pony rears when you try to put on a bridle and bit
 
 

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pony rears when you try to put on a bridle and bit

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        06-23-2014, 12:28 PM
      #1
    Foal
    pony rears when you try to put on a bridle and bit

    She is very sensitive about her ears and don't like them being touch. Will rear when trying to put on a bridle. I have the bit hanging once I get the bridle on I swing the bit around. It takes 2 of use to keep her under control and twisting her nose and prying her mouth open to get the bit in. Finally we tied her head so she could'nt move an inch. (to prevent rearing) It was a 45 minute struggle. I was even giving her sugar cubes to try and get her mouth open. We got it in. It was terrible.

    What am I going wrong, is it going to get better?

    This is the same rolling pony in my other thread.

    The lady we bought her from said she was broke to ride. I guess that's my fault. My daughter couldn't ride at all at the time and I'm too big to test her out. We have had her about 2 months and my daughter has been taking riding lessons. Making lots of progress. She has been on her back, mostly me leading her around with a halter. She WILL NOT be riding this pony alone anytime soon. If I can't get her to respond to a bit I might have to sell her and my daughter would hate that.

    My soon to be daughter-in-law (who is a horse trainer) and pregnant, offers do advise but to keep working with her.
         
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        06-23-2014, 12:35 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Have you had a vet check, ears, poll and teeth?

    If you can put a halter on her then maybe it's a teeth issue?

    Is there no one local who you could get to come and work with you for a while, in general ponies are really smart, and some will turn into holy terrors when they realize that they have the upper hand.
         
        06-23-2014, 12:46 PM
      #3
    Foal
    I would make sure this pony is 100% sound first.

    If that checks out I would stop trying to tie this pony down and force anything on it until you've built some sort of bond and mutual level of respect. Try doing some natural horsemanship and using some non-forced training methods to communicate with this pony.
    horselessmom likes this.
         
        06-23-2014, 12:46 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    I have to ask, do you really want to spend the time and aggravation on a pony that may or may not ever be safe for your daughter? It sounds like you got a lot more (and a lot less!) than you bargained for.

    There are thousands of ponies for sale out there for practically nothing that at least are basically safe if not perfectly trained. I'm suggesting you sell her and be honest about her bad and potentially dangerous habits(rolling). Or keep her as a companion for the safe one.

    Standing while tied is the first thing you have to teach her. This fighting for 45 minutes to get a bridle on is unacceptable. Tie her up every day for at least an hour. Mess with her head during that time.

    One of my lesson horses was (and still can be) very head shy. The guy who "trained" him before I bought him would twist his ear completely around and force his head down for clipping.
    Over the last 8 years I have made a lot of progress with him but he still has his fearful moments. At first I did have to tie him up short to put a bridle on him. I hated it but it was the only way. He did fight some but he was at least trained to tie. With a LOT of time and gentle handling he has gotten to the place where I and only 3 other people can bridle him without him fighting it. He will never completely get over what was done to him.

    Re-think your ownership of this pony-he has too many issues and this just ain't fun anymore.
         
        06-23-2014, 12:57 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    If you are fighting to get the bit in the pony's mouth, you are creating rather than solving a problem. Think what you would do if someone was trying to force something into your mouth. Using these tactics, the best you can accomplish is a submission resulting from giving up.

    The first thing I would recommend is to get a veterinarian to check the horse's teeth, pole, ears, and anything related which may be adding to this issue.

    Once health problems are eliminated, I would start work on getting the horse to relax. Begin by gently -- but not too gently, which may feel like tickling -- rubbing your pony's body in small circles. Begin near the withers and work your way up the neck. It she gets resistant, retreat. Begin the process again. Take as long as it takes. If you rush, it will probably take longer. Once your pony allows you to gently rub her ears, work similarly with her mouth. In doing these things, you will be building a trusting relationship with her. The more she trusts you, the easier everything will be.

    You might want to read "The Ultimate Horse Behavior and Training Book" by Linda Tellington-Jones. Frederic Pignon, who is noted for his freedom work with several stallions at once in the horse extravaganza Cavalia, tells of his first meeting with her:

    "I told her about a problem I had with Fasto who was suffering from stress and she immediately offered to help. I watched her as she entered the stable and not without some trepidation when she said she was going to massage Fasto's ears. I knew he did not like people touching them, especially a stranger, but as she began gently at the base of his ears he lowered his head and a look of bliss came into his eyes."
    horselessmom likes this.
         
        06-24-2014, 10:02 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies    
    I have to ask, do you really want to spend the time and aggravation on a pony that may or may not ever be safe for your daughter? It sounds like you got a lot more (and a lot less!) than you bargained for.

    There are thousands of ponies for sale out there for practically nothing that at least are basically safe if not perfectly trained. I'm suggesting you sell her and be honest about her bad and potentially dangerous habits(rolling). Or keep her as a companion for the safe one.

    Standing while tied is the first thing you have to teach her. This fighting for 45 minutes to get a bridle on is unacceptable. Tie her up every day for at least an hour. Mess with her head during that time.

