Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Introducing the Bit

I have no idea what Oak's training background is, so I am treating everything like it's new. I have put him in a bridle a few times in the past but then wanted to wait on progressing with a bit until he had his teeth floated. The float has been done, so today I brought back out the bridle. He takes up the bit with no issue and only plays with it a little bit, so I am guessing the bit is not a new concept. In the next few sessions I will start applying some pressure and ask him to give laterally on both sides from a stop.

When I introduce the bit I like to give the horse ample time to grow accustomed to the feel of it without interfering. With Bodhi, I gave him a lot of time to puzzle it out at liberty (supervised of course). I only progress when the horse accepts the bit and treats it like a non-issue. I like to start horses off in a french link snaffle. I am wavering whether I want to do my first rides with a bit or in a halter. I guess it will depend on how well he progresses with the bit.

How do you introduce the bit? What type of bit do you use? How do you start a horse - bridle or halter?

Oak's Training Log April 26

Location: arena

Duration: 30 mins

Activities: Moving away from pressure, working on the long line, backing, target training.

Observations: He is getting more confident, and has begun to move into my space which I have been lightheartedly correcting. He was very responsive on the line, though his back is still pretty tentative. Worked on increasing speed at the trot, which got him slightly excited but he handled it well. Tried to work on targeting, but he was more interested in grass than playing along today.


  1. I think that going slow is always the right answer. Especially at the beginning

  2. When I started horses, I used both. I used to introduce the bridle in the round pen then and the first several rides were done in there with a halter over the bridle. It was more for my peace of mind than anything else, honestly. Just make sure to install a good whoa first.