Bridle/Halter issue.. only getting worse

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Bridle/Halter issue.. only getting worse

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    12-29-2011, 07:20 PM
Bridle/Halter issue.. only getting worse

Well I got this Chincoteague mare that was being used as a carousel pony/hand led pony. Now, I don't think it's that she was never introduced to a bridle or bit (she is 6) and her previous owners said they rode her with a bit too, but I think she is just the most hard headed, difficult horse about it. I could not even both getting her halter on (I leave it on because I won't be able to catch her later without it) because all she does is fling her head up and she doesn't do it nicely either. Same thing with the bridle, but that's tougher to get on and she will throw her head up violently, its ridiculous. The first time, she ran off and snapped the reins. From then I just used a nylon bridle, and I used to be able to use food while I put it in her mouth but now there is ZERO chance of that, I couldn't even catch her in the ring today for 2 hours with her saddle on while I was trying to put the bridle on. Now, when its on, she is fine, great ride and everything. She picks up her feet better than any other horse, lets me blanket her, every little thing but to catch her in the field or to put something like a halter on, its just getting out of hand now and I have no idea what to use. We don't want to use a twitch and we probably 99% wont, and I'm not sure if a chain will help or not but I can tie her tightly to anything and she will not give out at all. Tried to do a join up, nope. I'm stuck.
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    12-29-2011, 07:55 PM
Green Broke
I think your best bet might be to get help from a trainer. Not your local trainer at the riding barn but someone who specializes in ground manners. I love my John Lyons trainer he has helped me and my horses a lot on ground manners and I didn't even know I had a problem.
You might be putting on the bit wrong, lots of people think rubbing the bit against their teeth is a good way to get the horse to open its mouth, but usually causes avoidence issues.
Good Luck your pony sounds like a pistol!!
Corporal likes this.
    12-30-2011, 12:14 PM
Oh I don't rub the bit, but with her I have to get in on her teeth then make her open her mouth in order to get it in. Otherwise, I just make them open and then put it in. The thing about trainers is that we like to do it on our own/there really arent many in this area. I'm still stuck at how to solve the issue, although I may just do it so that she's in a stall when I tack her up and I for now am just going to put the bridle over the halter until she calms down about it but with her, I dunno if thatll work.
    12-30-2011, 12:21 PM
Has she had a vet exam to check for tooth problems or injuries on her head?
sierrams1123 and DuffyDuck like this.
    12-30-2011, 12:35 PM
Its not dental/head injuries, I can assure you that. She's just being a pest I think, and in addition, she is only a 6 year old chincoteague pony, she's wild after all.
    12-30-2011, 12:39 PM
Six is not young and she's been bitted and broke, so any "wild" influence is long since gone. How do you know for a fact that it's not a pain related thing? If her teeth have not been floated in the past year, they absolutely need to be done again, regardless of whether or not they are contributing to the bridling problem.
MN Tigerstripes likes this.
    12-30-2011, 12:44 PM
Its not a pain thing because why would it prevent me from putting something like a halter on her? I know for a fact that it is not a pain related thing, it's been checked. I don't think it could be a problem with the bit either because this happened before a bit was put in her mouth the first time we did give one to her. She would run away a little at the beginning, but was able to be caught, now not so much. I've had to deal with her enough to know that it is most likely just a behavioral/attitude/manners issue, she is a mare/ex wild/and pony all in one!
    12-30-2011, 12:54 PM
Could be an ear injury, could be anticipation of the bit due to have a nasty mouth abscess, could be eye problems, could be anything. Point is you can't rule it out until a vet exam has been done. An otherwise obedient and gentle horse isn't headshy for no reason, even if it is just past pain/abuse or something of that nature.

This is my classic advice, though:

"Stay with the horse and become a student of his body language. Don't become angry, impatient, frustrated, or frightened. It's all matter of fact. Unclip his halter from the lead rope and put his halter around his neck for a handle, if needed. Put the bit up by his mouth. If he clenches his teeth, yes, put your thumb or finger in the toothless gum region on his lower jaw, pressing down with firm pressure, as needed. If he raises his head, runs backwards, whatever--do not back off, and do not force the bit. Just stay with him. Keep the bit/bridle in the exact same position relative to his head throughout his entire display. Don't back off, but don't move forward, either, until he realizes that his antics are futile. Repeat as needed, gradually increasing the "pressure" of the stimulus (position of the bit) until he gives in.

(This is presuming there is no underlying physical issues, like horrible dental hooks, or a injury on his head, etc.)

Read more: How do you get the bit in a horse's mouth?"
MN Tigerstripes likes this.
    12-30-2011, 12:58 PM
First, I would have to 2nd Bubba13's comment on it being a pain thing and have you had it checked. I understand you stated that you have but by whom, yourself?

Also, is she head shy? Have you ever attempted to touch her or mess with her head other then putting a halter or bridle on her?

Second, this may sound stupid but step by step how are you putting the bridle on. Also with the halter you put on her, do you throw the strap over her poll and buckle it or do you keep it buckled and have the neck latch that you clip once you have pulled it over her ears?

Having these answers could better help me help you.
    12-30-2011, 01:09 PM
I'm going to try what Bubba13 suggested, and no I had it checked by a vet already. And yes especially now I try to mess with her head but I mean I can't do much if I don't put a halter on her, she's not going to stand there for me.

Well I don't put the reins over her neck because I know that she will run, same with the halter, but I usually take a leadrope and make a temporary halter that way if I can get that far, I can tie her somewhere and try to keep her head in place while I put the bridle on, then I can just take the leadrope off although I am just going to start putting it over the halter now. Halter I use the neck latch, its just easier.

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