Grabbing at the bit.


Well-Known Member
26 January 2002
West Yorks
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I would describe my mare as bolshy and a bit of control freak. We are just coming back into work (my surgery gave her a holiday).

We've done road work, walked and trotted in straight lines and today we had a go at cantering.

Now she's not the most cooperative of girls - she's grabbing at the bit on the left big style - arguing like mad. The left is her stiffer side. She argues bit less to the right. It's all about how fast we are going - she wants to run on, I want a bit more control and balance and decorum.
We are not hooleying around a field!!!!!!

I've found that if I keep the bit mobile in her mouth, I can stop her fixing on it, currently, she's in a forward ported myler. This has been fine for general hacking where we've been going in relatively straight lines, but now I'm asking for a bit more, I'd like a lot less arguing.

I've had her teeth recently done, saddle checked prior to starting work. Is keeping the bit mobile in her mouth, the only way to stop her grabbing at it and trying to take it off me?

BTW - I've tried a waterford and she just leans/gets very heavy


Well-Known Member
24 June 2008
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By keeping the bit 'mobile' in her mouth, you are keeping her soft. I have a similar horse.

Not knowing your horse, I would imagine she is finding work on the left rein stiff and uncomfortable. It may be worth getting a physio out to help with her stiffness.

My horse is like this due to his bone spavin, previously split DDFT and side bone.