© by Gordon Adair / Trainer
One of many procedures used to teach horses to respond properly to a bit is by bitting them up. This procedure is used after your horse has been taught to properly hold a bit, and has been shown how to give to pressure. Bitting up is a means of repetition training, which can be done from the safety of the ground and with minimal work require from the handler on those lazy days.
This wonder procedure called bitting up is where a rein is attached to your horse's bridle, then tied back to a saddle or surcingle. The give and take of pressure while bitted up is more precise than a human's ability. By changing the length and position of the rein, you can control your horse's body position. The horse's head, neck, or back is placed in any natural pose. The rules that must be obeyed are; the reins must be tied so when your horse is in the proper position there will be a release of pressure by the reins. Once your horse tries to move from the proper position the rein creates pressure. Your horse can be left alone while bitted up to learn to release to bit pressure. Make sure the equipment cannot get tangled and hurt your horse. You can also free or line longe your horse while bitted up, at all the performance gaits in an arena.
Bitting up is better known by horse owners as a way to prepare horses for riding, by teaching your horse to give to the pressure of the bit. Trainers have bitten up horses at all training levels for years for many reasons, such as:
It is always a good idea to review the basics. Many problems that surface later in a horse's training can be traced back to the basics. A horse may not have totally understood a procedure. A trainer while being rushed may have skipped a process with the intent to return later, but did not. As you review the basics you will advance very quickly, until coming to a part that your horse does not understand. Repeat this part until your horse understands. So even if your horse is trained to ride, follow all the steps of bitting up, and you may find the culprit to a problem.
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Gordon Adair is a professional natural horse trainer and riding instructor with over thirty-five years of experience. Gordon's specialty is instructing owners with their horses, the philosophy of teaching horsemanship and communication. The ability to teach and communicate can then be used with the owners own discipline and personality. Ocala, Florida for more information