View Full Version : Bitting yearlings or putting bits in yearling colts mouths

17-03-00, 05:24 PM
This year is the first time that I will be showing a yearling colt. Being a Shetland he is registered with the APSB. I have just been told I have to have him bitted when he goes out in the ring later this year according to the societies rules. I believe this to be the most stupidest (is there such a word?) thing I have ever come across. Does anyone know if this happens in other societies? I think these little babies have enough to cope with. Especially when you see handlers that just jerk and jerk on the mouths of their ponies/horses.

18-03-00, 01:55 AM
Hi Melita,
We have been breeding and showing everything from warmbloods, arabs, thoroughbreds and lots of apsb ponies for about 30 years - and we always show our yearlings FULLY MOUTHED. That doesn't mean "putting a bit in their mouth". They are properly mouthed and driven with a nice soft bit and NOT taken out until they are comfortable with it all. Believe me, it's not there to hang on to - but it is nice to know that if something goes wrong (and it often does with yearlings) that you know that you have the control necessary to prevent what could be a very nasty accident.

18-03-00, 07:52 AM
Hi Judy,
I probably put it the wrong way. I meant mouthing it's just something that I have never done to a yearling, the rule used to be 2 yrs for a colt. I don't think it applies to fillies which seems strange for as you pointed out its good to have a little back up in case something goes wrong.
Would I use the same bit as I use with the two yr olds? You said soft bit, what type of bit do you mean? We do have trouble trying to get small bits here and some are so thin it seems cruel to use them. When we had bigger horses we had a bit with keys on that they could play with in their mouths, I'm sure you know what I mean and we found it excellent. I have not found one small enough for these guys. I just know I'm going to have trouble finding a small bridle to fit. There are mini bridles but a lot of the time they are too narrow across the brow. I guess I'll have to get one made. I must admit my husband usually does the mouthing and so on. He works long hours now and we both have never had to mouth a pony this young it's good to know others thoughts.

silly filly
18-03-00, 09:10 AM
hi there ! i personally think its stupid but with all that aside , if u do have to have him mouthed just use a rubber loose ring mullen mouth snaffle (theyre flexible) they are a bit that come in very small sizes , good luck !

*+*+* silly filly *+*+*

18-03-00, 10:25 AM
We mouth our youngsters (and some of them mature no more than around 11hh) with a little bit that they are happy with. Each one could be different. The rubber mullen ones are lovely and soft, but I find that on some ponies they are too thick and they have trouble getting used to them. the ones with the keys work well with the bigger youngsters, but too much in the mouth for the little ones. It must be comfortable for them to hold. I brought some lovely little tom thumbs and FM types back from England (sorry not local) and you can get some nice little eggbut or tom thumbs from some of the saddlers (I have bought them from Saddlerack in Warrnambool (Over the phone), Olympic in Lilydale to name two. To get them chewing, we often use an old horseman's trick of tying some horse hair on the middle of the bit (a bit of mane, not too long of course. I have spoken to a few people who do this. Good luck - and if you don't have any luck let me know and I will ask a few of the shettie people I know.

20-04-00, 02:58 PM
thanks for that advice. sorry I didn't reply straight away. We have had success and I just wanted to let you know. I have a friend who has mini's and she got me (I don't know from where Horseland I think she said) A three inch rubber bit and a lovely little, it might be three and a half inch tom thumb. Of course I won't be mouthing him for a little while yet he is only just weaned. I really do think these guys have so much to cope with. We only just branded all our foals the other day and had a couple gelded. Of course we now have to put a little training in and then let them go out and be ponies for awhile before the show training starts. They are wonderful animals they just take it all in their stride. But for the moment they can be woolly little beasties and after the rain we had (yes it rained!!!) probably muddy ones too. Again thank you at least I had some names of bits to pass on to my learned friend.

21-04-00, 12:48 AM
It's not stupid to tell you to bit a yearling colt in the ring - there are yearlings and yearlings and while one may be sexually immature another certainly won't and can be a proper pest as they are like teenage boy - all balls and no brains.
We have gelded some who were real little buggers and if you go out into a ring with it bouncing and squealing and showing five legs, you can't make the excuse as he disappears over the horizon after someone's mare when you couldn't hold it in the halter that "he's only a yearling."
Anything with balls has to be treated as a stallion, and you have had pretty fair advice re mouthing it properly.
But speaking as a show organiser, and also suggesting you go to the magazine section and read the results of the stallion owners meeting asking you to bit your yearling is not stupid.