Bridling difficulties - Page 10 - The Horse Forum
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post #91 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 09:41 AM
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I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by anndankev View Post
I got knots in my stomach reading about last night's bridling episode.

Despite all the advice you receive to never let the horse 'win'*, there is a time to stop the session.
That time is when your frustration reaches a certain threshold.
I feel you are crossing that threshold on a regular basis.

* The term 'win' in itself is an inference that the situation is a battle.
Which it should never be.

My father used to tell me that you can win every battle, but still loose the war.
Well either way I had to get the bit in her mouth and the bridle on. Last time I wasnt able to get it on period. I was told by everyone that, that was the worst thing I could have done, to let her have her way cause I know she remember it for next time knowing she was successful in being able to get what she wanted.

So if last night, say I gave up again, I would have been told that I did the wrong thing again and that I should have stuck to it. Which is it? I think it was better that I DID get the bit in her mouth and the bridle on (regardless of it taking almost an hour and endless amounts of tries and correcting her, backing her, moving her hind, lunging her etc), than if say I went at it for an hour then gave up.
While it is important not to let them get their way if you get frustrated walk away and come back when you've calmed down and try again. Horses know when you get frustrated and it just makes it worse.
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post #92 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 09:48 AM
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Timing is everything.

Lightness is the key.

It takes a long time to develop 'feel'.


Last edited by anndankev; 10-01-2015 at 09:51 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #93 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
I am getting the picture of "operator error" here. You mentioned that the BO is very knowledgeable. Has he seen you try to bridle your mare?

As I posted earlier, my similar problem was created by me. Trying to "pull" the bit into the mouth too fast, banging the teeth, forcing things. I had the one episode when I could not get the bridle on. I honestly spent 3 hours trying, with my mare putting her head up out of reach, pawing and backing up to get away. I had no clue what to do but had in my head I HAD to get that bridle on. I ended up having to be satisfied when my mare stopped putting her head out of reach when I held the bridle, up to her face, but I stopped trying to get her to take the bit, only stand with me holding the bridle in position.

I did not sleep that night at all. I was sure I had ruined my relationship with my mare and I would NEVER get the bridle on again. I had a lesson scheduled for the next day. I can't tell you how upset I was because I KNEW it was I who had done something wrong and thought my mare was going to get worse and worse.

The next day, my trainer, who is short like me (5' tall), calmly took off my mare's halter, but buckled it around her neck to use as a hand hold. She held up the bridle. My mare objected. My trainer used the halter to pull her in a circle around her. Then tried again.

This went on for about 15 minutes, then my mare accepted the bit. We let her rest for about 5 minutes. Then the bridle was removed, we rested, then my trainer repeated the bridling. This time it took only 3 attempts and circles before my mare accepted the bridle. We rested, then removed the bridle and tried again. This time, only one circle.

Then it was my turn. My mare tried to evade, but I used the circle method, only one turn around. I was able to bridle. The next attempt, no circle necessary and we quit for the day, no ride. The next day I was able to bridle without my trainer present.

I also realized that I had been letting the bit drop when unbridling and it was banging her teeth at that point as well. Now I hold the bridle after it comes back over her ears and wait for her to open her mouth so I can guide the bit out and not have it touch her teeth.

I am not a beginner. I have had 22 horses in my lifetime and never ever had this problem before. I had been away from horses for 20 years until 3 years ago and have been surprised at how much I forgot, how much I never knew and how lucky I have been.

I know there is more than one way to solve this problem and this is how I solved it for me. This happened 3 months ago, and every once in a while my mare will still test me on the bridle. Just one circle is enough of a reminder.

I am wondering if putting your arm over her neck is an issue. I am too short to do it that way (yeah, I know, the head should be lowered) but I wonder if your mare feels trapped or there is too much downward pressure that is not getting relieved and she is objecting to that as well?

Someone needs to be watching you and helping you. There is no substitute for hands on help. Good Luck!

