Okay so my horse freaks out when I take her bit off - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so my horse freaks out when I take her bit off

Okay so what happened was the trainer I took my horse to jerked the bit out of her mouth, and from what I've heard that really hurts!! Now my horse freaks out every time I take her bit out. I have to hold her down and calm her to let her spit it out herself. Any idea of how to stop her from freaking, or is this a forever thing?
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:27 PM
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You're doing the right thing, taking it slow and making sure that the bit doesn't bang her teeth when you put the bit in and take it out. It's quite a painful thing for a horse to have their teeth banged by the bit, and sometimes it only takes once for a horse to become shy about having the bit in or out. If it becomes really bad, you can always opt for a plastic bit for a while.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Charis View Post
You're doing the right thing, taking it slow and making sure that the bit doesn't bang her teeth when you put the bit in and take it out. It's quite a painful thing for a horse to have their teeth banged by the bit, and sometimes it only takes once for a horse to become shy about having the bit in or out. If it becomes really bad, you can always opt for a plastic bit for a while.
Thanks. The trainer wasn't very good in the first place, I wish we had known this before the six months we took her there. We had to take her to another trainer for an additional three months cause of the bad training the previous trainer did. Thankfully the next trainer did a very good job with her.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:38 PM
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My horse had the same problem. She was fine taking the bit but taking it out proved to be a problem.

What I did was first I retaught her to lower her head so she wouldn't fling her head up. I also trained her to open her mouth by touching the corner of her mouth. Then I slowly worked on getting the birdle off piece by piece. Doing this for ten minutes each day can really be helpful.

This way when you went to take it off you could do it slowly and with a trained process. Eventually, your horse should learn that unbridling isn't going to hurt her/him and you can start doing it in a more regular fashion.

I will say that this took me about 2 weeks before my horse learned that everything was cool. And what also helps is giving a treat after each successful unbridling. Once they learn they get a treat when they get the bit out they will gladly spit it out (lol). But then again some people don't like feeding treats so its up to you.

If you do use treats try later on once everything is going right to wean them off of that habit because it could turn against you pretty quick.

Hope it helps!

" Horses are a humans wings."
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ShezaCharmer View Post
My horse had the same problem. She was fine taking the bit but taking it out proved to be a problem.

What I did was first I retaught her to lower her head so she wouldn't fling her head up. I also trained her to open her mouth by touching the corner of her mouth. Then I slowly worked on getting the birdle off piece by piece. Doing this for ten minutes each day can really be helpful.

This way when you went to take it off you could do it slowly and with a trained process. Eventually, your horse should learn that unbridling isn't going to hurt her/him and you can start doing it in a more regular fashion.

I will say that this took me about 2 weeks before my horse learned that everything was cool. And what also helps is giving a treat after each successful unbridling. Once they learn they get a treat when they get the bit out they will gladly spit it out (lol). But then again some people don't like feeding treats so its up to you.

If you do use treats try later on once everything is going right to wean them off of that habit because it could turn against you pretty quick.

Hope it helps!
Alright thanks I shall try it. I usually give her a good petting and tell her she's a good girl when she does it good, only cause my mom doesn't like giving treats. She hate's it when she sees me give her a treat.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:49 PM
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Yah usually I don't use treats for training but in this instance I thought it best.

Just breaking up the unbridling process in steps will really help you though.

Good Luck!

" Horses are a humans wings."
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-28-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-29-2010, 04:16 AM
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Oh gosh, I know what you mean. I had kid try and take off their horse's bridle at camp by unbuckling the side, and the bit got caught on the horse's back teeth. The horse backed all the way out of the barn, eventually spitting out the bit (it was a curb bit, so the strap also prevented it from coming off easily) but having the rest of the bridle hanging off his head :/ Regardless of the fact she took the bridle off incorrectly, this could have happened to any kid ...

Just consider the fact that when you slide the bridle over the horse's ears, you are taking away the only thing that is keeping the metal from hitting the horse's teeth. When you pull it over the ears, don't completely take it off the head until the horse spits the bit out by its own means... kind of hard to explain through the interwebz. Maybe I can find a vid somewhere... hmm... lol

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-30-2010, 06:42 AM
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If you use a chin/curb strap unfasten it before you try removing the bridle. It makes it a much faster process for them to spit it out on their own.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-30-2010, 09:36 AM
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I had a mare who did the same thing.

First I taught her to drop her head when I placed my hand on her poll. This part mainly takes time and consistancy. Make sure you release pressure as soon as there is even the slightest give. Sometimes pulling down on the lead rope at first helps, but make sure to give.

Second step was teaching her to open her mouth to the word bit. Both when bridling and unbridling. I admit I took the easy way and used treats when bridling. She learned quickly and I have no trouble getting the bit in or out of her mouth.

So now I place my hand than arm between her ears as I slide off the bridle. Since she's learned to drop her head with pressure her head stays down. I than say "bit" and out comes the bit with no fuss or worries.
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