bits, nosebands or martingales?!

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anna_banana*
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Location: Lincolnshire

bits, nosebands or martingales?!

Postby anna_banana* » Mon May 16, 2011 8:41 pm

Often when I'm riding I find that if i ask my horse to slow down or stop, she will toss her head in the air and set her jaw, so that I can't stop her. It happens a lot when I'm hacking, I only have to give a tiny squeeze and she sets her jaw and starts jogging. I've had her checked by the vet, saddler and dentist, who say shes fine. Ive spoken to three different friends of mine, who each told be something different; one said to try a new bit, the other a different noseband, and the last to try a martigale. I've got no idea who is right - which one should I use?

hessy
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Re: bits, nosebands or martingales?!

Postby hessy » Tue May 17, 2011 12:38 pm

How long has she been having this problem? What bit and noseband are you currently riding in?

My first thought would be the bit - possibly if your bit is jointed, when you squeeze on the reins, the joint pokes into the roof of her mouth. It all depends on the conformation of the mouth - some bits suit some and not others. You could try a double jointed bit or a straight bar/mullen mouth. Same bit rings but a different mouthpiece. What bit are you currently riding in? If you are riding in a gag bit perhaps she is objecting to poll pressure - in this case perhaps a change of bit may be required. If you have a curb chain, check that it is fastened correctly and not twisted. If your bit has loose rings, check that the bit fits correctly so it doesnt pinch the corners of her mouth.

A cavesson noseband should be 2 fingers stacked on top of each other space between the nasal bone and the noseband.

Hope this helps.

User avatar
anna_banana*
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:09 pm
Location: Lincolnshire

Re: bits, nosebands or martingales?!

Postby anna_banana* » Tue May 17, 2011 7:47 pm

Thanks for the reply - we've been having this problem since I got her in January (at first we thought it was just a confidence thing, but her old owner came out to ride her and said she'd never seen her do it before and just told use she was being naughty - although I'm not convinced, so we had all the checks done) At the moment, she's in a french link eggbutt snaffle - according to her old owner, shes been ridden in this bit for at least the last four years. I'm lucky as I have a friend who runs the local tack shop, so she said she would bring out some different bits to try so I don't have to spend a fortune on buying loads of different ones! As for the noseband, she's been in a plain cavesson - I haven't had a chance to check where it sits yet thanks to school exams :(

Thanks for your help - hoping to get this sorted soon so I don't have to go everywhere at 100mph!

hessy
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Re: bits, nosebands or martingales?!

Postby hessy » Tue May 17, 2011 10:28 pm

Ok, so the french link eggbutt rules out pinching at the corners of the mouth and the single joint poking her in the mouth.

The next thing i would check is possibly the width of the mouthpiece to make sure it fits correctly and that the bit is smooth with no rough edges or poky bits - run your fingers over all surfaces.

I would trust your instincts - if you think there is a problem, despite what you are being told, look into it. Sounds like you are already doing this! :)

Another point about the cavesson is that it should sit 2 fingers width below the projecting cheekbone.

A possibility could be that her mouth is sore - i know you got the dentist out but he/she possibly didn't check her gums and bars of the mouth - try and get a feel and look in her mouth yourself - put pressure on the bars to see if she reacts as there may be pain - there could be a sore in her mouth somewhere or a rub on her tongue. This will probably be difficult as she possibly wont like her mouth being handled generally. Most get annoyed with you grabbing around this area after a while!

Trying a selection of bits may make you more confused (plus you would have to ride her in them for a significant period to try them out, more than 1 ride) so I would hold off on trying a different bit just yet.

Possibly her reaction when you squeeze the reins is that she is remembering a painful experience and is trying to avoid it.

I wouldn't advise strapping her down with different bits and attachments etc but i'm not totally against the use of these things if they are required. I dare say you would rather have her riding happily the way she is rather than having to strap her down to control her.

I would possibly look for an experienced, decent instructor as it may be a schooling issue - there may be some exercises that you can do that will help you control her. This will take patience and working at it but it will be worth it.

I hope this helps a bit. I would try these suggestions first before trying different types of tack.


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