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Getting used to the bit

6 october 2008

Prince Elmelund is getting used to the bit.

This was the approach:

  • First hold the bit close to the head, and shake it, so he can get used to the sound of it.
  • Then the bit goed in and out, and in and out for a few times, so he can get used to the feeling of it. (It is not advisable to put the bridle behind his ears at once, some horses may rear and fall over when they feel the pressure in their mouth)
  • When the in-out-in-out went well, I put the bridle behind his ears. Leave it for a moment, and then take the bit out again, so he had a chance to digest this experience.
  • Then we put the bit in his mouth again, and did some work in hand (circle, shoulder-in, haunches-in).

At first he was playing with the bit a lot:


But as the training progressed, the bit sat quietly in his mouth and he had accepted it.
We used a mild vaquero bit, still without a chain, because we are not yet ‘working’ with the bit, i.e. using the bit. Also, there are no reins attached. The purpose is only to make him confortable wearing the bit.

What I didn’t do, but what could be a good preperation, most certainly for ‘difficult’ horses, is to so Tteam mouthwork (with apple pomace).

A hollow bit filled with honey may lead to quicker acceptation of the bit.

The past three weeks Prince Elmelund has had a break from work, to have him digest all the things he has learned. After three weeks it was like the training never paused, he just went on where we stopped, and was full of confidence.

So it was time for something new: the bit

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