Can't Get the Bridle On!!
 
 

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Can't Get the Bridle On!!

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  • I cant put my horses bridle
  • I can't get my hands on my horse what to do

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    05-19-2012, 09:51 PM
  #1
Foal
Question Can't Get the Bridle On!!

Hi,

About a month ago I got my first horse and he's been doing good with tacking up except for a few days ago he started to hold his head up so I coundn't get his bridle on when I came near him. I tried to tie it shorter but he just jerks his head till it comes loose. Eventually he'd put it down when he got tired. He stands still otherwise. He's fine when I put on his halter, he just comes up to me. Also, if I don't put his halter on first he trots away from me when he sees it. I don't think it's hurting him at all.

HELP!!!
     
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    05-19-2012, 10:00 PM
  #2
Showing
Okay, put the bridle away and work on teaching your horse to lower his head in a halter and lead rope.

You have two hands. One puts even pressure on his nose (where the noseband is) and then other puts even pressure on his poll/between ears.

Even pressure means if your horse is bracing, you apply as much pressure as he applies to you. NOT MORE, not less. When he starts to brace less, you let up as much. When he comes down, gently pressure and follow with your hands down.

When he can do this.. and ONLY when he can do this, use the rope and pull down as much as he is bracing. NOT more, not less. When he starts to let up, you let up.

Are you following me so far?

When he comes down, ease up on the pressure with BOTH hands and follow his head down with your hands.

Every time he does it right (comes down) praise him with a nice neck rub or face stroke (whichever he likes.)

When he can lower his head in two ways, work on a third way, even pressure on his poll only (same as he gives you) and his head should come down. Every time he gets it right, and you praise him (and at first it may take 10 minutes for his head to come down) he should get slightly ever so little more sensitive and brace less and less.

You can even assign a word "Down" to your action to teach him a fourth way.

Now ask yourself WHY he is avoiding the bridle. Maybe it's the bit. Do you clang it against his teeth, is it not sitting in his mouth right? Do you ride him with harsh hands? Do you go too fast so he ends up biting the bit? (Equivalent to you chewing on aluminum foil.. yeouch) Maybe you put the bridle on too rough. Maybe it pokes him in the eye. Maybe you work him too much instead of spending time with him.

Figure it out, work on teaching him to lower his head, and you'll end up both happy and less frazzled.

Check him for pain too, and when bridling a horse, always loop the leadrope around their jugular (where throat latch is) or clip the halter around their necks temporarily so they can't go anywhere (though I prefer the rope since halters take longer to remove.
     
    05-19-2012, 10:04 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Because this is a recent development/change, I would eliminate tooth/mouth pain - and then I would evaluate how I am using the bridle (both at on/off and also during the ride) for ways I may be creating a negative association (ie pain) for the horse.
     
    05-20-2012, 07:01 PM
  #4
Foal
He lowers his head for the halter and sticks his nose right in but not for the bridle.
     
    05-20-2012, 07:18 PM
  #5
Green Broke
He knows the bridle is going to hurt, would be my thoughts here.

And the bridle may not fit him, I knew people who had full sized horse that were riding it for couple of years in pony bridle and bit.

The bit could also be bothering him, or dental problems, or all sorts of things.

The advice to think about what you are doing when you are bridling is good, as is the advice on getting horse to lower his head.

He also could have ticks down in his ears, as that will cause one to do this, or have a whitish fungus that will also cause problems.
     
    05-20-2012, 07:33 PM
  #6
Foal
The person we got him from helped us put on all his tack and said everything fit.
     
    05-20-2012, 08:03 PM
  #7
Foal
I had a Saddlebred in my grooming string one year that was like that. I'm on the short side and he knew it. It was a game to him 'keep away from the two legged'. Farm had had him vetted and everything was alright, he was just being an asshat. He finally went to a taller person's string who could reach up and bridle him. Booger was just a little toerag in a 'short bus' sort of way. Same horse was afraid of sunshine.
     
    05-20-2012, 08:15 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Okay, put the bridle away and work on teaching your horse to lower his head in a halter and lead rope.

You have two hands. One puts even pressure on his nose (where the noseband is) and then other puts even pressure on his poll/between ears.

Even pressure means if your horse is bracing, you apply as much pressure as he applies to you. NOT MORE, not less. When he starts to brace less, you let up as much. When he comes down, gently pressure and follow with your hands down.

When he can do this.. and ONLY when he can do this, use the rope and pull down as much as he is bracing. NOT more, not less. When he starts to let up, you let up.

Are you following me so far?

When he comes down, ease up on the pressure with BOTH hands and follow his head down with your hands.

Every time he does it right (comes down) praise him with a nice neck rub or face stroke (whichever he likes.)

When he can lower his head in two ways, work on a third way, even pressure on his poll only (same as he gives you) and his head should come down. Every time he gets it right, and you praise him (and at first it may take 10 minutes for his head to come down) he should get slightly ever so little more sensitive and brace less and less.

You can even assign a word "Down" to your action to teach him a fourth way.

Now ask yourself WHY he is avoiding the bridle. Maybe it's the bit. Do you clang it against his teeth, is it not sitting in his mouth right? Do you ride him with harsh hands? Do you go too fast so he ends up biting the bit? (Equivalent to you chewing on aluminum foil.. yeouch) Maybe you put the bridle on too rough. Maybe it pokes him in the eye. Maybe you work him too much instead of spending time with him.

Figure it out, work on teaching him to lower his head, and you'll end up both happy and less frazzled.

Check him for pain too, and when bridling a horse, always loop the leadrope around their jugular (where throat latch is) or clip the halter around their necks temporarily so they can't go anywhere (though I prefer the rope since halters take longer to remove.
Here I thought we were friends, and you ain't even promoting my stuff. Thanks a lot! :P
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    05-20-2012, 08:37 PM
  #9
Trained
1 - The person who sold him may not have been entirely accurate in saying the tack fit. Don't know anything about the person you bought him from, but my experience with horse sellers hasn't given me a lot of confidence in the average integrity or intelligence of the group...

2 - Leave a rope halter on and put the bridle over it. Before putting the bridle on, turn his head 45-60 degrees. If he starts to raise his head, turn his head more with the halter.

3 - Get an experienced person to check on how you put a bridle on. There are a lot of ways to hurt a horse when putting a bridle on, and not all of them are obvious. Also check for sores in the mouth - a developing tooth spur can create a sore in the inner cheek that will cause pain during bridling (and riding).

It may be that he is being a brat. My daughter-in-law is 5'0" on a tall day, and our Appy-Arab doesn't like being bridled by her. I can't see anything she is doing wrong, so I think he is just taking advantage of her height.
     
    05-20-2012, 08:42 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowboyGirl    
The person we got him from helped us put on all his tack and said everything fit.
Have you done any research for yourself as to how tack should be fitted? Are you working with a riding instructor and/or do you have access to a trusted "horsey" friend or family member who can help you to evaluate that for yourself? The unfortunate truth is that not everyone is well-educated on proper tack fit - so the seller may have not had a clue what they were talking about and has now passed on misinformation to you as to the tack fit and/or just didn't care and was thinking $$$ over honesty if they did know.
Was a PPE done? Have you had his teeth checked by your own vet since taking possession of him?
     

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