Teaching A Horse To Accept The Bit

Horses. They can be very finicky animals. You may have noticed as much if you’re one of the people that has been trying to teach your horse how to accept the bit. Have you? Are you having some issues getting your horse to accept the bit? Well, you’ve come to the right place because we will go over just a few of my secrets and amazing tips on how you can teach your horse in no time!

A horse must first be physically trained to accept the bit and the saddle before he can be educated to actually work with its rider. There is no better way than teaching a young horse to accept the bit, because if he accepts it from the beginning, there’s less training time wasted in accepting it.

The first step in teaching a horse to accept the bit is to get them to trust you. You will need to build a bond with them and make sure that they know that you are not going to hurt them. Once they trust you, then it will be time for you to introduce the bit and teach them how to accept it.

There are a few different ways that you can introduce the bit into your training program and teach your horse how to accept it. The first option is by using an artificial device called a dummy bit. This device has rubber prongs on the end that look like metal bits but do not hurt the animal when they come in contact with their mouth or tongue. The second option is by using a bridle with no bit attached at all until later on in the training process when they have already learned how to wear one comfortably. This is usually done when someone wants their horse trained specifically for showing purposes because there are rules about what type of equipment can be used during shows or competitions where all types of riders compete against each other regardless of whether or not they have ever seen one before much less used one before themselves!

Horses are creatures of habit. They have a natural instinct to avoid anything new or different, especially if it involves them doing anything painful or uncomfortable. This means that, if you want to teach your horse to accept the bit, you will need to start slowly and make sure that each step is as comfortable for your horse as possible.

First, make sure you have a good relationship with your horse before starting any training. If you don’t have a good relationship with your horse, they will be less likely to listen to you when you are trying to teach them new things. Next, pick out a good set of equipment: make sure it fits well on your horse’s head and isn’t too heavy or bulky so that they can wear it comfortably all day long without getting sore spots or chafing from where it rubs against their skin. Then decide which type of bit will work best for your needs (there are many different types available at different prices). You may also want to consider purchasing some treats that they love so they will associate having something nice happen after doing something good like this with accepting the bit into their mouth (this strategy works really well with puppies too!).

Teaching A Horse To Accept The Bit

In order for a horse to gain good marks in dressage tests at any level, he must learn to accept the bit and bridle.

A horse that does not accept the bit will be against the rider’s hand and will be inclined to hollow through his back, trailing his hocks and lacking balance through transitions.

Just because a horse is working ‘in an outline’ does not mean that he is accepting the bit.

So, how do you train your horse to accept the bit in a willing and genuine way?

What is acceptance of the bit and bridle?

When the horse is moving through the paces, creating impulsion that travels from the back end of the horse to the front end, with no resistance, the rider is able to control the tempo and placement of the horse with the aids from their body, finalized by the bridle.

This is called ‘accepting the bit’, ‘accepting the bridle’, or ‘accepting the contact’.

Too often a horse that is not accepting the bit creates the opposite image. Which is that he is being controlled from the front end to the back end and with ‘aids’ from the rider that are mainly the hands and bit.

The horse should travel freely forwards, whilst accepting the rider’s rein aids and the mouth should be closed. This is correct riding on a willing, cooperative horse.

Teaching the horse to accept the bit and bridle

The best time to start riding the horse on the aids and into the bridle is early on in the young horse’s development, usually as soon as they are familiar with being ridden.

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However, many horses find themselves ridden without a structure early in their development and a more formal education may start much later on in their life.

By this time the horse is bigger, more muscular (often in the wrong places), and mentally more opinionated. Educating these horses to accept the bridle takes longer and requires much more patience.

Simple, useful ways to help the older horse to accept the bit:

  • Simple transitions (walk-halt, halt-walk) to teach the horse to react to the leg, seat and rein aids promptly.
  • Right-angle turns to teach the horse to bend and correctly align his body by encouraging the hind legs to step under towards the center of gravity.
  • A combination of transitions and turns so the horse learns to bend, supple himself and balance at the same time.
  • Ensure that the rider is sitting down deeply into the saddle, whilst working out how to use their own biomechanical levers with and against the horse to teach him to accept the aids.
  • Exercises on squares, circles, and serpentines to teach suppleness and balance

Only when the horse is working in this way can he be said to be truly accepting the bridle.

In conclusion

When the horse is genuinely accepting the bit bridle, it will be obvious to the dressage judge and will be rewarded with good marks.

When the horse is working correctly, he will actively seek the contact through exercises such as ‘free walk on a long rein’ and when asked to ‘take the rein and stretch’ in trot and canter.

Although this correct way of going does take time and methodical training to achieve, it is essential if your horse is to progress through the levels.

Use the exercises and top tips given above to teach your horse to accept the bridle.

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