Pony putting tongue over bit

J_sarahd

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As some of you may know if you’ve seen my other thread, I’ve recently got a new pony. He hasn’t got a bad bone in his body, he’s just very nervous at the moment. However, I noticed when I tried him out and again at the vetting that he puts his tongue over the bit. His old owners response was “oh he’s always done that, that’s why we put the flash on”. To me, a tongue over the bit means something is wrong. When I go to get on, he won’t stand still as soon as I pick up my reins and every time I ask him to go up a pace, he panics. I rode him yesterday on a really loose rein and he did settle eventually. Not sure if the bit is causing him pain - he’s in a single jointed eggbutt at the moment.

I am going to speak to my yard owner about getting his teeth checked. Is it worth getting his back checked too?

Also, any other tips? If they all come back okay, what sort of bit should I look at trying?

(I’m a new owner, only ever part loaned before where I didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing!!)
 

ihatework

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Okay then I would just assume the pony is completely uneducated and needs to start from the beginning.

For sure have the teeth done and while dentist is there pop the bridle on so they can assess but fit and advise if needed.

Then it’s your task to train the pony what the bit and contact is
 

be positive

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It is definitely worth getting his teeth checked, at the vetting it will have been just a quick look, but a single jointed snaffle will hang lower in the mouth and allow the tongue to pop over, or may even encourage it if it doesn't suit his mouth, more than a double jointed one will so a change of bit would be a good idea, make sure it is a good fit so he finds it comfortable to keep his tongue under it, it needs to lie flat across the tongue, then some work on basic training from you.
 

Gloi

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Sounds to me like the pony has never really had any sort of proper education from the start. Get the teeth done and then work with someone with experience to begin to train the pony.
 

J_sarahd

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For sure have the teeth done and while dentist is there pop the bridle on so they can assess but fit and advise if needed.
Thank you, I’ll definitely be getting the dentist out and get them to check and advise on the bridle.

It is definitely worth getting his teeth checked, at the vetting it will have been just a quick look, but a single jointed snaffle will hang lower in the mouth and allow the tongue to pop over, or may even encourage it if it doesn't suit his mouth, more than a double jointed one will so a change of bit would be a good idea, make sure it is a good fit so he finds it comfortable to keep his tongue under it, it needs to lie flat across the tongue, then some work on basic training from you.
I had thought about a french link or something as he’s not particularly strong. He doesn’t listen to half halts really but that’s either because his tongue is over the bit in the first place or a training issue. He’s an absolute saint out hacking.

Sounds to me like the pony has never really had any sort of proper education from the start. Get the teeth done and then work with someone with experience to begin to train the pony.
Oh definitely - previous owners said they barely did any schooling with him at all and just hacked. There is potential because you can tell he is eager to please. I’m going to get lessons ASAP with him, mainly as I think that’s always sensible with a new partnership anyway, irregardless of problems.
 

FestiveFuzz

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I'd definitely get teeth and tack checked, but if all is clear I would assume he's as green as grass and go back to basics with him with the help of a decent instructor.
 

Hallo2012

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assuming teeth all ok i would play with a few bits-my pony has a fairly roomy mouth for his height (13hh) but the only bit he is comfy in is a Trust Innosense ported plastic snaffle.

he cant cope with joints or lozenges of any form, even the myler sort of joint.....goes totally over bent, sticks his tongue out and panics in the canter.

in the Trust he is lovely and soft and relaxed.

if your boy prefers thinner or metal bits then the bombers happy tongue is similar but much thinner :)
 

Cortez

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The pony just sounds very green and uneducated. Certainly get the teeth checked, but it sounds more like he just needs some proper training. Sometimes putting the tongue over can become a habit too, so it's important to get started on sorting this out right away. It might be worth talking to someone who knows about mouth conformation (like the dentist) to see if he has a particularly large tongue or low palate and see what bit will suit. I am inclined to use a tongue spoon temporarily on horses which do this as a habit, but usually it stops with proper riding and a bit that suits the pony's mouth, and which is sitting at the correct height.
 

J_sarahd

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I'd definitely get teeth and tack checked, but if all is clear I would assume he's as green as grass and go back to basics with him with the help of a decent instructor.
I’m definitely getting help from an instructor as soon as possible. I know he has so much potential that I don’t want to waste it. I know it’s very early days and I plan as going as slowly as he needs as he is still only quite young, but hopefully with the right instructor he’ll be a much happier boy.
 

J_sarahd

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assuming teeth all ok i would play with a few bits-my pony has a fairly roomy mouth for his height (13hh) but the only bit he is comfy in is a Trust Innosense ported plastic snaffle.

he cant cope with joints or lozenges of any form, even the myler sort of joint.....goes totally over bent, sticks his tongue out and panics in the canter.

in the Trust he is lovely and soft and relaxed.

if your boy prefers thinner or metal bits then the bombers happy tongue is similar but much thinner :)
Thank you, I’m going to get a dentist to help me with recommendations. And hopefully we will find something he likes
 

J_sarahd

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The pony just sounds very green and uneducated. Certainly get the teeth checked, but it sounds more like he just needs some proper training. Sometimes putting the tongue over can become a habit too, so it's important to get started on sorting this out right away. It might be worth talking to someone who knows about mouth conformation (like the dentist) to see if he has a particularly large tongue or low palate and see what bit will suit. I am inclined to use a tongue spoon temporarily on horses which do this as a habit, but usually it stops with proper riding and a bit that suits the pony's mouth, and which is sitting at the correct height.
He is very green (part of the reason I bought him because he’s almost a clean slate). I just want him to be as comfortable and happy as possible, and the fact he’s very tense and nervous, as well as putting his tongue over the bit makes me think maybe he isn’t entirely comfortable. Thank you, I will definitely ask the dentist for recommendations when he comes.
 
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When one of ours did this we changed the bit to a sweet iron and copper (to encourage salivation) lozenge (get rid of single joint for better fit) boucher (more stable in mouth).

Seemed to work well enough, and of course improved steadily as he then got used to his job.
 

w1bbler

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Start with advise from the dentist on his mouth conformation. Then speak to a bit bank to ensure he has a really comfy bit / bridle. Whatever you do, do not strap his mouth shut with a flash, he is telling you something.
in my boys case it was lack of balance / education. Took him about a year to completely stop putting his tongue over, he never trys it now & it used to be a constant thing anytime he was asked to do anything other than plod on a loose rein.
 

J_sarahd

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J_sarahd

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Start with advise from the dentist on his mouth conformation. Then speak to a bit bank to ensure he has a really comfy bit / bridle. Whatever you do, do not strap his mouth shut with a flash, he is telling you something.
in my boys case it was lack of balance / education. Took him about a year to completely stop putting his tongue over, he never trys it now & it used to be a constant thing anytime he was asked to do anything other than plod on a loose rein.
That sounds like my boy. He came with a flash and I’m not using it. I know he’s telling me something, I think it’s a combination of the wrong bit/ill fitting bit and lack of education!
 

ozpoz

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This video has helpful information about why horses put their tongues over the bit and what to do. It's well worth a watch.
 
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