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Horse will not Accept Bit

Whether you are re-training a horse or starting a young horse on a bit, the reasons for the horse not accepting the bit are the same. To assist the horse in accepting the bit and becoming more comfortable with the whole process, it is a good idea to start from scratch. The goal is to make the horse look at the bit as a pleasant experience, something normal and just part of his life. Making the horse comfortable with the bit will take a little time, but will be well worth it for both of you.

The most important thing is confirm that your horse’s apprehension is not a health issue. Inspect your horse’s mouth and teeth. Make sure your horse is free from sores of any kind. This may take the aid of a veterinarian to insure that the horse’s teeth do not need to be floated. Also, check the outside of the horse’s mouth, lips and cheeks. Make sure there are no sores on these areas either.

There are many, many bits to choose from and all brag wonderful benefits, but it is hard to know which one will suit your horse best. It may come down to trial and error. Many people will suggest a stronger bit, but this is a harsh route and may just turn your horse off to the bit more. A snaffle bit is a good solid choice to start. This is a mild bit and a good place to start.

To begin, offer your horse something yummy with the bit. You can hold a biscuit under the bit as you insert it or cover the bit with molasses. Both of these options will help the horse associate something pleasant with the bit. Be gentle and coax the bit into the horse’s mouth. Without the reins attached, just let him get use to the bit.

Do this several times without the reins. Let the horse spend time with the bit in his mouth. Allow it to just become part of his life. Eventually, the bit will become just a normal occurrence and you will be able to add the reins. Again, like anything, this will take patience and time. Connect with and spend time with your horse. Put forth the effort and enjoyment will follow.

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