Trouble with bridling

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Trouble with bridling

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  • Trouble bridling horse
  • Difficulty bridling a horse

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    03-13-2011, 09:23 PM
Question Trouble with bridling

As a first time horse owner I'm finding great difficulty with many things. Maybe I'm overexaggerating about the problems, I don't know. It seems that everytime we solve on issue Dancer decides to test me with another problem.

Right now I'm having trouble bridling him. When I got him in September he was a breeze to bridle. I did have some problems with his whoa and the vet told me that I had the bit too far down so I pulled it up closer so that its closer to his back molars. Because of this I think its harder for me to get the bridle on him. I now have to pull his ear one by one into the bridle which is causing him to resist. Once I get it on I don't think its too tight. While I'm doing this he raises his head so high I can't reach him. I don't think he is in pain. He had his teeth done two weeks ago and I'm pretty sure he likes his bit; he sucks on it, etc.

Any pointers? I am trying to teach him to lower his head on command but we just started that.

(I do have a lesson on the 21st so I will ask my trainer and the BO for help, too)

Thank you!
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    03-13-2011, 09:41 PM
Do you have a recent picture of him with his bridle on? It almost sounds like you have it adjusted to tightly. :/
    03-13-2011, 09:53 PM
I can get a picture. I have found that I have to unbuckle the bridle and then buckle it back up once its over his ears. I don't know how else to move the bit.
    03-13-2011, 09:57 PM
It might be that as you are reaching over you could be bumping him in his off eye, and you wouldn't be able to see it. Do you have your hand up and over his neck (like his neck under your armpit?)
Once you work on getting him to lower his neck, then the rest will be easier.
I am one of those who gives plenty of treats. I do so before and after bridling.
If you are rushing , due to him being evasive, you might be bumping his teeth and only making it worse.

I don't have a lot of help except to work on the "lower your head" , and do this sepreat from bridling; with plenty of pets and a treat or two.

And take your time and stay calm if you can.

Others will have some better advice, perhaps.
    03-13-2011, 10:27 PM
Thanks tiny. I think the treat thing is a good idea except I've been trying to not give him treats by hand as he's been a bit pushy and nippy because I was doing that.

Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed with having a horse of my own. When I leased I didn't feel this way. I guess because I knew that it was only practice or something like that. I'm just afraid that I'm doing everything wrong and that I'm ruining him. Sorry, I just had a woe is me moment. I know that in time I'll get it but it can be frustrating.
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    03-13-2011, 10:34 PM
You could also try putting something that tastes good on the bit before hand, such as a little bit of molasses. I'm sure others would have some better suggestions. That is just the first thing that comes to mind.
    03-13-2011, 10:44 PM
I can only imagine how you feel. I don't have my own horse, you know.

You wont' ruin him. Not to worry there. Heck, you'll be able to write a book on what to do, and what not to do at the end of this year!
    03-13-2011, 11:30 PM
I had some difficulty bridling my horse also, turns out she is very sensitive about on ear,we think she was twitched at some point. I followed Clinton Andersons advice and would rub on her ears randomly desensitizing her and would offer praise and at times treats when she lowered her head and cooperated seemed to help. Also in the beginning I buckled the bridle on the last hole so it was loose to put over her ears and then tightened it after it was on
    03-13-2011, 11:36 PM
I can understand feeling overwhelmed, there is so much to learn. But I don't think for a second that you will ruin your horse as you are concerned and are checking on the things that you are doing.

When I put my horses bridle on I do it an ear at a time. So that in itself doesn't show that there is anything wrong.

Do you know how many wrinkles you have on his mouth when the bit is in?
    03-14-2011, 12:44 PM
My half-arab boy was getting away with the same thing. He would raise his head up so that I could not bridle him. It got to wear it took two people to bridle him! Not fun. My trainer solved this issue by putting him in the round pen and have him in his rope halter. As soon as Ransom would start to put his head up into the air, he would grab his halter at the cheek strap and pull his head over to him and then put pressure on his poll until he dropped his head. As soon as he dropped his head even a little bit, he would release the pressure. If Ransom did not drop his head, he would put pressure on his poll with his finger tips in sort of a claw hand action until he dropped his head. He did this until my horse's nose was almost touching the ground. After about 20-30 min we were easily bridling him! I am telling you this technique works great!! Your horse needs to learn to drop his head. Do not give him treats! The release of pressure is a treat enough. Giving your horse treats by hand will encourage biting.
dappledreamer likes this.

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