Helping Others With Equines

Dee Howe

 Bitting Up


Use the same movements when round penning your horse bit up as you did when round penning freely.  This step saves you a lot of time and energy by allowing the horse to figure out how to move with pressure & collect, in a relaxed state. Every horse is an individual.  Remember to take your time, evaluate the horses condition  and give your horse time to figure out what you are teaching them.

Some different way's to bit up your horse:


Halter & saddle










 Side pull & surcingle








Snaffle & Saddle







Curb bit & saddle




Saddle/Surcingle and Bridle your horse. 

  1.  For the first time, ideally, use a halter. Then you can  slowly graduate to any type of bit.
  2. Preferably use a noseband, so your horse can not avoid the bit by opening their mouth.


Saddle: Thread the reins under the stirrup leathers or through the stirrups, and tie in a square knot behind the cantle of the saddle. Short reins may require just looping over saddle horn or an extension so the horse can get relief when they are collected properly.

  1. When doing this for the first time, evenly adjust the reins loosely.
  2. Round pen your horse around until they start to relax.
  3. Continue to tighten your reins until their head is vertical to the ground on a loose rein and run around until they relax


Surcingle: Usually used to start young horses so as to not damage to saddle while they learn to take pressure. Have many options to tie reins to or other aids.

Signs of relaxation are:

  1. Breaking at the poll in a relaxed manner, so the reins are loose.
  2. Licking of the lips.
  3. Big soft looking eye.
  4. Proper leads.
  5. Smooth transitions.
  6. Body arches to you.


As you progress, do less bitting up, and more riding.

BE CONSISTENT- persistence pays off