My horse throws her head when I bridle her - advice please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Red face My horse throws her head when I bridle her - advice please

I have recently developed a problem with one of my horses. She is an ex hunter horse who has done a lot in her time. She is my dad's horse and up until a few weeks ago has been absolutely fine. However whenever my dad or myself go to bridle her she pulls away and becomes scared. We calm her down and eventually she lets us put it on, once it is on she is fine. I have checked ears and all around her face to see if she is hurt but it all seems normal. It is as if she is flinching because our hands are raised above her face. We are really worried about this as it has just started happening and we have run out of ideas as to why this could be. Has anyone got any advice please?


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post #2 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 12:46 PM
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Get her teeth floated. If there are sharp hooks, her bite is uneven, or there are hooks irritating the skin of the cheek when she's wearing the bridle, she can learn to associate the bridle with pain.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 01:12 PM
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The horse I ride throws his head up when I take the bridle off. I was taught to to rest your right arm on his neck with your wrist inbetwen his ears and push down to lower head and keep in there while you bridle him. You could practice this head lowering exercise a few times a day without putting the bridle on first to see if it works with him and teach him to move away from the pressure. Do this with putting his halter on and off too so that he realizes it isn't a big deal. If he's a big boy and you can't reach that spot try this with your Dad helping to see if it helps at all. Goodluck!
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by amymarie57 View Post
The horse I ride throws his head up when I take the bridle off. I was taught to to rest your right arm on his neck with your wrist inbetwen his ears and push down to lower head and keep in there while you bridle him.
Agree with this - also important to keep the cheek pieces of the bridle away from the eyes, and I found it's helpful to bring the bit from below the chin up to the mouth, instead of down from the nose to the mouth. Don't know why, but they seem to like that better. Maybe because it's more like how they would put food in their mouths, from below.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-11-2011, 06:51 PM
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What amymarie and Ladytrails said about bridling and haltering is correct but sometimes a hores just decides they can get away with it so they will start throwing their head around. There is a gelding at my barn that has a big problem with this as well. The trainer worked with him by playing with his ears, keeping the pressure on until he stopped moving. If you are not comfortable being that close while the hores is throwing their head around you can use the string on a whip to lightly wrap around their ears while you stay at a safe distance. Just be sure not to take it away until they calm down. Once you get them used to it, you can work on getting them to lower their head to be bridled.
You want to be able to touch your horses ears whenever without them caring.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-12-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for all our advice. She is 14 years old so it seems strange that she would suddenly just start doing this when it has never bothered her before. I will get her teeth checked and also try the techniques you have said. Just bit confused because normally we can do whatever we like and is very willing.
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