue.

    I don't mind riding the horse bitless, but I feel all horses should be able to go in a bit. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and have to sell my horse, and I'd like him to be well enough trained that he will find a good home. And the majority of the people in this world use a bit. Help!

  • #2
    When was the last time his teeth were floated? If it was more than 6 months ago, it would be worth it to have the dentist out again.

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

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Forgot about that detail. His teeth were last floated in May. I will have them checked again this month.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you tried him in some type of mullen mouth? Nathe, rubber, or metal?

        What about a combination bit that uses a bit and pressure across the nose? Or ride him with a set of reins on your rope halter and a second set of reins on the bit.
        Sounds like he fusses just with a piece of metal in his mouth so this might not work. I would definitely get the vet to check his teeth, sounds like you're planning on doing that already. You could peek his mouth yourself for the time being, see if he's got any obvious ulcers, cuts, or abnormalities going on in there that would make the bit uncomfortable for him. Not a pro, just trying to help, good luck!

        Comment


        • #5
          Been there, done that. Got the t-shirt, the coffee mug, and the bumper sticker. I went through so many bits and bridles for my horse, I felt like I was running my own private tack store.

          Finally figured out that my mare's mouth is very small and she has SO little room for a bit. She has to use a VERY thin mouthpiece if she's going to go in a bit at all. People say thin=harsh, but my mare was so much happier in a skinny little twisted barrel bit than any kind of fat snaffle, rubber happy mouth, etc. I like to ride bitless though because I want her to eat and drink on the trail. So I've run through a bunch of different bitless options as well. Right now I've settled on the Rambo Micklem bridle, set up in the medium bitless configuration. Have done one ride in it, and she did really great. I'll stick with that until she decides she doesn't like it anymore, which might happen, but I hope not.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Arrows Endure View Post
            I'm hoping someone here can give me some things to try.

            I have a four year old paso/arab colt that I am getting started. He's a pretty good little guy, easy going, learns quickly and willingly, and is willing to try anything for me. Currently, he is under saddle at a walk and trot, both on the trail and in the arena. He's been a breeze to train so far, except for the whole bit thing.

            I started him in a myler comfort snaffle. From day one, he'll accept the bit readily with no fussing, but once it's in his mouth, he yawns, drags his head down, braces, and fusses. This is with NO contact from me. Add any bit contact, and it gets worse. So, thinking he didn't like the myler, I started playing the "which bit will you accept" game. I've used a french link, a kimberwick, a regular snaffle, a thinner snaffle, a thicker snaffle, a happy mouth, a rubber snaffle, etc, etc. He doesn't like any of them.

            I've left him in the stall wearing the bridle trying to get him used to it. Yeah, that didn't do much good either. I've about come to the conclusing that it's causing him some form of pain. He is getting worse and worse about his bit complaints, and has become hard to ride because he's so busy fussing that he can't pay attention.

            Currently, I've pulled the bit completely and am riding him in his rope halter. All of the sudden, my easy going, easy to train pony is back. No more head tossing, yawning, dragging, or anything else.

            So what else to do? I know he is teething at the moment, his canines are coming in, but he's been doing this since I started him as a three year old, so I don't think it's just a teething issue.

            I don't mind riding the horse bitless, but I feel all horses should be able to go in a bit. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow, and have to sell my horse, and I'd like him to be well enough trained that he will find a good home. And the majority of the people in this world use a bit. Help!

            read these links http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=178116
            read all of page one and all links its all relevent
            and read this link

            http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=223453

            Comment

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