How to Prevent a Hard Mouth in a Horse

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Use Aids to Prevent Hard Mouth

  1998 Cherry Hill

  A horse with a "hard mouth" does not respond to rein aids.  Usually a horse develops a hard mouth by a rider who uses the bit harshly and when the horse still doesn't respond properly, a more severe bit is used.

    The best way to minimize your dependency on the bit to control a horse is to emphasize the use of your other aids: you weight, your back, your seat, your legs.  The more you "aid" or "cue" your horse with these parts of your body, the less you will have to rely on the bit to signal him.  The bit and bridle should just guide him.

    Rather than thinking about changing bits or using a "stronger" bit so you can control your horse, try and make everything else "right" first and then look to the bit.

Ask your riding instructor, trainer, 4-H leader or Pony Club leader to help you determine if the bit is appropriate and properly fitted.

Cherry Hill

  2004 Cherry Hill





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