Bridling Issues

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Bridling Issues

This is a discussion on Bridling Issues within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    01-03-2013, 01:22 PM
Green Broke
Bridling Issues

So..I've found out the supposed reason for ST's bridling issues (backing up and throwing her head up in the air)..

Apparently a few years ago she got a front leg injury and had to habe antibiotics or the such for 3 months. At first BO did injections (because she finds them easier) three times a day amd eventually they couldn't touch her, so they switched to oral medication twice a day. After starting the oral, it ended in her being untouchable and she'd throw her head up too high for BO to even reach, so they went back to injections.
She's now better with injections, but they can't evem worm her with the tube, they have to put it in her grain.

So..I have a reason for her not wanting to bridle, and it definitely makes sense. The bridle part isnt the problem, because I can put a hack on her just fine. As soon as the bit touches herlips she starts throwing her head up. I know it's not the bit; I've had her in 5 different kinds (snaffles, 3-piece reiners, jr cowhorse, etc) and doesnt have a problem riding with it. She's hit her teeth once when we first started riding with a bit (I had no lateral control with the hack and she only neck reined when she felt like it), and it hasnt happened since.

Soo, we're going to start working on just putting it in and out everytime I go out to see her. I went out tuesday and took pictures (I'll get those up as soon as I can get to my computer), brushed her real good, picked out her feet (and Im glad the farriers coming beginning of next week lol), amd just bridled her for a good 15-20 minutes. She drops her head great when I put my hand over her poll to center the bridle, and as soon as the bit touches she throws her head up. Everytime I just moved with her until she stopped flicking her head around (although it was still up high) and put the bit in, and then she'd drop her head again for me to put the bridle over her ears. She'd do well, and then she'd throw a really big fit, do well, and then another big fit..We ended on a good note though and I bridled her maybe 8-12 times with each of my 3 bridles (that had bits lol).

So..does anyone else have any suggestions on what y'all've done before? I know this way worked for Lucky, but I figured more options never hurt :p
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    01-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Instead of putting a bit in and out of her mouth, I would just use the lead rope of your halter. Halter her and work on sliding the rope in nd out of her mouth. This way if she throws her head up, she won't have metal hitting her teeth. I use this method on ll my colts before I put a bit in their mouth.
Corporal likes this.
    01-03-2013, 02:59 PM
Green Broke
I could do that..I havent hit her teeth with it yet, but I did worry about it.
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Wanstrom Horses likes this.
    01-03-2013, 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by Wanstrom Horses    
Instead of putting a bit in and out of her mouth, I would just use the lead rope of your halter. Halter her and work on sliding the rope in nd out of her mouth. This way if she throws her head up, she won't have metal hitting her teeth. I use this method on ll my colts before I put a bit in their mouth.
I first heard of this from Ryan Gingerich, on a program about starting colts. I re-started my 16'3hh KMH bc he was difficult to bridle and pulling his head out of my 5'4" reach. Now he drops his head down for haltering, for a lead around his neck to move him to turnout, and for bridling.
Horses have specific fear and pain memories, but they are also willing to accept change, especially if there is reward involved. Here is what this looks like, and since I've posted the picture before, I'll just post the Photobucket link.
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    01-03-2013, 03:25 PM
Green Broke
I can lead ST without halter or lead and she drops her head for the bridle (until the bit hits her lips lol) and she drops her head back down as soon as the bit's in her mouth..its just getting it in there lol

Ill definitely be trying the rope instead of the bit though. Is it bad to have her tied when I do it? I figured we'd be fine crosstied until she got a little better and then we'd move to not being tied because I don't have anywhere enclosed to work with her.
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    01-03-2013, 03:28 PM
I wouldn't tie her. This could possibly lead to a pulling back problem.
    01-03-2013, 03:31 PM
Green Broke
She doesnt step back when I bridle her and she's tied, she only throws her head up. I've been bridling her while tied (I don't want her loose, and the halter is just around her neck, not all the way on, so she has a lot more room.

I've yet to see her pull back while tied, so it hasnt crossed my mind until now.
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    01-03-2013, 03:32 PM
I hoped that the picture would show you that I worked on this in his stall.
    01-03-2013, 03:35 PM
Green Broke
It does, I don't have a stall for her though to work in, she's pastured on 19-20 acres with 7 other horses.
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    01-03-2013, 03:43 PM
I never had a stall in the first 14 years I owned horses. I trained and retrained > 25 riding horses in that time. I also trained 15 of them to CW Reenacting and gunfire and crowds.
If you question working on this with her tied, then she needs work on patience while being tied, too.
I was very impressed with the Cowgirl Chicks in Equestfest, 2013. Every horse in their group was a "problem horse", and yet they retrained them to trust the riders and the program.
I think you are looking for reasons that prove it isn't possible for your mare to get over this.
Like Nike--JUST DO IT.

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