Pet Peeves Around the Barn

Check out three "Pet Peeves Around the Barn" from the Certified Horsemanship Association.

1. Bit Grunge

One of my pet peeves is when riders put away a bridle without cleaning the bit off.

When the bit comes out of the horse's mouth it frequently has slobber and food particles, combining together to form a lovely green slime. The slime will come off the bit quite easily when you first take it out of the horse's mouth, by rinsing the bit and wiping it off.

If the slime is left on the bit, it will dry and crack and cause significant discomfort to the horse the next time it is used. Take a few extra seconds when unbridling to clean the bit before hanging up the bridle.

Christy Landwehr
CHA Clinician - Denver, Colorado

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2. Spit it Out!

My pet peeve is when students pull the bit out of a horse's mouth when unbridling, instead of letting the horse drop his head and spit the bit out. Pulling the bit out of a horse's mouth will cause the bit to get caught in his lower teeth and to throw his head up. Sometimes it can even lead to serious bridling problems. The correct way to unbridle is to pull the crown piece over the horse's ears, hold upward pressure on the bridle until the horse lowers his head, opens his mouth and spits the bit out.

Jorine Seale
Magnolia, TX
CHA Clinician and Board Member

3. Letting Loose

It is very unsafe and instills terrible manners in a horse to walk him through a gate and then just turn him loose as he walks off. When turning horses out, this may lead to the horse taking off as soon as you go through the gate and he may kick up his heels as he departs, kicking right toward the handler. Whenever a horse is led through a gate, he should be turned around toward the gate the before letting him loose. This will prevent him from running off as soon as you enter the gate and also turns his rear-end away from you before he is let loose.

Ardith Turpin
CHA Instructor
Horsemanship Director YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin
Middeville, MI

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