Originally Posted by Cowgirl101
Well I stopped riding from a injury. For about 6 months so no one could train.work for her. Now after that she wouldn't take a bit. But I have been working training her again, I have not rode in her in awhile. Because first I am training her. And a few people saw a need a hackamore, because she won't take a bit. But before all that she won't take one a bit easy, after fighting with her. She took it. But now she won't.
Well if you are "first training her" that WOULD include re-training her to take the bit (again, provided you have ruled out that she is not in any pain).
You cannot just resort to another bit (or hackamore in this case) and avoid the real problem. You need to figure out WHY she will not take the bit. It doesn't matter if you haven't been able to work with her in a while, which in your incomplete sentences, it sounds like you've had this issue for a long time.
You can't fight with her to take the bit. She'll win. She is a 1000+ pound animal. You need to TRAIN her to take the bit (once again, as long as you have already ruled out it is not a pain issue and is indeed a training issue).
Have your equine dentist come out and take a look at her teeth. If you can't locate a dentist, then at least have the vet come out and look at her teeth and examine the rest of her health to make sure she is not having pain anywhere.
You should have the vet come out anyway too because it is possible she has back pain, or the saddle is pinching her, or she has joint issues that hurt when you ride. She associates the bridle with riding and therefore would refuse the bit, because she knows that riding is going to hurt.
Once you rule out that she does not have pain, you need to go back to the basics and TRAIN.
She should first drop her head on command. You can start training this with a halter and lead rope. Stand next to her head and calming repeat the word "down....down....down...". At the same time, grab onto the throatlatch of the halter and pull straight down, so that the halter is putting pressure on the poll of her head. You can also place your other hand on her poll and press to reinforce the pressure cue.
Hold this pressure steady until she correctly drops her head (don't jerk and don't start to pull harder -- just hold it steady). Right away, she may shake her head, lift it higher, or do all sorts of things to deal with the pressure. Do not release the cue until she responds correctly. In the beginning, even if she gives a very slight downward movement of her head, release the pressure and praise her. Start with rewarding baby steps first. When she can consistently lower her head just a little bit, start asking her to lower it a bit more before you release the pressure.
But the important thing is to release the pressure IMMEDIATELY when she responds correctly.
When she gets perfect at doing that, you can start trying to only place your hand on her poll and apply pressure (without also pulling on the bottom of the halter).
When she gets good at that, you can try asking her to drop her head when you go to catch her in the pasture BEFORE you put on her halter. Then she will learn she should drop her head for you when you want to put on a halter ... or later the bridle.
When she can do this perfectly every time (it may takes weeks), now you can start working with the bit.
Ask her to lower her head and present the bit in front of her. If she raises her head to "fight" you, you have already established the "head down" cue so you can ask her to do that. Touch the bit to her teeth and give her about 10 seconds to respond on her own. Be careful not to smack the front of her teeth with the bit - that hurts. If she does not respond in 10 seconds, stick your finger into the very corner of her mouth (where the bit would be held). This will cause most horses to open their mouths, and there are no teeth in that location so your finger is safe.
When she opens her mouth, gently insert the bit and praise her. Make sure you are careful when you pull the bridle over her ears and that you are not causing her any pain or discomfort.
And it is also VERY important to be careful when you are removing the bit! If you allow it to smack or hit her teeth on the way out, of course she is never going to want to put that bit back in her mouth, because it hurts when you take it out!
So just always, always be very cautious that you are not accidentally causing pain or discomfort during the bridleing process.