My western pleasure horse has a terrible nervous habit of chomping at the bit in the show ring. I have given her calming supplements and tried different bits and use a flash noseband. What would you do with this otherwise potentially competitive horse?
ANSWER: Hi Tawnya,
Start with using a spade bit with a roller, sometimes this helps calm them and keeps their mouth quieter. They make loud ones and quieter ones. If it is a real nervous habit, I would just spend a lot of time at the show riding her and see if she does it also at home as much as at the show. If she does it all the time, even at home, I would ride her with a cavason. If she only does it at the show, then she is nervous for other reasons. Talk with your vet and maybe she needs some regumate when you show her. It is perfectly legal and not an illegal substance. Talk with your vet first. This is why geldings are more sought after in the show ring, and are bringing more money today than they used to. Mares are sometimes a pain in the rear to deal with.
Good Luck….. Mark