Hey all - I would really appreciate advice on a problem that has recently arisen with my 6 year old gelding. He has taken to rearing when I apply a hold to his bit. He used have a small rear when I got him first, but it was just taking front legs off the ground but I managed to work that out of him and have ridden him away happily since. Last year, a dentist advised me that he has some of the most sensitive teeth that he had ever encountered - so obviously I am assuming this may be the reason for this turnaround and his rearing, as he only does it when I have to hold him back - the two instances recently have been when we were in a field and I had to pull him up after a gallop - the second at a cross country event where he was out with 15 other horses and I had to hold him up to allow other horses over fences first.
I have gotten this teeth done this week, the vet filed them down and he is due to come back to work tomorrow - but as you can imagine, I am now quite concious of the fact how badly injured I could be if he does a rear that goes bad - I am an experienced rider and have sat the ones no bother so far, choosing to dismount backwards at his last rear he went up so high. I can only assume and hope that even though the vet set his teeth werent that bad, that if he is as sensitive as Ive been told, that any contact from the bit woud have caused discomfort resulting in the rear. He is only ridden in a rubber snaffle, which I changed to after hearing about the sensitivity.
Friends that have witnessed these rears are giving advice to soften my hand - which in theory is great - but whilst hes not a very forward horse, he does need to be kept in hand at times, so just softening up doesnt always work either.
Can anyone even recommend a bit that might be more suitable to a sensitive teethed horse that will still give me control with overarming him that they have used with positive results? I will admit, Ive been lucky in managing to keep all horses Ive had in nice gentle bits so would be a modern bit virgin!
Does anyone have ANY advice - hes an amazing horse, with a fantastic future ahead of him - IF I can sort this problem. Please dont suggest sending him to be trained etc. The only people that take on rearers over here are , for use of a better word, animal abusers that literally crack their heads open with steel bars - and I am not a believer in brute physical injury to sort a problem of any kind. Again, please also note I am an experienced rider, just thankfully havent encountered a rearer in my career up to now. Thank you so much for any advice given. (I am praying all will be ok when I ride him tomorrow after his teeth being sorted though!)