Thursday, April 25, 2013

Words Fail Me

I couldn't figure out what to title this post.  I started with "Why Trax hates bits", and then wanted to go with "Trax's Former Owners Suck"  then I thought about just going with OMG.

I'll let you folks decide.

The vet just left after doing vaccinations and teeth checks. None of my horses need their teeth done which amazes me. He said the closest one to needing it is Sassy, but even she isn't bad at all. So we opted to wait.

BUT when he was doing Trax he showed me something that made me ill.  I mean literally fighting mad, gut wrenching sad, ready to cry and puke all at the same time ill.

Here is a short video of what he found.

His tongue is literally cut almost in half.
The vet said from the looks of it, it has been this way for a long while. 
(yes I asked just to make sure that I didn't do it and not realize it)

Now that I realize that he has this, I'm going to talk with Mark and we are going to rethink our approach on the right bit for him. I think he prefers the Mylar. I know he doesn't care for the snaffles all that much. Now I know why.

You would think when someone does something like this it would bleed alot, but he says it doesn't. He said that because it is a pressure cut in closes off the blood vessels so it bleeds very little.

Poor Trax....I hate those people!  Hates Them!  No wonder he bucked them off all the time!

On the bright side, all the horses were so good for their shots and having their teeth looked at. Danny is the only one who didn't like having his mouth messed with. The rest of them were fantastic. I was so proud of all my ponies.  

UPDATE:  I'm going to totally honest here, even though the vet spent a good amount of time assuring me that I didn't do this, I think I must have aggravated the issue.  There were times, especially early on where he was so hard headed and seriously ran off with me and I'm sure I had a death grip on his mouth.  I am seriously just sick about it.  He told me that it is bothering me way more than it is him, but I'm not sure I believe him.


  1. That is truly, truly awful. I agree with the vet though, that is an old wound and well healed. You didn't do it. I don't know if this helps or not, but most wounds like that are caused when a horse is tied with the reins and the horse jerks back. Inexcusable stupidity on the previous owner's part, but possibly not deliberate cruelty. It doesn't really make it better, but...It is a good thing Trax has found his way to you.

    1. That actually makes sense and does make me feel better, thank you

  2. That is so terrible. I am blown away! Poor trax! But definitely agreed, I don't think it was your fault at all.

    Have you ever tried hackamores on him? Like a sidepull? Does he respond well? Like I just ride pony in her halter about 40% of the time....usually out of laziness but I also like to make sure she's responsive to me, and not just because I have a bit in.

    For her, she responds perfectly to stopping, and leg, but she doesn't give her face well to bending her body. But thats okay with me since usually when we're working in a halter that's not what I'm working on specifically haha

    1. You can bet I will be researching the bitless bridles. I do have a hackamore which I was using on him. It is a very old mechanical which is pretty close to worn out. He actually really likes it, and now I know why. I switched him back to the snaffle after Jay got on me for the hackamore. For training purposes the snaffle is better, but I can say that from now on, when we are just trail riding I will probably stick him back in the hackamore just for his own comfort.

      I didn't think it was ever my fault, but I know that there are times when he has been hard to handle and I was rougher on his mouth than I liked.

  3. Sistafriend, I feel your pain. I too have felt that same gut-wrenching horrible feeling in my stomach when it comes to bits, and mouth issues. (For jingle it was a broken jaw as a 5 year old, that no-one ever felt necessary to yaknow.. get a vet out too look at so it healed on it's own, crooked and malformed)

    I've heard mylars are excellent, you'll probably need to start looking at bits with tounge relief... maybe a ported bit? I've seen some ported snaffles before that might do just the trick? I ride Jingle in a sidepull, and it's been working really well for us, even today he tried to gallop right away with me and I still have to control to shut him down like I would have in a snaffle. If you ever want to chat bitless i'm your girl!

    Just know that Trax has you now, and even if sometimes your still "learning" with him, your taking steps towards a more positive, healthier relationship - a MILLION times better than his shitty last owners, and i'm sure that means quite a lot to your painted boy. :)

  4. Wow. Just wow. I'd definitely be looking into bitless bridles. I've never seen anything like that, but it really makes me rethink using any bit. Sometimes I'd go to horse shows and see horses with tears on the sides of their mouths, and that really ticked me off. I didn't know much about horse training, but knew enough that I knew causing injury should not be a part of it.

  5. & again, take it from someone who knows, we can all give you 249214210 pieces of bit, and bitless, and natural, and unnatural advice, but he's your horse, you know him the best, and he'll let you know what works for him. So, if the mylar you've been riding in lately is working - stick with it! Until it doesn't anymore, then move on again. You guys will figure it out! :)

  6. Oh man, poor Trax. I had other words to say but I decided to censor myself.

    Trax is responding so well to your new training approach, I wonder if you could go bitless. I hate the word "bitless" because it implies so many stupid things. I don't like Dr. Cook's bridle at all, and an Indian Hackamore or mechanical hackamore seem way too harsh. I like some of the options at Buckaroo Leather. I also like a good bosal (the more strands in the plait the better, I think).

    I can see why he'd like a Myler bit better, since they're shaped nicely to the horse's mouth. Maybe setting it higher or lower in his mouth would help too?

    My sister had a horse that this happened to. The trainer didn't even know it had happened, and he's not one to mistreat a horse, so I'm guessing he had her tied (with her halter) while she was bitted and she got hung up somehow. That horse was very sensitive to bits. For a while my sister wrapped hers in something - I'm calling her to ask what it was - that made it softer. Sealtex is what it's called. The rubbery Happy Mouth bits seem like a good idea but I haven't seen one that's a nice shape. I've read that the black rubbery bits dry out their mouths.

    I know it's horrifying, but I'm glad you know about it now. It'll make Trax a whole lot more comfortable if you can come up with some head gear that doesn't hurt. He is very lucky to have landed with you, and I'm sure he knows it.

    1. Never ever censor yourself on my page! LOL