Originally Posted by saddlebredjenn
I have a 20 year old rescued saddlebred for 2 years now. Last year around this time she began to refuse taking her bridle. She throws her head up and down and all around when I try to bridle her. Silly me decided to switch to a bitless bridle. Before switching I tried all the various tips and tricks to work with her but with no progress. This year we are starting dressage and would love to take her to shows by myself but I don't want to if I can't bridle her. I just not sure where to go from here. I have had the vet check 3 times in the past 12 months about her mouth and says she has the perfect mouth and teeth for her age. I know I have made her this way by switching to a bitless bridle and giving in to her. I just don't know where to go from here. I have been working with her 4 days a week about it. I have a friend that comes and helps me sometimes and she can get her bridled after working with her a while and my trainer can too. I guess im just feeling defeated and down about it.
What worked for me on a mare just like this, but she would tear halters in half pulling away when tied and trying to bridle her, was teach to drop the head, by applying light pressure to the poll. And lunging. Desensitize to the bridle if she doesnt like it touching her. And when you get it on, half way take it out, do this a couple times but not completely. Then put it on. It also helps if you put molasses or something sweet on the bit, they learn the bit is nasty. Or hold a treat in your hand under the bit. Lots of patience.