Bridle/Halter issue.. only getting worse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 58 Old 12-30-2011, 01:33 PM
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Seeing as you are pulling both items over the ears I would think she has a ear issue, also she sounds to me like she is head shy.

Try working with her, catch her with the lead on her neck and try just rubbing her face, general desensitization. I would think with time things will get better, but only if you get her ears checked out as well.
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post #12 of 58 Old 01-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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Desensitize the head yes, but, also desensitize the poll and area behind the ears. I am 5'6 and had a hard ot bridle 16.2 TB..not a hiuge size difference but he was great at imitating a giraffe when it came time to put on the bridle. This horse also had serious ear issues to the point even sedated I couldn't get a pair of clippers anywhere near his ears; never did get the clipper issue solved :).

To aid in bridling, I first stood at his shoulder and put my hand up to his poll and gently applied two-finger downward pressue until he lowered his head even the least little bit, then I would let up the pressure and give him a good neck rub. Nearly immediately I would do the same thing. To shorten the long story, 20 minutes of this had the horse immediately dropping his head nearly to the ground as soon as he felt my fingers on his poll. Bridling was simple after that and he never gave me any more issues.
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post #13 of 58 Old 01-01-2012, 09:33 PM
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It could be from pain or from being headshy but I don't believe those are the causes. When you do catch her, what do you do with her? You said she was a carousel pony. Has she ever been given an incentive to be caught or is it that when she is caught, she's put to work? The reason I believe this is the case is from her avoidance of being caught or having the bit put in but when it happens she behaves.
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post #14 of 58 Old 01-02-2012, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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I talked to the other girl that works with her as well, and it is NOT anything phsyical nor is it her being headshy/earshy, just because we've observed it and that's not it. I went and messed with her head and nothing, it doesn't bother her, just stuff being pulled over it. If anything, another horse we have is a better example of ear shy because he backs up when you mess with his ears, she doesnt do anything.

usandpets - yup its neither of the two, Im sure. What you're saying may be true though, she still does the carousel with us (shes one of the good ones for it) but before, her halter was left on and not taken on and off, and im sure that when she was caught, it meant work. Right now we leave the halter on and a catch rope which I've noticed has slowed her down and stopped her running off as quickly. She's not always put to work though, lately I've been just catching her and walking her around and just messing with her and petting her, then letting her go, or even blanketing her and then releasing her.

I did go ahead and use a bitless nylon type of bridle and that slips on a lot easier so it took less time, I just had less control of her when riding (a LOT of pulling and kicking so as to NOT to go to the jump first thing and knock it over). I'm going to use that for now and just see how it goes.
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post #15 of 58 Old 01-02-2012, 12:22 PM
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The unwillingness to come to you after chasing her for 2 hours says she has trust and respect issues. I've ridden a few domesticated mustangs and all of them were difficult to catch, especially if they were living in a herd environment. They also were much quicker to go to the flight instinct if they felt they couldn't trust the person they were with than a domesticated horse who was imprinted at birth.

If you haven't already, spend some time earning that trust and respect with ground work and work with her ears and poll. Also, try to keep her in a stall or separate pen so she can bond with you.

The Appy I've been riding lately is the same way, she's horrible about bridling and is a pain in the ass to catch from the herd. I separated her out from her friends the day before yesterday, and spent an hour with her the first night just loving on her and asking her to put her head down, and yesterday I spent a couple of hours doing the same thing and was able to bridle her a couple times without her trying to rip my hitching post out of the ground. You're gonna have to put a lot of time in to undo the damage done by the last couple of owners.
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post #16 of 58 Old 01-20-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update - so there is no health issues and she is not head shy or ear shy. I've been trying to love up on her - has done nothing and Lately we've been able to catch her (strange lol) as well. But when we show her to prospective buyers, we can't have this whole bridle issue. We can barely get a halter on, let alone a bridle (bitless!) forget about a bit at all.

I'm really stuck right now. I think I used a chain a while back with no response but I'm going to try next time i mess with her. If that doesn't work, I think my last resort will have to be the twitch. After he showing today, she got hyped up when we took the halter off (had a bitless bridle over it - only option) she pulled away with all force and ran back to the stables.. but then managed to get onto the acreage of crops by the other property in the middle of the night PITCH BLACK and we were LUCKY catching her (no halter or bridle) and had to chase her back into the stall! This is really getting out of hand!
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post #17 of 58 Old 01-20-2012, 12:32 AM
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Have you consulted a professional trainer?
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post #18 of 58 Old 01-20-2012, 12:33 AM
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seems to me you need to reach out to someone that is more educated in handling this kind of situation.
you seem to be a little uneducated and inexperienced in how to react to this behavior.
it is not wise of you to turn to a chain or twitch, you need to fix the problem not make it worse.
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post #19 of 58 Old 01-20-2012, 12:34 AM
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Have you thought about practicing catching her and whatnot in a round pen? That way she could still have enough space not to feel trapped, but it's small enough for you to work with her comfortably.

You could also incorporate brushing and whatnot.

Haven't read the entire thread and I'm not feeling so grand, so excuse any repeats

EDIT: I agree with sierra, above me... once you use a twitch, it's hard not to. You need to address the behavior.. not mask it.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #20 of 58 Old 01-20-2012, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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It's honestly not worth it for me to take her to a trainer, I also don't believe personally (don't rag on me for this) that a trainer is always the answer. I'm not giving up on her, but trust me - it's just an issue of her being a hard headed pony. I'm not going to use a twitch if the chain works, believe me, I just need to get some reaction from her because once she gets her mind set on not doing something, she will be gone in seconds doesn't matter how hard you hold her back.

I also don't have many trainers here that will deal with this kind of stuff, to be perfectly honest. That's why I'm on here trying to find alternatives. We have always seemed to get the bad ponies and work with them enough that in the end once they were sold, the problems were gone. We never give up when we train our ponies and whatever problems they have.. this one is just a challenge. She's also pretty strong so that + hardheaded.. she can leave in a sec if she wants!
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