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Won't cross the bridge

This is a discussion on Won't cross the bridge within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Getting a horse to cross a bridge
  • How to make a horse want to cross a brdge

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    07-04-2012, 05:55 PM
  #11
Trained
Well, her focus is on the bridge, so take the bridge out of the equation. Take her out there and work her near it, either in the saddle or from the ground like the bridge isn't even there, so she gets that you are not asking her to cross the scary monster, but always happen to stop and let her rest near it. Once she figures out it's not going to eat her, she might relax and become curious about it and start sniffing it on her own. Let it be her choice to go and check it out.

I was going to say wait it out, sit there and read a book until she gets curious, but it sounds like you already tried that. Mares are tough nuts to crack.
     
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    07-04-2012, 07:23 PM
  #12
Yearling
Life was much simpler when my daughter could be amused by a pretty little pony. Somebody could make a fortune if they could figure out how to make teens easily help.

No trolls under the bridge but I have spotted the occasional nudist further upstream. I suppose the last one could have been classed as a troll.

I did try waiting it out. Not as long as I would have liked to. Biting flies of every description descended on us, even coated in repellant. Had to move.

No trailer, did think of that. Thought about taking one of the loops in the other direction but that makes for a marathon ride and I'm still crossing a bridge and it would be on a major state road rather than a dirt road in the sticks.
     
    07-05-2012, 06:25 PM
  #13
Weanling
Lol, you're the boss of the ponies and you're the boss of the kids. They do what Ma tells them or else bad things happen. Does she have a cell phone she's fond of? A party she was wanting to go to? Or a car?
If she can't fall off the side of the bridge, you could always try blindfolding her and leading her over.
Or maybe even a fly mask might help.
If she doesn't like the noise, put some horsey earplugs (or a big wad of cotton or whatever) in and a fly bonnet over it and march her through.
You might try working with her. Grab a crop or dressage whip, and do some groundwork. She halts when you halt, walks when you walk, and turns when you turn, or else you tap her with the whip. Once you get her listening to you, go to the bridge. Confidently walk up to it. Do not get in front of her and attempt to drag her. Don't even look at her. Look at the bridge and calmly use the whip to ask her to move forward. If she refuses, spin her in a circle and present her again. Repeat however long as it takes for her to get a step closer. When she does, let her relax for a second. Work on baby steps. Don't try to wrestle with her. Let her choose for herself whether she wants to keep getting stung and spun or if it's better to just walk on the stupid bridge. Even if you don't get across but get closer than normal, that's good. Stop on a good note and don't be afraid to wait it out to get the progress you need.
     
    07-05-2012, 06:33 PM
  #14
Weanling
I would deal with it the same way as getting them to cross anything else. Take my 2 year old today for example. I took him to the river to get his feet wet. First, I got off and led him in, rubbed him all over, he played in the water. I got on him, rode him out, made a loop and went to the edge of the water and asked him to go forward. He took a small step, which I rewarded, then he would not budge and wanted to back up. So we backed up until he decided that was no fun. Went back to the water, asked for forward again, got a foot in the water then he wanted to back up again, so we did. Third time at the edge, I asked him to go forward and he kind of lept in. We stood knee deep for a bit, he pawed the water, I pet him all over and told him what a good boy he was, then we got out. I rode him in a loop again, then asked him to get in the water, he went right in. This is how I go about everthing a horse doesn't want to cross.
     
    07-06-2012, 08:32 AM
  #15
Showing
Tim, your timing on petting your horse needs fixing. According to your written description you actually petted him for pawing the water. His reward for going in the water is not having to back up.
     

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