driving bits

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squeaky

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Hi,

I have a mini shetland mare, who I am currently training to drive. For the past few nights, when I have worked her, she has been able to get her tounge over the bit. I have tried adjusting the bit, and all it does is pull on her mouth, and she is still able to get her tounge over the bit. Currently, I am using a plain non pinch snaffle (which is a little small for her). So my question is what do I use next? She is already has a pretty senstive mouth (depends on the day on how sensitive... :DOH!
)

Thanks!

Amanda
 

Trinity Farm

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In regards to your Question, They make special bits that have a raised bar on the bit so the horse can't get their tongue over the bit. Also you can tie her tongue. It is a painless inexpensive fix. You can get about a foot of black shoestring and tie her tongue (not too tight) to the bridle. If you have any more questions message me!! Thanks,Amelia Lee
 

Sandee

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You said you're "training" her. Then I say she just needs more time in the bit. Have you tried leaving a bit just on a headstall on her while she's in her stall or someplace where you can keep an eye on her so she'll get used to carrying it. Also if you use the cavesson or noseband tight for a while she can't open her mouth enough to get her tongue over the bit.

I went through pretty much the same problem with my guy for several months after he was broke to cart. Went through several (expensieve) bits to "fix" the problem. Looking back I now see that all he needed was time and more work.
 

squeaky

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HI,

I do know about the ported bits, and was just wondering if they would actually help. My mare has been wearing the bridle and bit for almost 2 1/2 years. I have left it on her, and have tried the caveson to keep her mouth shut. She just works at the bit the whole time she is wearing it until she gets her tounge over it. She is over-reactive when it comes to any sort of pressure in which she feels she is being confined, and will rear when she thinks it is too much. I have done lots of ground work (walking turns on the forehand, and leg yielding exercises) to help teach her about half halts and getting her to relax her neck and back to get her to work through her topline. Even during this work, she still puts her tounge over the bit, but then will fix it herself. I just don't feel comfortable driving her in the cart if she is able to put her tounge over the bit that easily.

Thanks,

Amanda
 

Sandee

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I can tell you that the low port bit was the only one my stallion would "pick up and carry" even though the one I had was too big for him. So I'd have to say that he "liked it".

However, I got him used to a mylar mullen (it has a slight upward curve) and he seemed happy with that as long as I had it high enough in his mouth and the caveson tight. Have to inject that this boy had lots of teeth problems between ages 3 and 4 1/2.

After driving for a year like that, a trainer watched me and had a fit until I put a regular snaffle half cheek on him. He accepted it and drove like a dream so maybe it was just time he need --?? who knows!
 

Minimor

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I will say this again; please don't use the cavesson to try and keep the mouth shut tight so the horse cannot get its tongue over the bit. This is a complete misuse of a cavesson!
 

Alex

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Take Sandees advice. Take it slow, dont rush. Experiment with different bits, mabe borrow some so you dont have to buy 1OO.
Just keep trying, Practice makes better.

I would NEVER tie her tounge. Ever seems like a painful quick fix. You wouldnt like your tounge tied to a strap with a large metal thing in your mouth, while accepting pressure from lines, and pulling a load. JMO
 

ckmini

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I went through this for a while with my first driving gelding. I tied his tongue for about 2 weeks when I worked him and then never had a problem with it again. IMO If your mare has been driving/accepting a bit for 2 1/2 years, she is just getting into bad habits and learning what she can do to get out of working. (because when she does this you stop and fuss with her and she "learns" that when she puts her tongue over the bit she can stop working)

To tie her tongue grab it and lay the shoe string flat over her tongue and then loop one of the ends around the tongue again, then with both ends hanging down grasp both ends underneath her tongue and twist them together (but not too tight just to hold it in place) and then tie the ends underneath her chin (just in a bow is enough), again making sure it is not too tight. Contrary to what some have said, I tie tongues to the bottom of the horse's chin, not to the bit. It doesn't hurt, just is alittle annoying. Tying tongues is common practice in many other large breeds.
 

