Over the weekend, I spent time just bridling without the added pressure of a ride. Yesterday, he had a full on melt down over the bridle and gave me an impossible to ignore NO.
I did get it on, but he flew backwards each time I tried to bring it over his ears to secure it. And no, it's not an ear issue; he just knows over the ears means it's on.
Once I finally did get it on, he stood there practically trembling, but not quite. His entire body was rigid, and a near panic filled his eyes. No way was I going to ride him looking like that. I gently removed the double, gave him a reassuring pat, and let him stand and recover.
When I bought Izzy, his first owner told me that he was very expressive about his dislikes. Her experience came with a poor fitting saddle. According to her, Izzy had a complete fit about using a saddle that he didn't like. She couldn't get it off fast enough.
This is twice now that he's shown an obvious dislike for a bit. For the first, a thick and gentle double jointed snaffle, it took him months to convince me that he didn't like it. This time, he decided to be more persuasive; it only took him a handlful of bridling days to convince me that the double is not for him.
Before anyway suggests dental work, believe me, I've thought of it too. My horses get their teeth done by my veterinarian once or twice a year. Izzy's teeth were done this past March. While it is possible that something has changed in his mouth since then, I have felt around in there and even taken a quick peek. Nothing seems to be amiss, but I will let my vet know we've had some bitting issues.
I am ordering a dressage legal Myler bit today. If I am going to have a tack issue, which I'd rather not, but if so, I'd much rather it be bits than saddles. And no, Universe, I am NOT tempting you. Who all has been down this particular path?