Puts head to ground when bridling
 
 

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Puts head to ground when bridling

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    10-12-2010, 12:32 AM
  #1
Foal
Puts head to ground when bridling

My dad is keeping his horse at our house now after he was at my sister's for awhile. Apparently he is in the habit now of putting his head almost to the ground when you try to bridle him. My dad gives him treats out of his hand for everything and told me to put some grain in my hand when I bridle him. He is a very pushy horse and I will not feed him from my hand. I told my dad that but I do not know what I should do to make him keep his head at a good level for me when I bridle him. He is 16.1 hands. Any suggestions?
Thanks so much, I love this forum!
     
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    10-12-2010, 12:35 AM
  #2
Weanling
At 16.1hh, I'd rather he had his head to the ground...lol
When does he lower his head? Do you ask him to do this, or does he do this automatically when you bring the bridle to him?
     
    10-12-2010, 12:37 AM
  #3
Trained
When my horse tries that one, I put my right arm or even shoulder under his chin to keep his head up, hold his nose in place with my right hand and bridle with my left hand. Hope that makes sense.
     
    10-12-2010, 12:39 AM
  #4
Trained
No offense, but why are you complaining that he lowers his head, when there are so many owners out there who can't get theirs to do so? You have what I would consider a 'delightful' problem. He may think he's evading you by putting it so low, so just follow him...no big deal, he will probably raise it on his own eventually once he figures out you aren't going to bribe him. But honestly, anything you do to try and raise his head on your own, may result in a horse who flings his head out of your reach.

As far as his other pushiness, just earn his respect (this will probably fix his 'too low head' problem too); ie, get him to move his feet out of your space, and he will quickly learn that you call the shots, not him. You aren't specific about how pushy he is, or how it comes out, so I can't give you a more detailed answer than that.
     
    10-12-2010, 01:13 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
If he is doing it as an evasive manuever, I would abort bridling and move him around, stop and ask again. Repeat until when you stop and begin bridling, he stands in nuetral. If you must treat him, wait until he is done, walk him off a bit and then give a treat.
My friend's horse is pushy with treats. So, I trained him to stand , swing his head to the side and wait for me to put a treat on the ground for him. Works beautifully and gets him to stretch down, too. Or, I give small treats in a bucket after our ride. Hand feeding him has caused me some bruises as he accidently got my entire thumb in and chomped on it. He doesn't mean to but he gets to quick and of course, he cannot see what is under his nose.
     
    10-12-2010, 01:28 AM
  #6
Green Broke
The minute my horse starts dropping her head to the ground I put my knee under her chin. So if she goes too low she is now on my knee and I can hold it there or push her head back up gently and still have both hands to fasten her bridle with. She's getting the idea, I usually only have to remind her once when a few weeks ago, if I wasn't holding her head up the entire time, her nose was literally on the ground.
     
    10-12-2010, 02:01 AM
  #7
Foal
It does seem like an evasive maneuver to me. I'm complaining because he is touching his nose to the ground and it's really hard to bridle him like that! Plus he is moving his head around.
I've just started to lunge him for respect (my dad never did) and am doing ground work with him. He bit my sister twice looking for treats. I treat my horses by putting them in their buckets or every now and then I may treat them by hand. I have not been hand feeding him treats. He has gotten better and more patient in just the two weeks I've been working with him except for the bridling thing.
Thanks for the replies so far!
     
    10-12-2010, 03:57 AM
  #8
Yearling
I think that's a valid issue for sure. Not only is it difficult to bridle them when their head is too low but it puts train on your back to have to keep bending over. Maybe that's just because I have back problems but when my horse does that it really aches to have to drag his head back up or put it on my knee or arm.

Making the horse back up and move his feet around and trying again is great advice.

Sometimes I don't have the space or time to make him walk around before bridling again. In those instances I generally just keep my arm or shoulder under his neck, even if that requires pulling up his head to do so. Doesn't feel like the best solution, I much prefer making him back up and move around and trying again but that's not always possible for me.
     
    10-12-2010, 04:03 AM
  #9
Foal
Better he has his head too low than too high. We teach all our mules to put their heads down when we bridle because it is so important not to pinch their ears. However, we do not make them go all the way to the ground. Just about waist high is perfect.
     
    10-12-2010, 12:09 PM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerobicv    
It does seem like an evasive maneuver to me. I'm complaining because he is touching his nose to the ground and it's really hard to bridle him like that! Plus he is moving his head around.
I've just started to lunge him for respect (my dad never did) and am doing ground work with him. He bit my sister twice looking for treats. I treat my horses by putting them in their buckets or every now and then I may treat them by hand. I have not been hand feeding him treats. He has gotten better and more patient in just the two weeks I've been working with him except for the bridling thing.
Thanks for the replies so far!
I was under the impression he just lowered, not that he was also moving it away when it was down. I second who ever said just to get his feet moving...backwards, sideways, etc...if he's moving his feet his head HAS to come up slightly; when he is at the level you desire, try again, and if he moves/lowers his head do the same. The more vigorously you can get his feet to move the better too...you want him to catch on that lowering and shifting his head away = work, and keeping it level = 'rest' so to speak...ie you leave his feet alone and bridle up quietly.

I do stand by my first post though in that gaining full respect of this horse is utmost, preiod...that alone will solve this evasive issue; if he doesn't have respect for you, of course he's going to try all he can to get away with what ever he feels he can. You have to make him want to do the right thing.
     

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