Ouburgia

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Shouldn't you check WHY the horse is putting the tongue over the bit instead of tying the tongue up
 

MiLo Minis

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You haven't mentioned whether or not you have had her teeth looked at by a good equine dentist. Most bitting problems are a result of tooth trouble - get them checked before going any further. If she is getting her tongue over the bit that says she is uncomfortable and cranking the cavesson or tying her tongue is only going to make her more uncomfortable. Get her teeth checked, get a proper size bit for her, check that you have it laying in the proper position in her mouth (some horses need more than a slight wrinkle at the corners of their mouth and others need no wrinkle at all) and experiment with bits that relieve tongue pressure if that doesn't stop her. Once you rule out everything else you can think about it being "just a habit" and work on breaking her of the habit with a tongue tie (which is illegal in the show ring by the way)
 

justanothercowgirl

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Once you rule out everything else you can think about it being "just a habit" and work on breaking her of the habit with a tongue tie (which is illegal in the show ring by the way)
you may use a tongue tie in the show ring...it doesn't say in the rulebook that you can't therefore you can. I clarified this at convention last year.
 
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Sanny

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I second the opinion of getting the horses teeth checked.

Anyone that was at the Area VI show in Lincoln NE a couple of years ago will remember the horrible accident I was in. We had a horse that had been messing with the bit and acting up in the warm up ring and it was suggested to tighten his caveson to stop him from messing with the bit and opening his mouth and I made it half way around the ring before the horse freaked out, flipped the cart and took off. The gate was still open for the class and he ran OUT of the arena, crashed into a pillar, got up and continued down the barn aisles and out into the parking lot. Thankfully he turned around and came back to our stalls. He was a total wreck though (I was too, and spent several hours in the emergency room) This was not a green broke horse either, he was a multiple national champion in halter and driving. We found out afterward that his teeth were really bad in the back of his mouth and on one side they were razor sharp and he had sores in his mouth. Tightening the caveson must have made it incredibly painful for him.

He needed major dental work done.

One other thought.....we bought the harness that was used on one of our driving horses and the bit was a plain snaffle but had a very thin nylon cord tied on the bit at the corner of the mouth that went up and over the nose and tied on the other side in the same spot. What it did was lift the bit up slightly in his mouth. I do not know the purpose of doing that unless it was for a similar problem and to make it hard to get the tongue over the bit. Maybe someone else will know why the bit had that cord on it, I am only guessing. The horse is very, very well-broke and has a very sensitive mouth so it could have been just to keep the weight of the bit off the bars.
 

Ouburgia

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a tongue tie is used by racing horses (thouroubreds and arabians for example) to prevent the tongue going in to the troat and so prevent choking..

I just can't understand people who want to fix everything with all kind of bands, bits, reins and who knows what.....
 

JourneysEnd

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HI,

I do know about the ported bits, and was just wondering if they would actually help. My mare has been wearing the bridle and bit for almost 2 1/2 years. I have left it on her, and have tried the caveson to keep her mouth shut. She just works at the bit the whole time she is wearing it until she gets her tounge over it. She is over-reactive when it comes to any sort of pressure in which she feels she is being confined, and will rear when she thinks it is too much. I have done lots of ground work (walking turns on the forehand, and leg yielding exercises) to help teach her about half halts and getting her to relax her neck and back to get her to work through her topline. Even during this work, she still puts her tounge over the bit, but then will fix it herself. I just don't feel comfortable driving her in the cart if she is able to put her tounge over the bit that easily.

Thanks,

Amanda
I've had everything checked with my guy and he still puts the tongue over the bit unless I use the high port. I figured he got away with it when he was younger and he's not going to stop now.

My dressage instructor says you can stop them from doing it when they first start, but once they learn it's hard to change.

You might try a sweet iron bit first and see if she likes that better.
 

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