I need a new bit, I have a hus quarter horse, he’s 16.1 but has western pleasure bloodlines. The girl I got him from is known as a “rip and tear” trainer, soo he can be super hard mouthed. She had him in a twisted wire (I know it’s awful) for hus and then for western a correction bit. I really like how he responded to the western bit so I got a English correction kimberwick. He is being a real brat about putting a bridle on and is using his height to his advantage (he’s 16.1 and I’m 5’7) I was working with my 4h leaders and they suggested getting a much milder bit, they said maybe something with a peanut, or a slow twist or a plain snaffle. I’m just worried going from something so harsh to something that mild. Suggestions? Bit ideas? Pictures appreciated! Thanks!
If he goes well in the western correction, it shouldnt be the bit that is making him hard to bridle. Sounds like he is just being a brat.
I had one like that years ago. I ended up “painting” the bit with melted down peppermint treats. Just a very thin layer. The horse was excited to have something yummy in her mouth and began to associate the bit with something good.
I am not a proponent of horses eating while they have a bit in their mouth, but sometimes you gotta do what your gotta do. Even if it means putting a treat in your hand with the bit and if he takes the bit nicely, he gets the treat. If he throws his head, no treat.
Im sure there are tons of other ideas for how to handle this one, but those are just my two cents! Good Luck!
If you want a milder bit I’d try a low-port or mullen-mouth kimberwicke or d-ring. A slow twist is not milder, the twist is meant to be uncomfortable.
I know it seems counter-intuitive, but going back to a regular mild snaffle and using it correctly could be the answer. He sounds like has been hurt by and is afraid of a bit and would benefit from a soft re-starting with good hands. The idea of a snaffle is to get a horse really responsive and when you move to another bit that could be more harsh you have enough finesse that you can do much less to get what you want.
I am a horse club 4-H leader and have a couple kids in our group that are having similar issues but have “trainers” who are telling them that using a snaffle with ruin their horse. Its been a tough sell but those 2 horses are behind the bit all the time and are always getting jerked on as that is what they see at shows. They both have supposedly seasoned show horse that have gotten more difficult every year. We hope we can at least convince them to give it a try. I know from personal experience that it can work very well with some time and patience.
@mestle … So you would recommend just going back to a snaffle? No slow twist or peanut or anything? And if he grabs ahold of it, then what? I got him in September and he’s slowly gotten worse and worse. I feel bad for him but he wouldn’t listen in anything else. But your saying taking it back and with soft hands it could be the answer!?! That’d be awesome.
If he just keeps getting worse and worse, I’d hazard a guess that it’s not the bit.
Any chance you can employ a good trainer (with soft hands) to help correct his behaviors? It sounds like he needs to be reschooled. It sounds like you’re somewhat young, and you may not have the “know how” to just pop in a snaffle and get “softness.”(actually, I wish it were that easy) I would be concerned that he would quickly take advantage of you, and become very hard to control.
I would try a low port Myler. I got my guy one of the lowest ports and he seems to like it.
As for the bridling issue, I had the same problem with my horse. I just went back to square one and now I can hold the bridle infront of his face and he’ll grab the bit himself.
First does he know the head down command? Hand on poll? If not teach that first.
Start out with a halter and lead on, in a stall. Take the bit off the bridle and just hold it in your hand. Hold it up to his mouth, not trying to put it in. Let him nose in or mouth it and praise praise praise. Then you can start trying to put the bit in. Once he takes it, give him a treat and then remove it. Remember he has to do this with his head down.
Now, this may take a few days so don’t rush. After he willingly takes just the bit, add the headstall and repeat. Then you can add the noseband and reins etc. this really worked well for my guy, and I certainly needed it because he’s 17.1. Oh and after only 1.5 sessions he totally got it
Have you had his teeth checked? That would be the first thing I check. How is the bit hanging? The western trainers I’ve worked with all hang their bits much lower than 2 wrinkles rule of thumb, we usually hung then so they just touched the corners of the mouth, and if you had the bridle adjusted smaller some would get fussy until you adjusted it. How are you putting the bridle on?
IMO, this doesn’t sound like something a different bit is going to fix, this sounds like a tooth problem or a training issue.