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Help! My horse leans, runs out, stops, "is naughty (!)" !

Gail Johnson- 19 October 2020
Always worth an updated re share as still a problem unfortunately :
A frequent query on the advice line is "i need a bit that is going to stop my horse:.....leaning, running out, running off when I want to stop, etc etc - help!!"  " Hes's the same in EVERY BIT and I have tried EVERY BIT ........what shall i do? ? ?.  As usual, there is never just one straightforward reply.  Many factors need to be taken into account to try to rule out the reason for the leaning and one of the most important is ; "does the current bit fit?" 

A lot of the bits I see are at least 1/2" too big and therefore sitting out to one side under rein tension.  This can result in, depending on how the noseband and bridle support the bit, the bit hanging out to the left rein even when you are on the right rein.  Sometimes it can even slide across the tongue quite harshly when a change of rein occurs and riders wonder why their horse throws its head.  I won't move on to recommend anything until I have worked through my process which includes this important factor and some customers can get quite frustrated "just recommend something!".  Erm, no; I do this job for many reasons, including that I am actually quite good at it so just have a little patience and send me the information I need. :-) 

The bit needs to sit centrally and needs assessing with and without rein tension as to whether it fits or not.  If you are not sure, feel free to send photos to me at and I will check it for you :-)  This will happen before I recommend anything.

Back in the saddle ! :-) ..... sort of

Gail Johnson- 30 June 2020
Things are getting back to normal here at HBH HQ with the kick start of a feature written some time ago for the Your Horse Mag and published in their August issue (see our Facebook page).

The advice line is getting busier, orders are picking up and I am back out doing yard visits; very selectively (as always) but possibly even more so due to some of the many things I have learnt during lockdown: one of which is that I really should spend more time with my animals and those who love me/ I love.  The shows that I would have been going to are cancelled til 2021 which means no nights away from Paddy Patterdale which, at 13, is lovely for me :-) 

On a more personal note Bouncer has arrived, thankfully just before lockdown, and he has settled in lovely.  He is shared with a friend but lives as part of my herd and the others love him. 

Its good to be back on board even though Colin the 15hh bombproof teenage cob that I was looking for has turned out to be a 5yo IDxWB at 17hh already !  He is a very good boy though and actually seems to be a good height for my long legs.

Keep safe everyone and if you want a visit, please email and I will be in touch with many questions.