    One of my lesson horses was (and still can be) very head shy. The guy who "trained" him before I bought him would twist his ear completely around and force his head down for clipping.
    Over the last 8 years I have made a lot of progress with him but he still has his fearful moments. At first I did have to tie him up short to put a bridle on him. I hated it but it was the only way. He did fight some but he was at least trained to tie. With a LOT of time and gentle handling he has gotten to the place where I and only 3 other people can bridle him without him fighting it. He will never completely get over what was done to him.

    Re-think your ownership of this pony-he has too many issues and this just ain't fun anymore.
    None of this has been funny for me at any point and time....

    I take it very seriously. That is why I'm on this forum.

    I went youtubing yesterday and realized she is a head shy and ear shy pony. Twice yesterday I went out and starting petting her head and ears gently. She would let me until I got to the tips. But not without jerking back, small motions.

    I have $600 in this pony and if I resale and be honest about her behaviors, I will not get anywhere near that back.

    I will train this horse if it is the last thing I do. I don't like to give up. That is not my personality.

    The bit was the only thing I force on this pony, mainly because my husband was helping and he did things his way.

    I am very gentle, maybe to gentle and loving with this pony.

    I'm going to continue to rub her head and ears and maybe start taking the lead line slowly over her head to get her use to it.

    And she doesn't let you halter her either, I found that out real quick, that is why I leave it on her at all time.
    Foxhunter and jmike like this.
         
        06-24-2014, 10:34 AM
      #7
    Yearling
    Here's a quick tidbit I found from Clinton Anderson on this issue.

    Question: Is there a way to make bridling more pleasant for my horse? He raises his head, refuses to open his mouth, and otherwise complicates the process. How can I cure this?


    Clinton Anderson: This is actually a very extensive topic, but, in brief, you need to teach the horse first to lower his face by applying pressure at the poll and rewarding the slightest try until your horse reliably lowers his head. Step two is to desensitize your horse to the sight and touch of the bridle by rubbing the bit and bridle all over. Last, you teach your horse to open his mouth when you put your thumb in the side of his mouth, again by rewarding the slightest try. The combination of these three separate training elements will then allow you to ask your horse to lower his head, open his mouth and accept the bit calmly.

    ^^This is what I did on my mare, and it has worked... I had quite a few fights before she would let me rub her nose/ears all over, but being persistent I got through to her. Once I could rub her nose okay I'll do a bit of rubbing there everyday to maintain what she's learned.

    You may want to start by desensitizing the air around her nose/head/eyes/ears by waving/mock whacking with your hand the air around her, when she stops moving her feet, her head lowers and she stops or lessens the flinching stop the movement of your hand and back away for a second then rub her. Then work to waving your hands, rub on her for a tiny second then wave the airspace again. It does work fairly rapidly.

    For her other respect issues you could do some of Clinton Anderson's groundwork with doesn't require riding. He does a great job of making a step-by-step process of the training and it's pretty easy to follow...

    You can borrow the older "Gaining Respect and Control on the Ground" series through the library, an inter-library loan. Also check out "Problem Solving on the Ground and Under Saddle" which goes through the issue of bridling.

    Hope this helps!
    jamesdean57 likes this.
         
        06-24-2014, 10:38 AM
      #8
    Foal
    When my current horse first started wearing a bit, I accidentally hit his teeth taking off the bridle. It hurt him, and he wanted nothing to do with any old nasty bit. I used molasses or honey on the bit several times to get him to like it again. I also would put the bit on then feed him grain (NEVER hay or grass - just the grain part of his dinner).

    I am now ALWAYS very careful to make sure the bit NEVER hits his teeth. He appreciates that.
         
        06-24-2014, 11:09 AM
      #9
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ragrobin4    

    I have $600 in this pony and if I resale and be honest about her behaviors, I will not get anywhere near that back.
    Welcome to the world of buying and selling horses, last horse I sold, paid $2500 for sold for $500, and was glad to get that. The horse I sold to buy him? Paid $800 sold for $3200, some you win some you lose.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ragrobin4    
    I will train this horse if it is the last thing I do. I don't like to give up. That is not my personality.
    Even though you may not have the skills to do so? Statements like that scare me so much, not every trainer can train every horse, and to insist that they can would be foolish. You personality may not be what this pony needs.

    Knowing when you have a situation that you can't fix is important.


    Best of luck to the pony and you
    Wallaby and Chasin Ponies like this.
         
        06-24-2014, 02:42 PM
      #10
    Showing
    Ragrobin4, you are on the right track. Try grooming her neck then touching the base of her ears then back to grooming. Horses can be protective about their ears because their eyesight isn't the best beyond about 13'. What they see is somewhat blurry so then they rely on their hearing. Work on touching the base of the ears then with your hand barely curved press against the pony's ear to push it forward. Many find having it pushed back uncomfortable so when you do try to bridle her again, don't worry about getting the bit in just yet, bring her ears forward. If she does well, pop a treat in her mouth. This provides incentive. Be sure to work both sides. I may have missed if her teeth have been checked.
         

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