Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bite Me or Bit Me

In the series of articles on bitting using bitting levels, I wanted to stress a heartfelt opinion of mine... training issues.
You have an issue when your horse swears at you and says 'bite me'. Ouch. They are fed up with trying to communicate with you. You know it. You can feel it.
They are refusing to do as you ask and you've tried many things because you want your horse happy. You seriously think it could be the bit as 'what else could it be?'
Or is your horse totally unresponsive like a dead fish?
Is it time to change the bit?
Do I need something harsher?
Are you scared to change the bit and just put up with what you've always used?
Are you using the bit normally used for your sport but the horse is resisting?
Many people struggle with this.
Not all issues are resolved with changing bits - though bits are wonderful tools to help you communicate with your horse and I definitely believe it's important to have the right bit for you and your horse.
Importantly too, I believe that many of the issues that riders are having are related to training - or more specifically - lack thereof. A lack of training for the horse.
It's amazing the number of horses that have missed their foundation or fundamental training. Many are started under saddle or 'broke' and then put right into their career training - skipping the foundation work all together.

So before you think it could be a bitting issue, please check to make sure it's not also a training issue. A training issue could mean going back to a milder bit and more training. The horse is saying 'bit me' properly please.
I will also go on record and say that I believe most issues are training issues with a few bitting issues. If your horse hasn't had formal foundation training then it's a good chance that the horse has training issues.
Here's where I can help. If you want to teach your horse the fundamentals and/or want help with choosing the right bit, please contact me and we can work together. I'm on your team!
Putting my spin on training issues and bitting!
©Copyright KISS Reiners

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