Bridling behavior

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Bridling behavior

This is a discussion on Bridling behavior within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What is bridled behavior
  • pinched corners of horses mouth

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    12-30-2010, 11:54 AM
Bridling behavior

Can anyone give me tips on how to make Bourbon behave better for bridling? He is an angel for putting his halter on - he sticks his nose right in it. But bridling? Forget it. His head goes in the air so I can't reach, he tries to walk away, and is just an all around jerk about bridling. How can I fix this?
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    12-30-2010, 11:55 AM
Hold a treat under the bit. If he wants it, he has to put his head in the bridle and take the bit.

I've used this method successfully on a number of horses who were hard to bridle.
    12-30-2010, 11:57 AM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Hold a treat under the bit. If he wants it, he has to put his head in the bridle and take the bit.

I've used this method successfully on a number of horses who were hard to bridle.

So I should give him a treat with a bit in his mouth?
    12-30-2010, 11:58 AM
Show him the treat. Hold it under the bit. When horse takes bit into his mouth, give him the treat at the same time. While he's eating it, you can buckle up the rest of the bridle.
    12-30-2010, 12:03 PM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
Show him the treat. Hold it under the bit. When horse takes bit into his mouth, give him the treat at the same time. While he's eating it, you can buckle up the rest of the bridle.
Thank you! I will try this today.
    12-30-2010, 12:05 PM
My husband a.k.a "the bridling whisperer" can get a bit into any horses mouth. What he does is stand at the horses side with bit in left hand just under the horses mouth. He stands very still so the horse calms down and relaxes his head. Don't move your feet around, just stand there. When the horse is relaxed he puts his thumb into the back of the horses mouth to get him to open and in it goes. He does it in one try every time. My old trainer couldn't even get it in my horses mouth. But he can, by being patient and still. And never let him get away with not getting the bit in. He'll have learned a new trick that tossing the head or lifting it high will stop him from being bridled. Just be patient. Trust me it really works.

Wanted to add that the first time you do this it will feel like an eternity. It took my husband with my horse the first time about 5 minutes of standing still for him to calm. Then after that it became shorter and shorter and now it's done in a few seconds.

Good luck.
    12-31-2010, 10:26 PM
Something else to consider is the fit of the bit. Make sure it's not pinching the corners of his mouth or hanging too loosely.

How do you go about bridling your horse? - Do you go for the 'traditional' hand right hand between the ears, left hand supporting the bit method?

If so, I've found that this way has worked with a lot of difficult to bridle horses. Plus I am very short so when riding horses over 16.2h I struggle to reach between their ears even with their head held at normal resting position.

Take your bridle in your right hand (hold the noseband up together with the head piece to keep it out of the way. Bring your arm under the horse's head and around it's nose like you're giving it a hug. This gives you more control of the head/nose. Once the horse has taken the bit, take the bridle in your left hand and tuck the ears through.
    12-31-2010, 10:38 PM
On top of the already good advice, make sure the bit doesn't clang his teeth when you put it in or take it out.
    12-31-2010, 11:38 PM
I'm short, too, so find it easier to hold the bridle in my right hand, up by the ears and away from the eyes, let the bit swing *below* the chin and bring it up with my left hand from below the chin. This helps keep their head inside the bridle somewhat even if they toss their head, so they never really succeed in getting away from the bridle. This works better for me than bringing the bit toward the horse from in front of their face; I saw one of the clinicians do it this way and it's easier for me.

To get mine started off on the right foot with bridling, I smeared syrup (or dribbled Dr. Pepper) on the bit and they scarfed it up like candy. If you don't mind the potential mess, this is an old-timers trick that might work if your guy is food-oriented.
    12-31-2010, 11:47 PM
An older guy from home told me to pinch my horse's nose with my free fingers and then (carefully) putting it in his mouth with my free hand

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