Horse wont take bit - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Horse wont take bit

Im having some trouble getting my horse to take a bit... I put the bit to her mouth and she shakes her head up and down. I've tried pushing her head down to my level but then she gets mad or scaredand pulls back hard on the lead. Any idea what im doing wrong? I've been patient... I spent an hour trying.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 02:33 PM
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Hi,

I don't think you can PUSH your horse's head or hold it in place very well. A horse is simply so much stronger than you.
The thing to do is to train your horse to lower her head for you for bridling. I realize this does not mean that she'll hold it there once you start trying to get the bit it, but it's a first step. You can do the training ahrose to lower her head whil she is still in a halter.

When you ask her to lower her head, also ask her to bend it toward you, while you are standing on her left siide. Practice putting your arm up and over her neck, cuddling her face a little, then slowly letting her go.

Then practice doing the above, and putting your hand into her mouth. Fingers, I mean. If she brings her head up, try to go with her asmuch as you can , don't pull back real hard, but do maintain a kind of "drag" on her neck to encourage her to relower it, and if she does, immediately lighten the pressure. Gently pull downward (kind of be heavy) and when she lowers a milimeter, ease the pull, then start again 'til you get her back to having her head down.

Then you can put the bridle into the hand that is above her neck and start putting the bit in her mouth. If she goes to raising her head, do the following, weighting and such to get her back down. Be slow , persistant and patient.

If she is resisting this bit, there is a possibility that it causes discomfort, due either to the bit itself or some dental issue in her mouth. OR, it's just a habit she has learned that gets her out of doing any work.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 02:40 PM
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Is this a training problem she has with others or just with you?

You have to be careful not to whack her in the teeth when you are tacking and untacking.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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It is a problem she has with any person attempting to bridle her.

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post #5 of 13 Old 03-18-2011, 05:26 PM
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Did this just start all the sudden or has she always done this? Did you just change her bit type at all that could be causing discomfort? I agree with tinyliny on the training and also checking for any dental issues or mouth sores first.

If it does wind up being something she is doing just to get out of work I just wanna ask --when you put her bridle on, do you bring your arm up over her head and between her ears to grab the headstall --then guide the bit in with your left hand? Just curious. I use to do this, but my Arabian mare figured out she could just lift her head and I couldn't follow her because I'm shorter and once she raised her head to a certain point, my arm didn't reach. When we checked it out and saw that she didn't have any mouth issues, my friend showed me another way that makes it harder for the horse to get away from you when you put the bridle on. I now hold the entire headstall in my right hand using my thumb and pinky finger to kind of spread the sides apart where the bit is so that they can comfortably take the bit. I then use my left hand to guide the bit into her mouth. That way, if they do start raising their head, you can just follow them with the bit lightly up against their lips. Don't try to get it in her mouth at first, just follow her so that she realizes wherever she goes it will be inevitable that she will have to take it (well, I guess this depends on the size of your horse! ). Also, I noticed my mare is more comfortable now that I don't put my arm up and over her head so she doesn't feel as trapped. Since I've been bridleing her this way, she has NO problem taking the bit because she knows she can't escape.

Quote:
I've tried pushing her head down to my level but then she gets mad or scared and pulls back hard on the lead.
I wouldn't try to force her head down. With my experience this usually just freaks them out more and the result is them trying harder to get away. (Like what was happening when I brought my arm up over my mare's head.) Just coax her and try to keep her as relaxed as possible. Over time she will relax and realize it is going to happen whether she likes it or not. No Dandy (my mare) will take the bit however I want to put it on --over her head or otherwise.

I hope this helps! If anyone see's something wrong with my information please speak up! I am not a professional, so I'm not saying this is the way to do it. Good luck!


Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. -Emerson
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-09-2011, 10:26 AM
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My mare absouletly hates it but too bad for her. I want the bridle on with the bit and she can give me crap about it but so what it is getting on no matter what. Have that attitude. My trainer started off bridling her and then I started doing it and she still doesn't take it but too bad for her. You need to teach your horse that he is getting bridled no matter how much he like it!
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-09-2011, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuadteagan View Post
My mare absouletly hates it but too bad for her. I want the bridle on with the bit and she can give me crap about it but so what it is getting on no matter what. Have that attitude. My trainer started off bridling her and then I started doing it and she still doesn't take it but too bad for her. You need to teach your horse that he is getting bridled no matter how much he like it!
Fuadteagan, have you considered your mare might have pain from the bit?
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-09-2011, 02:14 PM
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she may also need her teeth done, or the bit you are using causes her pain. Even a simple snaffle can be harsh if the horse has a low soft palate!

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-09-2011, 03:15 PM
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I agree with CJ82Sky.

Horses are scared of two things... Things that move and things that don't.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-09-2011, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ82Sky View Post
she may also need her teeth done, or the bit you are using causes her pain. Even a simple snaffle can be harsh if the horse has a low soft palate!
That's how my mare is. She has a terribly low palate and when I tried riding her in a loose ring snaffle, she about dumped me. She is bitless and is a complete 180.
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