Pulls head up with bridle - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stockton, MO
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Pulls head up with bridle

My belgian does great for getting saddled, he dont even need to be tied or held, but when i go to put on his bridle he pulls his head way high up so i cant reach. Ive only had him about 3 almost 4 weeks now and hes been a work horse for the amish for over 3 years. So im thinking hes afraid that hes going to have to work as hard as they did. I could really use ides on how to get him to keep his head down for me. I wont always have help with me so i really need to figure this one out lol. thanks for any advise.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 07:39 PM
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I would highly recommend teaching your horse the "head down" cue. If you do not know what that is, John Lyons explains and teaches is very well so I would look into some of his training methods. Hope it helps, good luck!
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 07:53 PM
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Teach him to lower his head, yes, but here's a trick I'm going to share.
If you dont already have a rope halter, go get one. Leave the halter on as you go to apply his bridle. If he puts his head up, gently ask for it down. Do not put the bridle on until you can approach him with it without him pulling his head up. Slide the bridle on, undo the rope halter. You will then put the top of the noseband into the horse's mouth just like a bit. Work the halter round the bit, and slide it underneath the bit. Then pull it out. Voila! You need a rope halter, a nylon halter won't work.
This works because you can keep influencing his head down with the halter at the same time. :)

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 08:44 PM
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You can also try this...when you go to bridle him put one side against a wall and pull his head around toward his shoulder, then put the bridle on while holding him. That way he cant throw his head up. I also agree though with the above posters teach him the head down cue

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 08:54 PM
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If you still have contact with the Amish that trained him, I'd ask how they did it.

I had a horse that was a pain to bridle, I used a rope halter as suggested and taught the head down cue ala John Lyons, but that took a couple months to get right. I would cheat, and don't flame me for it, but I would stand on the lead (hooked to the halter) and then try to bridle. The horse knew that tug on the halter meant head down, so it sorta worked...lol... Not the best method and be careful you don't get your feet caught, but it worked for me. Eventually the horse gave in and allowed bridling. It was the least stressful approach and retreat that I could work out...

Wish I had better advice for ya, but I've never had to deal with such a big fella!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 09:09 PM
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I have the same problem with my young OTTB.
He got better and has started acting up again...so I thought it would also be helpful if I visited your thread :).
I have found that it works if you make your self taller (stand on a sturdy stool) and also if you apply pressure to either his poll or nose while putting it on.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-05-2009, 10:45 PM
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I agree with koomy. Teach him the head down cue, because a horse is no taller than the tip of his ears when his nose is touching the ground ;) lol. I love that saying. Anyway, I worked with a Clydesdale who had been with the amish and he had a total fear of the bridle. I worked with him on the head down cue and then worked nice and slow with him, gaining his confidence until he let me slip the bridle on. I let him relax with it and then I took it off and ended the session.
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