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Some major problems bridling young horse? (Please help??)

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  • Problems with bridling a horse
  • Help horse slams bit on teeth every time

 
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    04-12-2010, 10:06 AM
  #11
Green Broke
There is a lot of good advice here, I like all the different suggestions and plan on keeping this thread in my favorites for when Cinny finally arrives....he's very green and I anticipate a lot of problems. But anyway...

My experience with OT horses are that they have had a lot of bits SLAMMED into their mouths etc etc...which hurts. Your horse may be identifying the bridle with pain. He sees bridle, he is GOING to be in pain...this is what goes on in their heads because this is how OT horses grew up.

Be sure that his mouth is healthy and if he hasn't recently had a dental check I would do that. I have seen a lot of horses have a lot of hidden dental problems such as sharp or broken wolf teeth (which are the first to get the slam of a bit) or other problems that cause pain with the bit and even eating.

I think I would work with this guy for a good half hour or more each day on taking the bridle on and off BUT I suggest if you possibly can get a nice flavored rubber or nylon snaffle for this work. THIS IS NOT TO RIDE IN, as most horses are out of control with them. But, if there is an accidental slam or any other issue it will not clank against and hurt the teeth as much. The goal here is to have him stop associating the bridle with pain so we want to make it hurt as little as possible on our working sessions. I think this in combination with any of the above methods and a LOT of repetition will help.

It will most likely take you months or maybe even a year to get him over this.....be patient
     
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    04-12-2010, 10:25 AM
  #12
Weanling
Giving to poll pressure is absolutely essential to easy bridling. I'm not going to get real detailed with this, but you'll get the idea. Take the lead rope and put it over the poll right behind the ears…put slight pressure on the rope from below by holding the rope closed with your hand. When he lowers his head, release the pressure and praise him. If he tosses or resists, you keep the pressure on until he relaxes and gives. It won't take long for him to get the idea. Once you can lower his head with the rope, add your hand between his ears…cue first with hand pressure and then the rope…pretty soon he'll lower his head when you press with your hand. Next time you will use your hand only to get him to lower his head… when he does, praise him and rub his forehead with the hand you have between his ears. Next move your hand forward so that your forearm is between his ears. When you can do this, end the lesson. Repeat…hand…forearm and rub his forehead, eyes and so forth. Once he accept that, you're ready to add the bridle into the mix. Close the reins an put them over his face behind the poll, where the rope would have been. Gently put pressure just as you did with the rope. Basically you are going to use the reins the same way you did the rope. Once he accepts pressure from your hand on his poll and your forearm between his ears you can add the bridle to the mix.
     
    04-12-2010, 10:34 AM
  #13
Foal
Thanks so much guys! I'll take note of all this stuff and give it a shot today with him.

He had his teeth done a couple months ago. They weren't horrible, but they needed to be done.
I don't know if he's had the bit slammed against his teeth before, but the previous owners weren't geniuses, so...

I'll post again once I've been to the barn today :)
     
    04-12-2010, 01:43 PM
  #14
Foal
I agree with those who have said to get the horse to release to the pressure on the poll. You say you can get his head into the correct position, but are you holding it there or is he willingly leaving it there for you?

You need to work on the horse releasing to the pressure of the halter until he is consistent at the stand still. Then you need to raise the emotion. Ask him to lower his head and then do something that will cause him to raise it. Let him bump into the pressure, don't pull him. So you ask him to lower it, take out the slack and then move or do something slight that will cause him to raise it. Hold your hand steady letting him hit the pressure and wait for him to come off it. When he will hit it and come off immediately, ask the horse to walk and keep his head down, if he pulls up or back drive him forward (go forward cue) so he comes off the pressure down and forward.

When you are ready to bridle ask him to move off your hand pressure and have him put his head in the correct position (neck bent to the side and poll below your shoulder level. If he takes his head from that position, use counter pressure with your hands to bring it back. He must willingly leave it there for you. When he will then start playing with his face and counter move him if he takes it away.

You can then mimic the bit/bridle by using the lead rope. Put it to him like the bridle and counter move him until he allows you to place the lead in his mouth. When he is consistent with that, you can add the bridle.

Never start with a goal or you will start with a wreck. Start where the horse will say yes and ask as many questions as you can about what your horse can do from that point. Make as many lessons as you can between your goal and where you can start. The smaller and more specific the steps the faster and easier your horse will learn. It is a game to see how many steps you can put between where you are and your goal. The most steps wins.
     
