• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



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 are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

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 1/26/16)
See more
See less

bitting the fussy mouth... improving downward transitions.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • bitting the fussy mouth... improving downward transitions.

    ok. hints/tips/suggestions/what has worked for you time.

    6yo ASB gelding. Had him a month. He's really honest, and wants to be SO GOOD, but he gets upset if he thinks he's messing up. Trained as a 2 and 3 year old but has sat around since. Green broke. Walks, trots, canters. Wears his bridle and goes a NICE show trot (trots above level in a snow pad and a keg shoe. Wheeee!) but any defensiveness/nervousness shows up in his mouth. I put my mom up on him for a few minutes last weekend, just walking on light contact, and his mouth was not quiet for two strides in a row and he stuck his tongue over the bit and out the side of his mouth several times because my mom was being a weenie rider and wasn't giving him any sort of confidence. If I pick up the bit any higher, it'll be up in his teeth. It's not like it's dangling in his mouth. I tried dropping it a hole to see if he would feel a need to maybe carry the bit a little bit in his mouth would quiet him up a little (worked well on previous mouth rehab project...) but no luck there. I also did try a couple rides with the bit "he goes really easily in" (single joint twisted wire o-ring. Not really a fan but there are worse out there...) just to see if maybe the familiarity of it would give him a little more confidence... No cigar. Backed him down to a slow twist dr bristol full cheek, he's a lot quieter but still will flop his tongue over, usually only if he's being asked for a downward transition and he's resisting it. He generally will put it back where it belongs once hes feeling no longer pressured.
    He's also wall/end of arena dependent for downward transitions and very set in "showring routine" mode. W/T/C Reverse, W/T/C done. He anticipates the canter. He picks it right up, correct lead every time, but you can see and feel the anxiety over it. Right now, we've put the canter away and are just working walk/trot.

    His teeth were last floated in the fall, will be having him checked by my vet when I have him out for spring shots/coggins, etc.....

    His former owner/trainer says tongue tie will fix his issues. I don't like it. I dont' believe in it. Those fall in the same category for me as drop nosebands, spike nosebands, crank nosebands etc. They exist only to mask a problem. A properly trained horse doesn't need its mouth clamped shut and tongue tied down.

    Tonight I warmed him up at a trot (damn, he's fun. It's easy to get carried away at that fun trot and keep remembering that his training needs refining too if i want to have an equitation horse in a couple of years) , and then worked on walk/halt, trying to get him to stop promptly without bridle (he hears whoa, he immediately roots into the bridle. I would tell him WHOA and give him a couple strides with my seat deep/down and then stop him with the bridle and seat combined, and if he really keeps walking through it or rooting down against the bridle, take him immediately into a back pretty much back to where I asked for the halt. He did get more prompt and started needing less bridle, rooted back into it less.

    Two part question after that loooong explanation....

    The bit is closer but I think still no cigar. I'm considering picking up a ported snaffle to try on him and see if less tongue pressure makes him any happier or at least makes it more challenging to get his tongue over.... Any experience on these: http://www.bluegrasshorsesupply.com/...iece-1183.html

    (would love to get hold of one of these to try out... but... expensive bit+gotta order it from the UK or australia= not totally an option right now http://www.thehorsebitshop.co.uk/product.php?xProd=514)

    And second... any hints/tips/drills that work well to put a more prompt halt on a horse?

  • #2
    Get a qualified (not the trainer suggesting a tongue tie on a green horse) trainer to help you. A green broke horse that has done nothing for years, needs to go back to the beginning, and learn how to accept a bit, and go forward, and straight. Putting a twisted wire bit, stopping and backing him, etc are not the way to go with a green, unfit horse. He isn't fit enough if he's just been sitting to properly balance himself with a rider, and doesn't know how to accept a bit if he was just green broke. Putting a rider with untrained hands/seat on him (like your mom, if she doesn't have educated hands) is unfair.
    Horses that aren't fit/or are unbalanced will root a little while they find their balance. Using twisted wires, and halting abruptly/backing will teach a green horse to go behind the bit.


    • #3
      I would recommend having an equine dentist look at his mouth ASAP. I had a horse the same age do the same sort of thing with his tongue, the trainer's vet said his mouth was fine, the eq.dentist found a retained cap on a lower molar. Until then try wrapping a thin bit with Sealtex bit wrap.
      To teach stop, walk straight at the rail. When you feel the horse begin to stop, ask for a halt, and praise when you get it. Do this many times. Then ask for halt a step or two before the rail. Praise when you get it. Do this many times. Then ask for halt going along the rail. Lots of praise, do this many times. Then when you get a halt any time at the walk, repeat the steps at the trot and then the canter.


      • #4
        If you don't want to wrap a bit this bit comes in Soft, Medium, and Firm texture.
        Soft is great for starting, or mouth issues. It also comes D-ring, and Full cheek.
        Contact info is in USA.


        • #5
          Some horses do not like jointed bits of any kind. My guy is very resistant to jointed anything. He will open his mouth, set his jaw, be very fussy, etc. Switched him to a low port pelham and all the nonsense stopped. He's light, very quiet mouthed and happy. Have you tried something with a mullen mouth or non-jointed?
          Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls


          • Original Poster

            The only mullen/straight mouth that isn't a curb (horse is only snaffle broke and is a long way off from going into a full bridle) I have in my repertoire is an oddie. It comes from the age of dinosaurs (it was old when my grandparents got their first horses...) and I think is a hand made. It's a straight bar, loose ring but has two rings around the mouthpiece as well. Cheek pieces go to the floating rings, reins on the rings.

            can always give it a try though. Worse comes to worse, it goes back in the tack trunk.

