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Velvet
21-12-06, 07:54 AM
Hello Everyone! http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I am having a bit of a bitting problem with my TB mare and I was wondering if some of you could possibly help...

Here's the problem:

My gorgeous 6yr old mare, Velvet, is very sensitive and gets VERY strong and excited when jumping. Unfortunately, her previous owner lost her temper with her one day and ripped her in the mouth...

Vel remembers EVERYTHING (being highly intelligent and sensitive http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif ) and is now rather "mouthy" and doesn't like being fiddled with in her mouth too much (she gets upset if I half-halt too much etc).

I school her in a loose ring snaffle. She is fine in this, a little strong but controllable and she is really starting to soften nicely and work on the bit very sweetly.

The problem comes in when we want to jump...lol http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Velvet absolutely ADORES jumping and gets very keen and strong. I don't feel the control I would like to have when jumping. I am scared that she will go into a jump too fast and hurt herself!

So I need to find a bit for a strong, hot horse with a sensitive mouth...I don't want to hurt her mouth at all as she is still a baby, I don't want to punish her with a bit that is too harsh because she is keen...

I was riding her in an American snaffle gag..she went quite well in this but I was worried it was too strong for her...

I want to do showing and dressage on her as well so she must be able to go in a snaffle as well... http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Any suggestions are more than welcome!

Thanks

Meg

Patricksmum
21-12-06, 08:37 AM
My sensitive horse became very strong when jumping, used a metal mouth 3 ring & his head disappeared!(Very un-nerving). Found a rubber jointed american gag was the answer. It gave me the confidence to leave him alone until I needed to bring him back, but a nice soft mouthpiece that didn't upset him. The problem with a horse that you worry may get too onward bound is that you start fiddling to try & keep control. This has the following effects:
1 - you break the flow of the jumping round
2 - They start to fight back & get upset
Hope this is useful http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

KatB
21-12-06, 09:21 AM
Often sensitive horses react worse the more you put in their mouths, they end up fighting you! Have you tried something with a nathe mouthpiece, find horses back off them a tad, so makes it "friendlier" than increasing pressure and giving them more to pull against?

Sparklet
21-12-06, 10:18 AM
I have always been told that rushing at jumps is less about loving to jump and more about fear of jumping (a bit like they rush through a stable door if they have caught their hips on it in the past). This would pan out if the previous owner has ripped her mouth jumping and she is young.

The best advice would be to keep the bitting soft and keep the jumps simple (lunge over them if need be) until she gains confidence that she will not be hurt.

Jemayni
21-12-06, 05:54 PM
My horse is quite similar to this He has never been badly handled but did have several ulcers in his mouth last year. When I rebitted him he was a nightmare, he never rushed jumping, but was very strong in open spaces, I put him in a mexican noseband and a martingale for a while which prevented him ever becoming unsafe. I never took him out of a snaffle though (lozenge loose-ring.) I agree with Scrooge in that the more you give them to pull against the worse they get, he has been off work this summer and has been doing lots of walk excercise so I have had a lot of time to improve his mouth. Now he goes w/o martingale and in a cavesson ande is now much more acceptive of the bit than what he ever was before!

PoppyPony
21-12-06, 09:55 PM
Not an expert I'm afraid but have you thought about trying and english hackamore? My friend's arab goes wonderfully in one of these for jumping, although doesn't school very well in it.

sunny123
22-12-06, 09:27 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I have always been told that rushing at jumps is less about loving to jump and more about fear of jumping (a bit like they rush through a stable door if they have caught their hips on it in the past). This would pan out if the previous owner has ripped her mouth jumping and she is young.

The best advice would be to keep the bitting soft and keep the jumps simple (lunge over them if need be) until she gains confidence that she will not be hurt.

[/ QUOTE ]

I completely agree with this. If she is quite sensitive then go back to something really gentle, as a strong bit could just upset her more. Go completely back to basic over tiny jumps and trotting poles and try to keep everything calm. We took everything abit fast with my mums horse and had to go back and it worked for him. Obviously i dont know the whole situation but thats what i would try before going for a strong bit.

BuckingHorse
22-12-06, 01:10 PM
I love the nathe pelham, the mouthpiece is soft, flexible rubber and it has a nylon curb strap which fits slightly higher than a traditional curb.
It seems to work well on strong but 'mouthy' horses because of the material plus you have a bit extra poll pressure and curb action if you need it.

CrazyMare
22-12-06, 01:49 PM
Have you ever tried the Neue Schule bits?

My mare can be immensly strong, and was previously in a jointed pelham and tight curb chain, she did have a jointed hanging cheek for flat work.

We changed both to their respective NS bits with a tranzlink lozenge and she became a different horse to ride, rather than throwing her head at me and becoming very hard when asked on the flat or jumping to come back to me, she became very soft and wet in her mouth and much more accepting of all aids, from my body, seat, legs and hands.

I've found she just doesnt like stainless steel bits, could be worth a try

flyingfeet
22-12-06, 04:02 PM
If you can afford it I would recommend a nathe combination bit - these are very kind to the mouth.

However more economical solution are a nathe snaffle or other synthetic bit (I rate flexi / applemouths about a happymouth as these can get rough) with a kineton noseband or nasen schutz. These act on the nose and give extra brakes in a different form.

You could also try a drop noseband with reins attached the the rings and set slightly lower than a cavesson. This almost gives you a semi jumping side pull type hackamore.

If going total to the bitless route, be careful to put in lots of schooling and try the mildest first.