Dear HorseCity Trainer,
My son bought a Palomino Gelding from an estate where the owner died. Bullet is 13 year old, very nice horse. You can call him and he comes up to you from the pasture. He had been ridden with a hackamore, and had not been ridden for about 9 years. They do not know anything further about him. He carry's himself very well, head and tail, he has a tendency to throw his head around and wants to keep his head down all the time. This does not happen all the time. My husband thinks Bullet may have been either English rode or shown in Western class. We used a 2 part bit on him, which he took rather well, but he chewed on it. He behaves a little better with the bit.ÊI told my son, give him a chance, it's been 9 years. Do you have any suggestions? He prances and side steps very pretty.
You are correct in telling your son to be patient. The horse has obviously had some schooling and your husband may very well be right in the Western Pleasure training. Horses in this discipline are trained to keep their necks at a relaxed level causing them to carry their heads lower. As long as the horse is responding positively to the new bit keep him in it. This will help him regain his flexion at the neck and allow him to give to bit pressure in a smoother and softer way. Remember that his mouth will need to beÊreconditioned to bit andÊmay become a little sore at first. Remind your son to keep and maintain soft hands.
The reason the horse may be chewingÊor mouthing the bit isÊbecause 1- he is trying to get use to it again, 2- hisÊgums may have become a little tender because of the bit and 3- sometimes the material in which the bit is made of actually;y enhance salivation which will cause theÊhorse to mouthÊit. This is not necessarily a bad thing--itÊalso enhances higher positive response to bit pressure and cues.
He'll be fine. Just give him the time to acclimate. Good luck!Ê
Equine Training Advisor
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