Excerpt from the April issue of Heels Down Magazine.
Is your bit wrong for your horse? Quite possibly, and then again, maybe not. Vague answers are my specialty and so are lists, so I will provide a handy checklist of ways your horse may be telling you he doesn’t like the bit in his mouth. It’s really up to you and your horse’s crew – your vet, trainer, barn BFF, and possibly your dog – to decide what’s going on.
- Does your horse become a giraffe when he sees the bridle? That’s the horse equivalent of saying “no way”.
- Is your horse good at ripping your arms out of the sockets when he’s being ridden? This might be your horse saying, “The bit doesn’t work at all, or it works too much and it hurts, so I shall get comfortable at my human’s expense.”
- Are there sores on his tongue, the bars of his mouth, or the soft corners of his lips? Ever bitten the inside of your cheek? And then worn a bit and been asked to run around and jump things with it?
- Your horse’s tongue – does it stay in his mouth when he’s wearing a bridle? Sometimes there’s literally no room in your horse’s mouth for his bit.
Let’s complicate this quest to find the perfect bit with just the vast number of types of bits on the market, what your horse’s job is, and what his general personality is like. There has perhaps never been a larger can o’ worms.
So, what do you do about this?