Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You're responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it--details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums' policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it's understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users' profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses -- Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it's related to a horse for sale, regardless of who's selling it, it doesn't belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions -- Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services -- Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products -- While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements -- Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be "bumped" excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues -- Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators' discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you'd rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user's membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

Bitting Advice Needed

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Bitting Advice Needed

    I did do a search on the forum before posting, but couldn’t find anything that applies to my specific situation.

    I took my horse on his first fox hunt this past Sunday. He was really excellent and I was super pleased with how he handled himself. At the recommendation of the staff, I did bit up before coming out. I put him in a happy mouth single joint Pelham, with separate snaffle rein and a curb rein.

    My only complaint is that while standing at checks, he expressed his excitement by snatching at the reins, enough that it gave me a blister underneath my gloves. I would love to try something that he is a little more respectful of.

    Any suggestions?

    It sure sounds like "first hunt excitement" from your horse. If the bit worked out well while moving out then on your next hunt at a check, the nanno second you sense the horse is getting ready to snatch freeze your arm so his mouth hits a brick wall, a dead end, no give in the rein. Some people will make a horse back up, side pass or pivot if the horse starts rooting on the rein. I've seen riders yank the rein of a horse that roots, that may stop some horses but not all of them. I'd give your guy a second chance in the bit before changing it.


      I agree with SLW! Though those blisters can be bad!!!! Maybe bridge the reins? I did ride a horrible rooter-on like his 4th season of hunting at least. I was being pulled over the saddle and I am not tiny. I borrowed a whip and if he snatched the reins I belted him one-he's a draft needless to add, a TB would have been in the next county. By the end of the hunt he'd quit. I don't like to hit *anything* but.. That said I say give your guy another chance or maybe make him walk in a circle. I think you've got a winner :-)


        Just a thought, my horses don't salivate very well in Happy Mouth bits and seem to be softer when they have more of that slobber lube going on.


          Rather than changing the bit, you might work on teaching him to stand quietly. My TB was a basket case at the checks when we first started, so when hacking him, I'd ask him to stand quietly and give him a treat (usually a piece of an alfalfa cube). I then carried treats in my saddle bag and transferred this over to the hunt field. The other thing is that once they've hunted a few times, they start to recognize that the check is a time to relax.

          FWIW, my draft-x likes to root. I find that a happy mouth elevator works great for her -- plus a reminder to be polite with my spurs.
          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


            Thank you for alll your great suggestions! I plan to take him out hunting again this Sunday, so I will give him another chance before changing the bit. A fellow boarder last night suggested changing my reins from laced reins to rubber reins, to give me a more firm hold, so I will be trying that.

            Bogie He really does stand fairly well at checks. Well, his feet remain still anyway . He just chooses to express his impatience to get going again by snatching at the reins, or pawing with a front leg. Maybe once the hunts get a little longer and he gets a little tired, he will appreciate the break.

            All in all, if that is my biggest problem, I will take it. He was exceptional in all other ways and I was super pleased with him.


              If his feet stay still, can you just give him a longer rein to stretch out at the check?
              Equine Portrait Commissions and Sporting Art
              Roxy 2001 APHA, Al Amir 2005 OTTB,
              Ten Purposes 2009 OTTB


                For most rooting, I’ve always just let them have their head. If they can’t root against me, it takes the fun out of it for them and they tend to do it less. Also is less annoying to me as I’m not getting yanked from the tack. There have been some rooters that were more aggressive and that was an issue but for now I’d give him a longer rein and ignore it.


                  gypsymare firefoot

                  I have experimented with giving him a longer rein. When I do, he takes over and decides to move off rather than standing still. If I keep him on a moderate rein length with a neutral contact, he will stand still, but expresses his impatience by snatching at the reins or pawing.

                  ​​​​​​​We're going out again tomorrow. We'll see if this week is a little better.


                    When riding at home, do you practice standing still on a slack rein (on the buckle)? If he doesn't do it at home, it's hard to expect them to know how to do it out hunting. I'd work on practicing standing with a slack rein. Halt, give him a verbal cue, "stand", release your contact. If he steps off, collect a rein quickly and have him do a small circle until you get him to halt again. Give him a pat once he has halted, verbal cue, drop the reins again. It will take LOTS of practice, but you can make it happen.

                    Making corrections with the rein, i.e. yanking on the rein, tend to not work. You just end up in a battle for the reins. Using a touch of the spur, or crop can help correct the behavior, but you must be consistent and respond quickly.

                    One of my geldings WAS AWFUL about rooting and usually while at a check. It seemed to be a bit of a boredom issue. He was a bit wigged out by crops when I first got him, so I would use my spur each time he started with the rooting. It was never used in anger or harshly, but it wasn't the result he was looking for. It took a bit of time, but he eventually quit the behavior, and it was a STRONGLY instilled one. He was a beginner lesson horse before I got him. He would root with the smaller riders. When he had a really small rider on, he wore an overcheck so that he couldn't pull them.

                    Having a horse that was pretty much foot perfect in every other way out hunting for their first times, I'd take a horse that rooted at a check over some of the other "bad behaviors" I've seen and experienced.


                      My horse tried this with me as well. At home, practice with cookies for good standing and work (backing, turning on forehand, etc) for yanking on you. You could also try teaching a cue to get your horse to put it's head down while standing when asked - if the head is already down there's nowhere to go! I plant my hand on the withers (with a loose rein) to prevent getting yanked out of the saddle and I do let her eat if she is standing quietly. After a bit of work, my horse now very rarely yanks on me and when she does, I tap her between the ears with the flat of my head. Any taps behind the shoulder will produce a rocket launch so that's my go-to "cut it out!" spot.

                      Your horse sounds like they did very well their first time out, congrats!