How do you get the bit in a horse's mouth?
PJ (the horse I exercise) I being quite a pain when I try to put the bit in his mouth! It took me about 7 minutes to get it in last time I rode! What should I do to have him let it in his mouth right away? I've tried putting my thumb in his mouth and pressing on his gums, but he just pulled away when I did that! Any hints?
are you pulling his head around to you with your arm keeping his head by you? A trick my trainer taught me is tickle the roof of your horses mouth it works for most.
Stay with the horse and become a student of his body language. Don't become angry, impatient, frustrated, or frightened. It's all matter of fact. Unclip his halter from the lead rope and put his halter around his neck for a handle, if needed. Put the bit up by his mouth. If he clenches his teeth, yes, put your thumb or finger in the toothless gum region on his lower jaw, pressing down with firm pressure, as needed. If he raises his head, runs backwards, whatever--do not back off, and do not force the bit. Just stay with him. Keep the bit/bridle in the exact same position relative to his head throughout his entire display. Don't back off, but don't move forward, either, until he realizes that his antics are futile. Repeat as needed, gradually increasing the "pressure" of the stimulus (position of the bit) until he gives in.
(This is presuming there is no underlying physical issues, like horrible dental hooks, or a injury on his head, etc.)
What I do is first make them lower their head. Teaches them that that is comfortable. They're ok there. I get his head down by applying pressure towards the front of his bridle path. As soon as I feel his head break from the pressure, I release. I usually run my arm over the top of his neck when its down and love, love, love. Lots of praise and good boys and treats. I then place the bit in front of his mouth and ask him to take the bit. Its good to have an ask then tell policy, for me anyways. If he doesn't give when I ask, I then tell him to take it. I don't jam the bit in his mouth but I stick my thumb in front of his wolf tooth and apply some pressure. If he takes the bit then, i immediately release the pressure , lay the reins loosely over his neck, lose contact with the bridle and give him a scratch, light pat and lots of praise. sometimes i leave it at that for the day. But if your on a time frame, after he's done good, take off the bridle and leave him for 15-20 minutes. Once that's done, do the process again. He'll get it after a while and know what you want. Trust me, if I'm asked nicely to do something, I'm more likey to want to do it.
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In all seriousness, feel free to criticize my doings if you think something is wrong. I'm still learning.
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Just don't make the finger a daily thing. With Mayder now I *have* to do that to get the bit in his mouth and say "open" otherwise for the life of him he will not open his mouth lol. Since we switched to the O Ring Snaffle he actually seems to be opening it a lot nicer for me lately- so when he opens( and i suggest this for you) to you praise them like crazy and make sure they know they did good for opening there mouth.
We have a 12hh chunky pony at my riding club who is both head shy and very stubborn. He frustrates everyone when they go to put on the bridle but when I do, I will try and put the bit in his mouth and if he clenches his teeth together, I then tend to put my finger in his mouth and he opens his mouth and I slip it in. Sometimes he gets grumpy and swings his head high up, but I just be calm and dont let him get away with it. Because alot of little kids are terrified when they first start riding, they let him get away with that and so then me and the other teenagers and adults have to keep encouraging him to take his bridle. He even clamps his hoof down and refuses to lift it and so people stand there trying to drag his hoof up. Thats when he gets a kick in the belly because thats arrogance.
But I find you should work on bringing his head around to you first up. So that it becomes something he's used to doing.
Sorry if I'm rambling...
Hope you work out his bridle problem :)
When I was bitting my unbroken horse I'd put apple sauce on the bit and she learned to really like it. Never ever had a problem bridling once she was taught.
Otherwise for other horses I put my finger in the mouth. I think part of the trick is to do it really quickly, have everything ready to go so you don't mess around. Its not use doing the whole following the head up because horses are taller than you.
I'd do some practicing with him. Bridle and bridle him multiple times, make it a good experience.
My horse went through a phase where he was resistant to having the bit put in his mouth. He's both smart and opinionated, and this was just another evasion we had to work through. I put a little pressure on his tongue to make him open up and once the bit was in his mouth and the bridle over his ears, I rewarded him with a peppermint. After a couple-three times of me consistently rewarding him for taking the bit, he quit resisting and now when I bring the bridle out he starts licking and chewing, and opens his mouth for the bit willingly. And I still give him a peppermint for taking the bit. It keeps his attitude good and probably counteracts the taste of metal of his mouth as well.
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