    04-12-2010, 03:33 PM
  #15
Showing
^^^^
Quote:
Never start with a goal or you will start with a wreck. Start where the horse will say yes and ask as many questions as you can about what your horse can do from that point. Make as many lessons as you can between your goal and where you can start. The smaller and more specific the steps the faster and easier your horse will learn. It is a game to see how many steps you can put between where you are and your goal. The most steps wins.
__________________



I love that!
     
    04-12-2010, 08:38 PM
  #16
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Poor    
Take the lead rope and put it over the poll right behind the ears…put slight pressure on the rope from below by holding the rope closed with your hand. When he lowers his head, release the pressure and praise him. If he tosses or resists, you keep the pressure on until he relaxes and gives. It won't take long for him to get the idea.

Yes, this post is exactly how I would have described how you go about doing this. If he throws his head, keep the pressure (I like Barry's suggestion of a halter which applies poll pressure-not PAIN! As it can't slip like a lead around the ears could) he must absolutely understand that no amount of fit throwing is going to free him. If he backs, back with him, keeping slow steady pressure.

At all times remain completely calm. The less talking the better. The instant he gives the slightest bit, you let up. Do not practice this for too long either. Maybe the first day you just get him to give once. Then leave it. **at no point should you be forcing his head down and holding it while bridling** this will only solidify the fear and mistrust he already has.

The SECOND you get irritated, give up for the day. You must remain calm and cool the whole time or it is worthless. I cannot stress enough that you cannot force him or be cross because everytime you do, you are moving backward with him. Trust me, I had many many tears and fights with my boy. He bridles like a dream now and follows right at my side without a lead, but several months ago he repeatedly knocked me down and dragged me around. You can do this, you have great advice on here! Keep us posted on your progress, good luck to you!!
     
    04-14-2010, 11:36 PM
  #17
Foal
Thanks Tealmutt + ReiningTrainer.
That's some really good advice. He's actually picking up the pressure thing pretty quickly, taking it slowly seems to help keep me from getting frustrated.
     
    04-15-2010, 01:35 AM
  #18
Yearling
Awesome, keep up the great work. Horses naturally seek release from pressure so once you get the hang of using that reward, it is easier and easier to teach them things. Most TBs are pretty smart and will learn very quickly, especially when they can relax about it. Glad to hear you're keeping calmer, I used to get SO frustrated with my TB and he would totally feed off of it. Good to hear you two are moving forward.
     
    04-15-2010, 01:46 AM
  #19
Trained
You need to first teach this baby to drop his head for you first...

1) cradle his head right arm over his head/neck, left hand over bridge of his nose.

2) Lightly press with your fingers to his poll...don't dig in, just lightly press...

3) as soon as he relaxes his head downwards even a half a centimeter release both hands and praise him with petting and a treat if you'd like

4) repeat steps 1-3 several times each session; DO NOT release pressure til he "gives" to it.

Another thing, if he is so scared of your hands near his face, you may want to spend some time getting him used to you rubbing on his neck, head, and face, before attempting to teach him to lower his head...it does no good to try to teach him how to lower his head if he is terrified of your arms being there in the first place; get him used to you being all over him, THEN start teaching him to respect such wishes as giving to pressure.
     
    04-15-2010, 09:25 AM
  #20
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vidaloco    
I know a lot of folks don't believe in giving cookies, and I really don't either but this is one of those times I think it helps.
I hold a cookie in the bit hand and hold it down at the level I want her mouth then slip the bit in then the cookie. While she is munching, I slip the headstall over her ears.
I made a video a long time ago, I'll find it and post.
I would never put a bit in a horses mouth like that. You can actually hear the bit hitting the teeth and if the horse is sensivite you make a head shy horse.
I control the bit with the left hand at all times. I gentlely use the fingers of my left hand reaching around under the chin and using those fingers tickle the lips and actually slide bit and fingers into the mouth making sure not to touch the teeth and at the same time I can control the head by the fingers in the corner of the mouth.
The video also shows a tight curb chain?? I always have the curb chain undone, hanging loose while the bit goes in or comes out.

That video shows an older steady horse, not a young one learning.
Same with removing the bit, you have to control it and make sure the teeth are not banged or again you have a horse that makes a fuss when unbridling.
You don't bribe behavor out of a horse
     

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bridle, teach, training, young

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