Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog Hop: Chrome wears a bit...

 ...and he doesn't like it much lol.

I spent my whole day yesterday searching for my bit that I know I have and could NOT find it, so being the impatient person I am I went and bought a new D-ring snaffle.  I think my other one is a loose ring anyway and I've heard they can pinch without bit guards so I needed a D-ring anyway.  I was going to get a full cheek, but my stupid backwoods tack stores didn't have any.  I'll still ask my friends if they have a full cheek later, but after today I think the D-ring is going to be fine.

First I put the bit in his mouth without it attached to anything to see if the width was okay (it is).  He took it immediately into his mouth and then it bumped a tooth and he jerked his head in the air.  I'm tall though so he didn't get it out of his mouth.  I held it for a minute while it chewed it so he knew it was an accident and that the bit doesn't hurt.  Then I took it out and started attaching it to my bridle.

I feel like such a dork!  I haven't put a bit on a bridle in so long it took me FOREVER to adjust it!!!  I took the noseband off because it was just making everything more difficult.

I put it back on him and he hesitated a second, but took the bit easily.  It is a bit loose in the above picture and the below video.  After taking the video I realized he got his tongue over the bit so I tightened it one more hole and put the noseband back on.  Here is a short video...

He reacted just about how I expected him to for having a bit in his mouth for the first time.  Here is a picture of it once it was adjusted correctly.

Well I think it is anyway.  It looks right to me, but if you see anything don't hesitate to make suggestions hehe.  I wish I'd managed to get a picture with his mouth closed, but with the delay it was kind of hard since he was chewing constantly.  After the video, but before this last picture, I took the bridle off to get it back over his tongue.  He hesitated again and then took it.  I didn't bump his teeth either time I bridled him so hopefully he will forget that first time lol.  Looking at his teeth I can tell they definitely need floated so I'm not riding him in the bit until after his dental on Tuesday.

After he wore the bit for a little while I stood behind his shoulder with one hand over his back and asked him to walk around while I gently steered him with the bit.  He did great!! I can't wait to ride him in it. He's much more responsive.  We will do a lot of walk work before I ask him to trot because I don't want to surprise him with it.  I'm setting my new bridle up bitless (since it doesn't have bit straps anyway) and I can use it for our trot and canter (so cool I can say that now!) work until he gets adjusted to his new hardware.  :)

P.S.  I think he looks cuter without the noseband.  Once he stops chewing the bit so much and stops trying to get his tongue over it does he even need a noseband?  I don't have it very tight at all so it's not really doing much anyway.

 ETA: I'm editing this to add it to L's blog hop since she did this week's about bits! I don't know if this is a weird coincidence or if L is just that good LOL!  To join the blog hop go HERE.


  1. I was gonna say, your cavesson is so loose it is kind, and doesn't prohibit him from opening his mouth at all, the way you have it adjusted. I like the look of them, but for me they don't serve a purpose beyond looks - I can get my whole hand under there, and the horse can eat huge bites of grass without trouble chewing. And certainly cannot hide resistance.

    Like dressage master Walter Zettel, everytime I put a bit in my horse's mouth, I have a little snack (a vitamin treat, where he used sugar cubes) so that she opens her mouth for the bit. I agree with Zettel that it's one little indulgence we can afford, to help a horse accept a bit. I used to always try to warm the bit beforehand, but the treat makes the entire experience positive even if it's a little cold.

    Good job with Chrome. You are doing it all right, for the circumstances you have. Kinda like mine, huh?

  2. Oh Lytha!! Thank you for reminding me about the treat after putting the bit in. I'm such a mean momma. I'll make sure to have a sugar cube or something ready for him next time! :D

    Yeah our circumstances do seem similar sometimes hehe. We do what we can for them though.

    I like the look of the noseband on him when I'm using it bitless, but with the bit it just seems to kind of crowd his face a little. I'll just have to try both ways and see which one I like better. :)

  3. Eggbut snaffles are also a good option to try. As for the noseband, there is an ongoing discussion here about those. The French don't really like them, so most of the heavies don't use them unless they have to.

  4. I don't tighten my cavesson excessively either, but just tight enough to slip two fingers under.

    Just a note, for a horse not used to a bit, sometimes it can really frustrate them to have metal clips clipped onto their bits. The clips will keep clinking around and not providing a smooth, steady contact that leather can. Obviously depends on the horse, but I know it frustrates my sensitive mare when I have clips from the headstall on her bit.

  5. SFE, I totally forgot to mention in the post that I'm taking the clips off (actually I took them off this morning). I just didn't feel like messing with those stupid hooks at the time. I promise I won't be riding with clips hooked to a bit. I've never ridden with clips hooked to the bit. :) Thank you for the comment!


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