Bridling issues. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 09-20-2007, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Bridling issues.

Does anyone have any advice for bridling issues? My greenbroke 3-yr-old gelding is a pain for bridling. He isn't the type of horse who will clamp his teeth, but he will put his head really high in the air and get fussy. Once the bit is in he's fine, but it's just that initial part. If I do him in his stall, he will try and walk around and put his head in the corner so I can't bridle him. If I do him in the barn hallway, he will usually get pushy and it's hard to keep him standing still. I usually do him in his stall or the arena - in the arena he won't move around a lot or get pushy, but he still puts his head up in the air and tosses until the bit is in his mouth.

I understand he's still young, so he will be more fussy about the bridle than an older, more experienced horse. But he's a draft cross - 17hh (huge!) - and I don't look forward to going out to ride him because I anticipate the frustration with bridling and when he gets pushy and cranky about the bridle and starts walking around to try and evade it, I'm afraid he might end up bulldozing through me or stepping on me. He is also very antsy when it comes to saddling - he acts cinchy. I have started doing the girth up loose in the cross ties and then walking him in the arena, gradually doing him up as I go, and that seems to suit him better. But the bridling is sooo annoying...I don't want to fight with him, especially because when he tosses his head up, I'm afraid of the bit banging his teeth or something. He got over it for a couple weeks and was a perfect angel for bridling, but now all of a sudden he's started acting like a goof again. The only solutions I could think of was soaking his bit in something sweet and maybe teaching him to give to pressure on his poll so he learns to lower his head better, but is there anything else I can do?
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post #2 of 18 Old 09-20-2007, 03:05 PM
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You mentioned the two things I would recommend. You might also try him in a rubber bit for awhile, or warm the metal before you try to put it in his mouth. Oh, and invest in a stool:P
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-20-2007, 08:32 PM
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hey, yea i rode a horse for awile that did that but she was 14 3 so it wasnt too much of a problem haha

first, as always rule out any physical problem that would make him resent bridling (get teeth checkd, check for sores, parts of the bridle that might poke him, etc)

if that all checks out, he could be associating hte bridle with hard work. try to have a day where all you do is bridle him, handwalk him around,then unbridle him an dturn him out or soemthing. after 15 minutes or so, bridle him again then unbridle so you start disconnecting the bridle with a negative idea with your horse. you could also have a couple days where you just hack around and have fun days.

when youre bridling in his stall (when you ahve a lot of time and patience), try to wait for him to put his head down. simply put hte bit in his mouth, and if he walks around, stay with him and dont give up. dont pet him or anything until he puts hs head down. even if it is just a inch, pet him a lot and say good boy. keep doing this until his head is low enough for ou to slip the rest of hte bridle on.

given this would kind of suck to do a lot, but its worth a shot

lol and also i would go with your idea of submitting to pressure on his poll, or giving him a sugar cube whenever he accepts the bridle (its horrible but im a full believer in bribery lol)

basically just try to make bridling a happy experience for him and try not to make anything uncomfortable for him if he is doing what you want

good luck!
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post #4 of 18 Old 09-20-2007, 10:22 PM
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Yes what 3days3ways said makes a lot of sense. I had a young TB he was 16.2hh and he was shocking to put a bridle on. Because im short it took two crates to put the bridle on. He just wasn't broken in fully (i didn't break him in) But yes as soon as you got that bit in to his mouth he was perfect!

Putting pressure on his pole like 3days 3 ways said, he just might be a little over faced with you outting the bridle on, does he do that when you put a halter on, sorry if have answered that i didn't see it.

Cheers

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Australia
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-20-2007, 10:39 PM
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I just have one questions first - Does he need his teeth done?? Have they been checked out?? That may help things..

Other than that, just what everyone else has mentioned....
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-21-2007, 02:10 AM
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Delregans Way you mentioned your short? how is 5'9 short? (saw it in one of your last post) jay i have the same problems to with my 3 year old, get it's teeth check and one trick i've learn is to back it's but in to a corner, it works with abby

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post #7 of 18 Old 09-21-2007, 10:00 PM
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Once all physical problems are ruled out, teach him to give to pressure on the poll. You'll definately need that from now on. lol

My QH did the exact same thing when I got him. Now I have him taking it out of my hand on command, no coaxing with my fingers or anything!

Once you've got him yeilding to poll pressure, put your reins over his head, hold them under his throat and pull down, and use a command like "down". When he brings his head down, bridle him swifly, make sure not to do it too slowly or to make it a ritual, just do it as quick as you can without frightning or banging his teeth.

As soon as he accepts the bit, put the crown over his ears, then take it off and feed him a treat. Repeat this several times each session, and as often as you can.

Soon he'll look at being bridled as a positive experience.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-22-2007, 09:44 PM
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I have a Quarter Horse mare who has bridling issues. She holds her head high for a couple seconds but then gives up and lets me put the bit in. But once the bit is in, she moves her jaw from side to side and shakes her mouth and lips up and down. I have akready got the vet out and he said her teeth are definately not the problem. And i have tried her on a lot of different bits but the reaction is the same, What could be the problem??
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post #9 of 18 Old 09-23-2007, 03:46 PM
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if hes just being naughty tie him up short and put the bridle on over the headcollar so he cant put his head up. also check that the bridle is not hurting him in anyway like his teeth and mouth etc
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post #10 of 18 Old 09-23-2007, 11:16 PM
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as mentioned in the previous post, tie him up short. i had a thoroughbred about 10 years ago who used to do the same thing. eventually i tied him very short so that when he did left his head he felt pressure and stopped. eventually i could do it without tying him up as he expected to find resistance anyways.

lots of things may work, you just need to find the one that suits you and your horse :)
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