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Off Bites and Driving

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Jill

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Hi, Everyone --

I'm thinking as long as teeth are kept up with floating, it's not a problem to drive / ride horses with off bites but would like some input. Over the years, I have know a few performance QH's with bad bites.

What I'm considering is teaching my "Smidgen" to drive this fall. Then depending on how I feel towards her at that point, keeping her for fun myself or offering her to a pet home. I'm thinking if I get her driving, she's got a better chance at being in a good, non-breeding home long term. She is one of my more cooperative horses (so far!).

Thanks,

Jill





 

Jill

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Btw, in case anyone misunderstands, I'm not looking for another SHOW driving horse in little miss Smidgen. Just interested to know if it will be painful or harmful for her to wear a bit. Thanks!
 

Sue_C.

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I cannot see why not...and she just very well COULD become a show driving horse. Just because she won't pass halter horse specs...does not mean she shouldn't or couldn't be shown in performance. Heck, I had a stallion several years ago, that would fail a halter class because he had teeth that had been "rearranged" by a mare. But he was a sure winner in any performance class you threw him into, and today, as a gelding, is still burning up the ring in all performance classes.

As far as non-breeding goes, you can put it into the contract, but there are never any guarentees. You could consider spaying her to be sure she won't be bred.

She is a beauty, and if she moves as well as she looks like she can, will do very well in harness. Halter is NOT the be-all-n-end-all, for a good all-rounder, and Youth horses are always sought after...breedable or not.
 

Jill

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Actually, Smidgen is a pretty nice mover
Who knows, maybe one day I *will* hook her up to my Houghton and let her wear the Lutke! You never know
I really didn't seriously consider her as show driving, but who knows.

I did consider spaying her, but it sounded like the risks of complications were not good, and at that time, it was with the thought in mind that I would still own her.

I do love performance, in hand and driving, so maybe I shouldn't sell her too short. I guess what still throws me about her is I thought she'd be much better conformationally than she is... The thing I enjoy most with horses is doing things with them, so halter isn't my only desire.

Does anyone have a feel for off bites (quite off) and bitting???
 

Sue_C.

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Does anyone have a feel for off bites (quite off) and bitting???
Ment to mention that in my first post. If it is only her front teeth, and her back teeth line up well enough...there should not be any problem. The front teeth actually don't have much to do with bitting anyways. I would try her in a mullen or french-link, snaffle bit. Those are the mildest.

And yup, I think she just MIGHT deserve your beautiful cart and awsome harness!!!
 

Sue_C.

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Does anyone have a feel for off bites (quite off) and bitting???
Ment to mention that in my first post. If it is only her front teeth, and her back teeth line up well enough...there should not be any problem. The front teeth actually don't have much to do with bitting anyways. I would try her in a mullen or french-link, snaffle bit. Those are the mildest.

And yup, I think she just MIGHT deserve your beautiful cart and awsome harness!!!
 

Hosscrazy

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Your little Smidgen is a real doll!!!


I've been working with my mare Gracie over the last year, training her to drive. She also has an off-bite in front only. I've been using a half cheek snaffle bit on her, and have not had any problems at all. Will be interesting to see what others have to say, too.

Note: Gracie is the silver dapple (left side) in the photo:

 

wildoak

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I don't think you'd have a problem since the back teeth do line up. I drive a gelding with a pretty good overbite, he is very accepting of the bit and cooperative which I assume he would not be if he were not comfortable.

She looks like a pretty mare, maybe she can have a performance career.

Jan
 

willowoodstables

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Bite Schmite LOL

As long as your dentist/vet keeps the back hooks off her molars (comes from funny chewing with an off bite) you should have NO problems. More of a concern which is VERY often not mentioned is a SHALLOW MOUTH, as in there is no room for bit and tongue. These horses tend to pull up the tongue, exposing the bars to bruising.

Keep on the dentistry for her "hooks" and caps, and she should have a great time!

The worst horse I ever saw with a true bad bite had his jaw misaligned (the top jaw hung sideways over the bottom) .. and guess what..he went on to be a mighty special equitation horse with a special bit ,...and dental care every 4-6 weeks. Never fear, a horse will let you know what they can tolerate bit-wise.

The only horse that concerned me was one that had a HUGE overbite (parrot mouth) and it was really hard to fit her...lots of dentist work and a latex wrapped bit worked. She would never really "set" her head, but she was a nice driving horse for around the house.

Kim
 

Secret Hills Ranch

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Drive her!!! I think she would be fine.

One of my good friends has a B sized mare with the worst teeth I have ever seen in my life and she drives her without a problem. The only problem she ever has is when she first puts the bit on, sometimes it's hard to get around the mares front teeth, but it doesn't hurt her or anything.

Drive on!!!
 

Sue_C.

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More of a concern which is VERY often not mentioned is a SHALLOW MOUTH
Yes,
that is why I prefer not to use a single broken snaffle. I find many of the minis are much happier with a mullen mouth, and the gelding I am starting this year is extremely happy in his copper-mouth french-link half cheek snaffle. (Say THAT in a hurry.)
 

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