My 3 1/2 year old filly who I recently backed seems to be continually mouthing and playing with her bit. My experience with the young ones is that they all do this at the beginning but then fairly soon accept the bit. I was not concerned until the woman who is considering buying her started calling it "resistance" and wanted to have it evaluated by a professional. The bit is a happy mouth egg butt, it fits well, the professional does not think this is an issue with her teeth. The filly is very easy to work with otherwise but I think is just pretty immature. The professional thought she was getting her tongue over the bit. Any thoughts on this? Should I be concerned that this is resistance or just immature baby stuff? She has only been under saddle for about one month, maybe 15 rides total.
The bit may not fit her comfortably. In some bits, my Arab does weird things with his mouth and escalates from a kids pony to a fire breathing, rearing mess. He won't tolerate a snaffle with a single break. He likes either his Mullen Pelham or his JP Korsteel oval mouth (the lozenge instead of a flat link) eggbutts.
I'd play around with different bits and see what happens.
How is the rest of her body? Does she lock her barrel, take short choppy steps in hind, or not allow her body to be a choo choo train? If she's doing those things, than she may be resistant to the bit.
If so, change bits or position in her mouth and note what changes.
No, she doesn't lock anything. She is super bendy and moves out nicely at the walk and trot. She doesn't feel "locked" to me in anyway. Her back feels relaxed, like she accepts my weight. What she does is look, look, look all over. She kind of pays attention to everything else. She does normal things like tries to slow at the in gate and follow the other horses in the arena. She just reminds me of a kindergartner who can barely pay any attention to me because other things are more interesting and she doesn't really get that she may have to work for a living! I am very soft with my hands, not asking for anything except starting to listen to my hand and my leg. My expectations are to start to listen. Walk, trot and halt. Bend slightly to the inside on the circle. Develop a little work ethic.....not alot, just a little. I just don't know if my expectations are to low. Should she be accepting and soft in the bridle already? Should her mouth be quiet? Am I risking doing something wrong by not aggressively addressing this mouthy thing yet? I am just a little concerned that if there is a problem developing I am not addressing it appropriately. I appreciate any feedback........Just want to do the right thing by her!