Problem with putting on my horse's bridle

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Problem with putting on my horse's bridle

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    08-03-2012, 10:38 PM
Problem with putting on my horse's bridle

Haha, kind of a... different question. Anyway.

When I put my bridle on my horse (it is an english bridle MINUS the noseband -- has the browband, but otherwise kinda looks like a western bridle in the face in my opinion) she puts her head down once the bit gets in. She tries to move away and once I slip the browband over her head she is better, but it is definitely uncomfortable for her getting it on. Then once it's on, she's fine. What should I do to fix this issue? Thanks
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    08-03-2012, 11:03 PM
Are you saying that the problem is that she puts her head down too far?

Check to see that the bit is not too high , which would become really high while you were pulling it over her ears. Make sure the browband is long enough to allow you easily pull it over her ears, and that once the crownpiece is in the correct location, that the bridle isn't too close behind her ears (indicates a too tight browband)
    08-04-2012, 11:51 AM
Usually, bridling problems start because the horse has not been trained to take the bridle or it is not being introduced to the horse in the correct manner. Of course, the horse could have just learned how to evade. The horse should be taught to lower it's head to take the bit or at the very least not to raise it. The bridle should be held by the crown in the right hand and placed at the top of the forehead. The bit is gently introduced so that the mouth piece is between the top and bottom teeth. The horses' gum under the upper lip can be rubbed with the index finger to encourage the horse it to open it's mouth at the same time the bit is pulled into the mouth with the right hand. A bit should never be pushed or jammed into the horses' mouth with the left hand but gently pulled with the right hand. If you are doing every thing right the horse could just be evading you or it might have a sore mouth for some reason. I have had to hobble the front feet or tie a hind leg up to retrain an evasive horse to take the bit willingly. My horse opens his mouth as soon as the bit touches his lips and then lowers his head so that his ears can be slipped under the crown piece.
    08-05-2012, 03:00 PM
Thanks for the advice.
It appears to me not really a problem of accepting the bit, but accepting me putting the browband on. She'll open her mouth and accept the bit easily, but then when it comes time to slip it over her ears, she tries to move her head down to get away from it. Then, once it is over her ears, she accepts it and is fine. It's just getting her ears through that seems to be the big issue.
    08-05-2012, 03:19 PM
You need to retrain her to the bridle, back to square one. Here's a trick I learned from Ryan Gingerich. He starts his 2yo's bridling with a rope. You begin by teaching them to lower their head and tip it towards you. You press and squeeze behind the ears, and use lots of lots of praise. I also use some carrots after the horse has picked up on the skill. Here's a picture of my teenage help bridling my 16'3hh gelding with a rope "bridle".

I just took a cotton rope lead and made the bridle by hooking the bull snap to about the dimension of his bridle. There is no metal to hit the horse's teeth, and it's soft on their gums. =D
    08-05-2012, 07:34 PM
I'm confused...what's going in the horse's mouth?
    08-05-2012, 09:47 PM
You move the snap to the side and put the rope in your horse's mouth. Sorry the picture makes it look like the snap is a replacement bit, but DON'T put the bull snap in your horse's mouth! Make SURE that you guide the rope into his mouth with your Left hand, and then pull up with your right hand between the ears. I say this bc some folks don't realize this is the most effective way to bridle.
It's as if you are going to lead your horse with a rope between his molars and incisors--you know that there is a gap between them where we put the bit?--instead of a halter. It really works very well, and allows you to put it on, take it off, put it on, take it off numerous times. I thought it was a brilliant method of bridling a young horse for the first time, but you really want to emphasize down and left to your horse. I had ear problems with this horse, principally bc he was sold by the breeder to another party (who sold him back--go figure!!), and who clipped the inside of his ear hair too short, and that made HIM ear shy. Fortunately, after 2 years!! The hair has FINALLY grown back, and, along with patient training, we can now play with his ears at will.
    08-05-2012, 11:35 PM
I teach my horses to drop their head so that I can easily pull their ears under the crown. The problem is when they don't want you to handle their ears. Have you checked for ear mites?
    08-06-2012, 04:19 PM
No, I haven't checked for ear mites.. How do I do that exactly?
I think it's more of a behavorial thing (ahhh, don't touch my ears) kinda deal.

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