            Today was a much more successful ride. Started to get some halts just from the seat without having to touch his mouth or him to respond to the request by rooting.
            csaper58- tried your suggested drill and it helped. the first couple times he got a little worked up and flipped his tongue as he continued straight at the wall . I'm gonna guess he's been kind of driven forward into stops using the wall as a brake in his previous training. He started to get it though.


            • #7
              I would try something with a mullen mouth or a French link (not Dr. Bristol). My Arab did similar things with his mouth in the beginning. His chosen bits are the JP Korsteel oval mouth (has a bean instead of a flat link) eggbutt or a mullen mouth eggbutt snaffle.


              • #8
                In my experience, most head issues (if not caused by pain from teeth that need floating) are not bit issues, but rather are riding hands issues. Work with a good trainer who understands how to ride from back to front with a giving soft hand.

                And ditch the "trainer" that suggested tying the tongue.
                Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by blairasb View Post
                  The only mullen/straight mouth that isn't a curb (horse is only snaffle broke and is a long way off from going into a full bridle) I have in my repertoire is an oddie. It comes from the age of dinosaurs (it was old when my grandparents got their first horses...) and I think is a hand made. It's a straight bar, loose ring but has two rings around the mouthpiece as well. Cheek pieces go to the floating rings, reins on the rings.
                  That sounds like a four ring driving bit, used when you don't want to have a seperate overcheck bit.

                  I have a student with a Morgan that does the same thing. I am having her maintain contact through all transitions and to work more from her seat for downward transitions. This horse's mouth was so bad that the previous owner gave up on bits and just used a bitless bridle on him. We have him going pretty well at home but he still gets a little anxious at shows and will sometimes bounce around in the bridle on his transitions. He is sired by Courage of Equinox and is drop dead gorgeous and is worth the effort.
                  Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                  Bernard M. Baruch


                  • Original Poster

                    amwrider- exactly. It's like the four ring bits except it's a loose ring instead of a half cheek. I'm just not sure if he'll like it because it's STRAIGHT. not even a hint of a curve so I think it's gonna give a LOT of tongue pressure. Though... I've had horses like bits that I thought there was no way in heck they'd do well in before....

                    candysgirl- I tried him in the oval mouth eggbutt I had for my last horse. He didn't seem to care for it.

                    The tongue thing has been an issue since he came to me and been consistent through a few different bits.

                    Our bit progression has been this- smooth french link. Was the first bit I was able to get my hands on when the horse arrived as I packed up most of my stuff when my gelding died in November. It was a light weight hollow mouth and also too wide in the mouth for him.

                    The next one i tried was a JP curve oval mouth eggbutt. he really didnt' seem to care for that one, the tongue was all over the place, chomping on the bit.

                    My next (and current) bit was the slow twist dr bristol full cheek. It's what I would call "barely" twisted. Theres a small turn to the metal in the distance between the cheek and the middle link that is totally unsharp. More of a bump than a sharp corner. His mouth is quiet 80% of the time in this one, finishes the ride with what the dressage set calls "lipstick foam", when he's doing something he feels confident about doing, he's quiet and his tongue stays in place. He only gets silly with his mouth when he's feeling challenged or anxious about his work and the bit is used in any way other than extremely light contact with a gentle shift to the bit (just fingers, not a big see saw motion) to ask him to balance up. So... this tells me we're close but still not quite right, and he may like something with less tongue pressure?

                    I tried a single joint twisted wire on him on three occasions. First time his mouth was QUIET. No tongue issue. Second time was pretty similar though I asked him for more time at the walk and more transitions instead of just going around and around at the trot... and he started to get fussy. Third time, his tongue was EVERYWHERE. Instead of our usual quiet alone time in the arena, it was a saturday so we had to share ring time with lessons, a very loud instructor and a couple of kids who got in his "bubble" a bit (not in a dangerous way, but he's not really used to working with other horses so if they get "too close" he's nervous. His mouth was crazy from start to finish time, grinding teeth, tongue out the side of his mouth by a FOOT, twisted upside down (I kid you not.)

                    Switched back to the slow twist Dr. B after that to some improvement though not complete. Again, quiet mouthed when doing easy stuff, when he feels challenged, there goes the tongue.

                    The trainer who suggested the tongue tie isn't my trainer , hes in the picture because he's the one who gave him to me (he's the SO of my best friend) and he's my farrier. No intention of using him as a trainer/instructor. I don't have a trainer per se, but I have the part time assistance of my mother, who isn't a really confident rider anymore (hasn't had a horse to ride in years) but is one hell of an instructor. I like to train a horse my way and took my last project from much more significant mouth troubles (he was a hard mouthed locked up mess wearing a mule bit, tongue tie, and spike noseband when I bought him. His work bridle set up before I lost him was the smooth oval mouth, no noseband needed and he was SLICK. But it's been 10 years since my last "bad mouth" rehab project and I wanted to make sure that I'm not forgetting something that could be of benefit.