My horse chews his bit. Please help

Moss.fellpony

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Jan 4, 2021
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Hello everyone
My horse chews on his bit when we go riding. He is young so it could be normal and he might grow out of it but I was wondering if anyone had any advice. He usually chews at the start of a ride and then chews less as the ride goes on. I would appreciate any advice you have, thank you.
 

Jane&Ziggy

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Hello, welcome to NR. I'll be interested in the answers to your question as I have a baby who's about to start the run-up to backing, and I will have to bit him at some point!

We love pictures, by the way, do let's see your pony :)
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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What bit are you using. Have you tried any different ones.

My boy was chewing on his metal bit. Ive played around with a couple. Think ive got one in with a french link currently. I changed him to a straight bar rubber bit and he stopped chewing. Think he teally liked that one.
Have had to go back to the metal bit as it provides me with better brakes when he gets strong unfortunately. To start with he went back to chewing straight away but it has slowy become less now as he is maturing, which is better.

Days where i put the bridle on with the rubber bit he doesnt chew at all.
 

Jessey

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Is he actually making contact between teeth and the bit and actually chewing it or just moving it around in his mouth a lot? If it’s the latter you may need to play with the adjustment a bit to find where he’s most comfortable with the bit, they often chomp more if they aren’t happy with where it sits in the mouth, equally it could be the style of mouthpiece that’s not quite right for them. Moving the bit around is just them trying to get comfortable.
 
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Frances144

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We have one that has just been backed who does this.

We tried a variety of bits that we have in our stables. No change. He fiddled about, chomped, chewed, went around with his mouth open, like a ruddy goldfish. We even tried bitless and he bombed about like a goldfish!

We got the vet in to check his teeth as the horse dentist was not coming out (Covid and we are on an island with no horse dentist). Vet (who has a horse herself) put in gag, rummaged about and said everything was fine. No wolf teeth, no sharp bits, no problems. All perfect. Like I said, vet has a horse herself and has done Equine Science Masters Degree too.

My daughter (who likes research and science-based fact and has Equine Science Masters degree too) researched all types of bits and we got many in from the Bit Bank on approval to try. We found one that sort of was slightly better than the others but he wasn't "cured"..... Straight bar, titanium - https://fagerbits.com/store/titanium-bits/sara-titanium-loose-rings


Equine dentist then announced he was finally coming to the island so we quickly booked an appointment. He examined horse, found mega-sharp bits and was shocked that vet had said everything was ok.

Equine dentist spent a lot of time on horse's mouth and now our horse is back in training and 100% different. Better, stopped chewing, stopped fiddling about with his mouth. He is much more settled and, dare I say it, normal!

So, moral of this long and boring story - get a well-qualified equine dentist. Not someone who did a coffee-morning in it who owns a gag and a couple of rasps.
 

Frances144

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Also contact plays a huge part now. If daughter rides with little contact (and he is a youngster - 1st year being ridden), then he forgets himself and starts waving his head about and chewing. When reminded, and contact taken up better, he is much more focussed. Sometimes, I think, we forget that youngsters need a certain amount of direction and rein, rather than let them invent stuff for themselves. Well, this is certainly the case with our lad. He is better with rules and direction rather than free-thinking. We don't encourage this anymore. He is not qualified!
 
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Moss.fellpony

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
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What bit are you using. Have you tried any different ones.

My boy was chewing on his metal bit. Ive played around with a couple. Think ive got one in with a french link currently. I changed him to a straight bar rubber bit and he stopped chewing. Think he teally liked that one.
Have had to go back to the metal bit as it provides me with better brakes when he gets strong unfortunately. To start with he went back to chewing straight away but it has slowy become less now as he is maturing, which is better.

Days where i put the bridle on with the rubber bit he doesnt chew at all.
I have tried a different bit but not a rubber one so I'll look in to using a rubber one. I have the same problem with using moss's brakes sometimes too ?
 

Moss.fellpony

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
10
2
3
Is he actually making contact between teeth and the bit and actually chewing it or just moving it around in his mouth a lot? If it’s the latter you may need to play with the adjustment a bit to find where he’s most comfortable with the bit, they often chomp more if they aren’t happy with where it sits in the mouth, equally it could be the style of mouthpiece that’s not quite right for them. Moving the bit around is just them trying to get comfortable.
Ah that's interesting. I think it's the first one because when I'm riding I can feel him chewing on the bit. He does chew less as the ride goes on so maybe he is just trying to make it more comfy
 

Moss.fellpony

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
10
2
3
Also contact plays a huge part now. If daughter rides with little contact (and he is a youngster - 1st year being ridden), then he forgets himself and starts waving his head about and chewing. When reminded, and contact taken up better, he is much more focussed. Sometimes, I think, we forget that youngsters need a certain amount of direction and rein, rather than let them invent stuff for themselves. Well, this is certainly the case with our lad. He is better with rules and direction rather than free-thinking. We don't encourage this anymore. He is not qualified!
We got him recently and was checked by a dentist before he fine to us so her havent had him checked yet so that would be something to try. I usually like to give horses quite a lot g rein to when we get to stoney paths they can fine the most comfortable way for them but I will definitely try with shorter reins to see if that will help us. Thank you for everyone's reply I have now got several thing to and test!!! ?
 

Frances144

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We got him recently and was checked by a dentist before he fine to us so her havent had him checked yet so that would be something to try. I usually like to give horses quite a lot g rein to when we get to stoney paths they can fine the most comfortable way for them but I will definitely try with shorter reins to see if that will help us. Thank you for everyone's reply I have now got several thing to and test!!! ?
Was he checked by your dentist before or were you told he was checked by a dentist.

The lesson I've learned is don't trust anyone else's hearsay unless you were physically there at the time with the dentist.
 

Moss.fellpony

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Jan 4, 2021
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Was he checked by your dentist before or were you told he was checked by a dentist.

The lesson I've learned is don't trust anyone else's hearsay unless you were physically there at the time with the dentist.
He was checked by someone else's dentist. We just got told what the lady selling him told us. He does sounds a severe as your case but I think that we should definitely get someone out to look at his teeth
 

Frances144

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I think, personally, it is a very good idea to get a qualified well-thought-of equine dentist to check him over with you present. Also show him/her the bit you ride horse in. If you can even ride horse in front of dentist, if he has the time to show him the problem.
 
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Moss.fellpony

New Member
Jan 4, 2021
10
2
3
I think, personally, it is a very good idea to get a qualified well-thought-of equine dentist to check him over with you present. Also show him/her the bit you ride horse in. If you can even ride horse in front of dentist, if he has the time to show him the problem.
Thank you sooooooooooo much for all of your advice its has really helped a lot!!!
 
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