help!!! Training & Bits


New Member
Jul 15, 2008
Ok, having had my 5 yr old Cob Gelding for almost 4 months now, need some more advice!! For the first month I didn't ride him, he came from a horrible riding school, had been overworked and way underfed, so let him settle in and put on some weight before buying him a saddle. As he's only ever been used as a riding school horse, he's not used to hacking out. He's getting on not too badly out with his field companian,and I started taking him out on his own but with my husband walking at our side, started well, but tried to take him out on his own 3 weeks ago, he took off at full gallop towards the road, managed to steer him round the corner away from the road, he went 1 way & I went the other! Concussion & broken rib later I;ve lost a bit of confidence!
Obviously I know that more schooling & time are required, started hiring the school at the local stables, even in there he's started napping to the door, and putting his head right down to use his strength, BEING A COB HE'S REALLY STRONG!!. As my confidence is knocked should i think about a stronger bit, just until he's started listening to me, then I can go back to a milder bit (he's currently ridden in an French Link eggbut snaffle). HELP!!!!!!!:eek:


New Member
Oct 5, 2005
New Zealand
Are you having lessons on him? If you are, get the instructor's opinion, if you aren't, have one.
In my opinion, you have the right idea about changing bit for a while, you need to be able to get his attention, require him to listen so you don't end up in another dangerous situation. It's just a matter of what bit to choose, which is where I think an instructor on the ground would be the best person to advise, having both you and horse right in front of them.
Hope you find a solution soon!


New Member
Jul 15, 2008
if he's leaning on the bit and puttting his head down to the ground, i would say a waterford mouth piece anyway.......and perhaps a hanging cheek, a gag, or just a loose ring snaffle mouth piece.

Does he grab the bit when he puts his head down?

If you want any more info on those bits i mentioned just PM me:)


New Member
Jul 26, 2007
sorry to hear about your fall, i cant comment on the bit but just a little helpful advice, i know alot of people who have bought ex riding school horses and they have had problems at first as the horse/pony have been a bit of a handful, this is because they have been used to alot of work. all the ones i know settle down after a while but i did have 5 kids once screaming me as there horse was being naughty. i am sure if you stick with him and maybes get some lesson on him so he is in a semi familiar enviroment you will get along like a house on fire

Good luck


New Member
Oct 5, 2003
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Hi, changing the bit to something stronger may not help as it sounds like a confidence issue, being young and not used to hacking alone, its a big scary thing to ask of him and if you have had your confidence shaken by his tanking off, (I don't blame you), then it makes for a more worried horse.
Build his confidence up gradually, make it easy, try different things, hacking with a safe companion so he gets to know the area,or have someone on foot/bike. Then gradually start hacking alone 5 minutes with lots of pats and praise and so on, circular routes if possible to lessen the likeihood of rushing home. If you can spend 10/15 minutes before you go out alone in the school to get him listening and relaxed (either ridden or groundwork ) it may help him.
All horses are different, some are point and go, while others take time and small steps to reach your goal of hacking alone. I can sympathise with you, as my current horse is a girl who 'thinks too much' and we can manage short rides out alone, and to be fair, could manage long hacks too if the thought of her going into 'melt-down' didn't hold me back, so its a gradual process for us too on days when we're both feeling good.


New Member
Jul 20, 2008

Hey how are you getting on with this - have you thought about trying bitless - I used the dr cooks cross over bitless for m,y strong, pushy - dominant appaloosa mare - it puts pressure over a larger area and so less resistance and also no pain to the horse - so effectively not much to fight......


New Member
Apr 14, 2007
Agree with trying bitless, or Waterford or a gag, but make sure its a running gag where the cheekpiece comes down through the bit rings vertically and you have 2 reins, not just a Dutch/3ring/bubble gag as that will just apply poll pressure and lower his head further! and you said he puts his head down to tank off (and not a hanging cheek or Pelham for the same reason).


New Member
Sep 4, 2008
how are you doing now, have you had lessons, maybe he is just not used to the rest and pampering, he would have pent up energy, just like if we were worked to the bone and badly fed then put into retirement, let him relax sometimes this can take a month or two or three, depending on the horse, spend time with him in the field. and always remain calm and confident, and keep us posted, any pics??
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