I'd rather not go bitless since I ride dressage. The only time I ride without a bit is when I ride bareback, and I don't work her hard or even keep contact because my mare gets so confused when I try working her without a bit.
It's definitely not a discomfort issue, just bad habits. I'll try using treats when I put the bit in her mouth. Thank you for the suggestions :)
Try a hackamore or bit less bridle. If that doesn't work, pay attention to how she reacts when you touch her ears. If she tosses her head, keeping touching the ear until she calms down and repeat daily
My mare was the exact same when it came to taking the bit. She would throw her head in the air and paw the ground because she would get so frustrated and panicked by the bit. Note that we tried all kinds of bits, including a snaffle, french link and eventually a rubber mullen. Teeth were fine and no past issues...
We tried honey, bit butter, treats. Nothing worked. And I was an idiot who continued to try to force a cold, metal, painful bit into her mouth until I actually decided to ignore the know it all control freaks at my yard who were firm believers that metal in a horses mouth was essential to control them with.
Giving up forcing metal into my horses mouth is probably the best decision I've ever made. Bits aren't needed and don't 'control' horses, despite what 'trainers' say. If your horse is giving you all the signs she is uncomfortable taking the bit and hates it, why should you ignore her? Help her out, do her a favour and leave the bit alone.
I strongly advise you try going bitless. Use a hackamore or bitless bridle. Best thing I ever did. No more fighting with the bridle, no more head tossing. Just riding and a happier horse.
Hey, has she seems to be a sensible horse and maybe had associated the bit with pain it could be useful to put some honey with muesli on your bit in order to change it in a good moment and repeat the action until she gets it.
Thank you for your suggestions. No she does not have a teeth problem. She has in the the past, but it's much better now after a couple of dentist visits :)
To answer your question, Maddie (hey we have the same name! Lol), the bit is a normal temperature. It's kept in an air conditioned tack room, but it doesn't get that cold in there even though it's running 24/7.
Maybe whenever you can put you fingers or thumb in her mouth? So she is used to things being in her mouth even when the bit isn't being put in. Also maybe sure when you put the bridle in you aren't hitting her in the teeth because this could be an issue (or she could be suspecting this due to an inexperienced rider tacking her up). Is the bit hot or cold or normal temperature because this may be giving no her a fright. Also maybe see if you could get a flovoured bit so she would want that more?
I've used a fruit roll up. It can get messy but can be effective. Could also be a teeth issue. Teeth can be hard to diagnose as the horse cannot talk and tell you what's going on. A vet could also be a good idea if it is making it hard to train or show. They can pin point pain in the mouth.