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Bit for horse missing a few teeth

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  • Bit for horse missing a few teeth

    Hi, I am completely new to the horse world and also to owning a horse. We recently adopted a 22 year old grey gelding who is missing a few teeth on one side. I am trying to figure out what a good bit would be for him. One of our other horses has a straight bit with copper in in like this that he didn't seem to mind:

    I just got his own bridle and put a spare steel bit we had like this on and he didn't seem to like it at all. I wasn't sure if anyone else has experience with an older horse and what might be a good fit.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    An issue I have with the classic copper roller bit, is that the bars of the bit are quite straight, so the bit has more bar pressure, vs a more curved bit.

    If he has lost teeth, it is possible he has some gum irritation, so may prefer a bitless option, or a bit that works less on the bars (French link perhaps?). If he is broke to a curb, then a mild curb might even be a better option.

    What did he used to go in?
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I am not sure what the last owner used for a bit option. From the pictures I've seen there were various option, but I'm not sure if that was rider preference or trying to find something that worked well. I will look into the options you listed. I don't know a lot about bits but I was thinking rubber might be an option?

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly, I don't see how the horse missing a few teeth is going to influence your bit selection.

        TEETH don't make any contact with the bit, nor hold it in place.

        Now, as CHT mentioned, if you horse also has gum changes where the bit sits, then that may change things. But purely teeth shouldn't have any affect on the bit.

        Try different bits and see which one the horse prefers.
        It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by beau159 View Post
          Honestly, I don't see how the horse missing a few teeth is going to influence your bit selection.

          TEETH don't make any contact with the bit, nor hold it in place.

          Now, as CHT mentioned, if you horse also has gum changes where the bit sits, then that may change things. But purely teeth shouldn't have any affect on the bit.

          Try different bits and see which one the horse prefers.
          If the horse has lost its first premolars, it could be a real problem with bitting.

          OP, has the vet took a look of your horses' teeth?

          Maybe you could also contact the previous owner?

          A good idea would be to find a good trainer who could help you. Being new to horses, you'll need help anyway.
          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

          Originally posted by LauraKY
          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
          HORSING mobile training app

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

            If the horse has lost its first premolars, it could be a real problem with bitting.
            Please educate me.


            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by beau159 View Post
              Please educate me.
              If a premolar (or worse, a few) is missing, especially on the lower jaw, there will be a gap where the bit could slide into and get stuck. That is potentially dangerous and could badly hurt the horse.

              If horses can chew their bit, it means it sometime touches their teeth, if it touches teeth, it can get stuck if there is a hole.

              This was something I had to discuss with my vet regarding an older horse who's teeth were shaking... and later, a younger one who developped an abcess in the lower mandibula that left a hole the size of an egg. That was scary.
              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

              Originally posted by LauraKY
              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
              HORSING mobile training app

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post

                If a premolar (or worse, a few) is missing, especially on the lower jaw, there will be a gap where the bit could slide into and get stuck. That is potentially dangerous and could badly hurt the horse.

                If horses can chew their bit, it means it sometime touches their teeth, if it touches teeth, it can get stuck if there is a hole.

                This was something I had to discuss with my vet regarding an older horse who's teeth were shaking... and later, a younger one who developped an abcess in the lower mandibula that left a hole the size of an egg. That was scary.
                But how would this influence bit selection for the OP's horse?

                It seems that any bit would have the potential to do this, although some more than others (broken mouthpiece vs solid mouthpiece, for example).
                It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by beau159 View Post

                  But how would this influence bit selection for the OP's horse?

                  It seems that any bit would have the potential to do this, although some more than others (broken mouthpiece vs solid mouthpiece, for example).
                  I was responding to your comment about the bit not touching the teeth, hence not influencing the bit choice.

                  If these teeth are missing, the OP would have to go bitless; there is then a choice of bitless bridles or hackamores...
                  That's why we need more info about this potential dental issue.
                  ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                  Originally posted by LauraKY
                  I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                  HORSING mobile training app

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I'm in the process of getting a vet to come out. He is now throwing his head and refuses to turn to the right (his missing teeth are on the left). My boyfriend insists he's just got an attitude but I truly believe there is something more going on. I'm also trying to work out trailering him to my trainer for help. Hopefully I will have an answer soon.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by countrygirl12116 View Post
                      I'm in the process of getting a vet to come out. He is now throwing his head and refuses to turn to the right (his missing teeth are on the left). My boyfriend insists he's just got an attitude but I truly believe there is something more going on. I'm also trying to work out trailering him to my trainer for help. Hopefully I will have an answer soon.
                      Good for you to getting the vet and a trainer involved.

                      As for the Boyfriend... Don't take advice from clueless people.
                      He should take lessons too.

                      Meanwhile, leave the old dude quiet from riding.
                      Plenty of turn out time and TLC.
                      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                      Originally posted by LauraKY
                      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                      HORSING mobile training app

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        So the vet came out and the best she can see he isn't in fact missing any teeth but they were super long on one side (which explains why he eats with his head sideways). His eating has improved and he rode better bet still won't turn right. At her suggestion I tried it with just a halter and still have the same issue so I guess I need to start a new thread for how to teach your horse not to canter when you want to go right...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by countrygirl12116 View Post
                          So the vet came out and the best she can see he isn't in fact missing any teeth but they were super long on one side (which explains why he eats with his head sideways). His eating has improved and he rode better bet still won't turn right. At her suggestion I tried it with just a halter and still have the same issue so I guess I need to start a new thread for how to teach your horse not to canter when you want to go right...
                          It can takes sometime for the horse to adjust to its now pain free mouth. He might still be expecting pain when you are pulling the reins.

                          You will really need a trainer who will evaluate your horse's condition, skills and define an appropriate training plan. You need riding and horsemanship lessons too.
                          Owning a horse is great responsability, taking care of an older one is even greater. Make sure you are well surrounded by competent professionals, for the sake of this saint of a horse.

                          ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                          Originally posted by LauraKY
                          I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                          HORSING mobile training app

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by countrygirl12116 View Post
                            So the vet came out and the best she can see he isn't in fact missing any teeth but they were super long on one side (which explains why he eats with his head sideways). His eating has improved and he rode better bet still won't turn right. At her suggestion I tried it with just a halter and still have the same issue so I guess I need to start a new thread for how to teach your horse not to canter when you want to go right...
                            Agree with Albi that it takes time for the horse to learn that it isn't going to hurt anymore.

                            Also, since he is an aged horse and assuming he has had a rough past (I assume you adopted him from a rescue, which means he was in a poor situation before??), I would go a bit further with make sure there isn't any other pain that is bothering him.

                            Does your same vet do lameness evaluations?
                            Is there a good chiropractor in your area that can check him?

                            While I guarantee he needs a refresher in some basic training, it is always a good idea to make sure the older ones are feeling as good as they can feel for their age.

                            Do you have a trainer you are working with?
                            It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

                            Comment

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