pony chewing reins

equestrian7474

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As you can tell from the title, my pony’s been chewing at the reins close to her bit and reins are in pieces. Not sure how I can go about breaking this habit, any tips?
 
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You can get a small piece of leather that joins the reins just under the chin, although I can't remember for the life of me what it's called.. might stop her from being able to get the reins in her mouth?
 

Cortez

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You can get a small piece of leather that joins the reins just under the chin, although I can't remember for the life of me what it's called.. might stop her from being able to get the reins in her mouth?
It’s called an Irish martingale, and it won’t stop the pony grabbing the reins. To stop the habit you will have to poke pony in the nose and tell it “no”.
 
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Birker2020

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As you can tell from the title, my pony’s been chewing at the reins close to her bit and reins are in pieces. Not sure how I can go about breaking this habit, any tips?
I put a post on this type of thing a couple of weeks back as I am carrying out groundwork with my horse before he is ridden again in order to strengthen his core and I was having the same issues.

In the end I used a lunge cavesson so the lunge line was away from his mouth which has almost rectified the issue.

All I could suggest with the reins is to rub some obnoxious foul tasting spray on, they do a bitter apple spray and another called Chew Stoppa from Pets At Home.

Chew Stoppa Spray 250ml by Vasmall animal is a non- toxic bitter tasting formulation to help prevent your cat or dog chewing textiles around the home.

I presume the spray could be used with horses as well.
 

Leandy

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Not sure I understand the problem really? Don't let it. Put on bridle immediately before work and take off immediately after. Don't leave unattended with reins loose, twist them up through the throat lash so out of reach and tie pony up. Keep reins taut with some sort of contact when leading, riding, long reining etc and the pony should be thinking and working forward not messing around. If it tries to grab the reins then, prevent it with a sharp no and if necessary a prod. Pony will grow out of it.
 

scruffyponies

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Long time ago now, but my naughty first pony did this. Eventually stopped when I put him in a military reversing bit - the elbows put the rein out of his immediate reach.
 

eggs

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whenever I’m leaving her head unattended, if I’m doing up her girth or let her stand for 2 minutes in the arena so I can set up poles/jumps, just whenever she gets the chance to really
In the case twist them a couple of times down near the bit and then undo the throat latch, hold the reins up close to her jowl and then do the throat latch back up so that the reins are between her head and the throat latch. This should keep them out of the way. Another method that we used to use in the old days was to pull one stirrup up and then put one rein over it so that they are held out of the way.
 

equestrian7474

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In the case twist them a couple of times down near the bit and then undo the throat latch, hold the reins up close to her jowl and then do the throat latch back up so that the reins are between her head and the throat latch.
Will definitely do - usually what I do if I’m leaving her tacked up for a few minutes alone in the stable anyway
 

Hepsibah

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I had one like this. Everything went into the mouth. She could make an entire leadrope disappear in moments before it was rescued, well chewed. Poking her on the nose didn't help because she didn't do it while you were looking! She's ten now and will still have a chew if you leave things unattended.
 

Birker2020

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I had one like this. Everything went into the mouth. She could make an entire leadrope disappear in moments before it was rescued, well chewed. Poking her on the nose didn't help because she didn't do it while you were looking! She's ten now and will still have a chew if you leave things unattended.
Just out of interest do you see it as a comfort blanket type thing?
Before you had her was she produced young and quickly?

Just interested as mine's the same.
 

Hepsibah

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Just out of interest do you see it as a comfort blanket type thing?
Before you had her was she produced young and quickly?

Just interested as mine's the same.
No, I see it as a naughty pixie type thing. She was home bred and produced slowly but has an oral fixation. I suspect it's a horsey sense of humour thing too, the way she spits things out or reaches out with her lips towards something whilst looking right at you.
 

twiggy2

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My mare used to put her lead rope in her mouth, she was not backed young or rushed, or weaned early, its just part of who she was, she was known as 'flubber lips' as her lips were so rubbery and she used to investigate everything with them.
She used to just sort of suck the lead rope and move it round her mouth she never actually bit it or damaged it and she didn't put anything else in her mouth just sort of investigated with her lips.
I ignored it as it really didn't bother me or cause any damage.
Chewing stuff I would address and put a stop too but I wouldn't leave a horse that chews tack in a position to be able to chew it, its dangerous and can become expensive.
If they are tacked up and left unattended then they would have their head olla on and be tied up.
 

planete

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I have bought a pair of metal clips for my reins and the second the reins are not in use I unclip them and take them off. I only clip them on to use them as well. It is saving me and the pony a lot of annoyance and confrontations as I know he only grabs things out of nervousness.
 

bouncing_ball

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I have bought a pair of metal clips for my reins and the second the reins are not in use I unclip them and take them off. I only clip them on to use them as well. It is saving me and the pony a lot of annoyance and confrontations as I know he only grabs things out of nervousness.
do you have a photo / a link? Thanks
 

dorsetladette

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my old lad, who was an absolute gent in all ways. (He was entire but my daughter learnt to ride on him) used to 'hold' his bottom rein if given a chance. As I rode in a pelham with 2 reins and barely ever needed the bottom rein I didn't really see it as an issue (apart from when the rein snapped). In hide sight I probably should of done something about it but at the time it was just part of his personality. He also untied himself on a regular basis but just stood at the tieing ring waiting for you to notice with a smug expression on his face.

Sorry really no help at all.
 

equestrian7474

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Tried Irish martingale, its making it a bit more effort for her to grab the reins so she isnt really bothering with it as much

Also found that she goes a lot more forward and nicely when she’s in the Irish martingale but I don’t see how it’s affecting how she goes - not complaining but would love to know if anyone knows why it’s helpijg with this!
 

bouncing_ball

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Tried Irish martingale, its making it a bit more effort for her to grab the reins so she isnt really bothering with it as much

Also found that she goes a lot more forward and nicely when she’s in the Irish martingale but I don’t see how it’s affecting how she goes - not complaining but would love to know if anyone knows why it’s helpijg with this!
Stabilising the contact I think.

it will stop you using reins fully effectively independently however.
 
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