P.S. I just read what you posted. I think someone other than your trainer needs to watch you and you need some other ideas because backing her up isn't working.
BRAVO, BRAVO!!! YES!!! I LOVE your trainer!!! She approached the horse CORRECTLY, did what needed to be done to get the point across, gave the horse time to think about it, and ended on a good note. EXCELLENT!!! I LOVE her!!
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post #94 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
I

While it is important not to let them get their way if you get frustrated walk away and come back when you've calmed down and try again. Horses know when you get frustrated and it just makes it worse.
Yes but then that would have told her again that she was able to have my number and get her way once again, making the next time me trying it that much harder. Her having her way once is bad enough but twice just wasnt going to happen.

I thought about it last night and Im going to take a few days break from bridling her (next lesson is this Sat and we will work on it then with the instructor watching me).

In the meantime, Im going to start clicker training with her tonight. Ive been doing a fair amount of reading and research on c/t and feel it would be really beneficial for us. Except I will NOT be using food as rewards like everyone does in their c/t videos. I will be doing scratches and rubs.

I hope it can be just as effective without using food.

Im going to get a clicker and a maybe a couple toys to use with clicker training at the start. What toys do most horses like and feel comfy with?

For instance, I do feel that carrying a clicker with you all the time could be really beneficial in teaching and working with your horse on certain things. Once they hear the clicker, they know they did the right action and the sound of that clicker could be received by them as a much more direct signal confirming they did the right bahaviour. Its definitely a different signal and confirmation than when you release pressure.
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post #95 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
I

While it is important not to let them get their way if you get frustrated walk away and come back when you've calmed down and try again. Horses know when you get frustrated and it just makes it worse.
Yes but then that would have told her again that she was able to have my number and get her way once again, making the next time me trying it that much harder. Her having her way once is bad enough but twice just wasnt going to happen.

I thought about it last night and Im going to take a few days break from bridling her (next lesson is this Sat and we will work on it then with the instructor watching me).

In the meantime, Im going to start clicker training with her tonight. Ive been doing a fair amount of reading and research on c/t and feel it would be really beneficial for us. Except I will NOT be using food as rewards like everyone does in their c/t videos. I will be doing scratches and rubs.

I hope it can be just as effective without using food.

Im going to get a clicker and a maybe a couple toys to use with clicker training at the start. What toys do most horses like and feel comfy with?

For instance, I do feel that carrying a clicker with you all the time could be really beneficial in teaching and working with your horse on certain things. Once they hear the clicker, they know they did the right action and the sound of that clicker could be received by them as a much more direct signal confirming they did the right bahaviour. Its definitely a different signal and confirmation than when you release pressure.
It's better to walk away when getting frustrated and doing something that is really damaging.
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post #96 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:07 AM
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HoofPic, has your trainer bridled her with you watching? Does she have the same problem? How does she correct it?

If your trainer has not bridled her, she should. Then you would see if your mare acts the same with your trainer and what your trainer does to correct it and bridle successfully.

I understand your frustration with your mare and with all the advice. I think your trainer needs to step in and work on this with your mare, get her to accept the bridle, then work with you. I think you and your mare will be happier. If your trainer is unwilling to help this way, then maybe it is time to go trainer shopping.
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post #97 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Well I had my trainer watch me put on her bridle last time and she said that Im doing it right. She just said I need to have very little slack in the lead when tying her. SHe said my positioning, my steps are correct.

I was calm at first but if a horse is constantly pushing the bridle away from you or trying to get in your space, you think Im going to stand there and just continue saying "can you stand, pretty please?" in a soft gentle voice? I wasnt yelling, I was stern and firm.

When I backed her up and moved her feet when she would push into me, do you think Im going to do it gently with no pressure?

The whole point of it was to make her move her feet aggresively.
You are focusing on the technique and the goal. You need to focus on the horse and yourself.

I am currently working with an older woman who is very tense and nervous around her horse. The end goal for her is to get her on the back of her horse who sent someone to the hospital (that's another story for another day). So, what have we been focusing on? HER! How she is reacting to the horse, calming her down, getting her to relax. This is VITAL!! How you approach the horse can make a WORLD of difference.

The goal. What is it? You are focusing on the bit. How many steps are there in getting the bit in the mouth? Break it down. Where do things start to fall apart? Read Whinnie's post, her trainer did EXACTLY the right thing. After reading it, do you get the idea? Do you see this from the horse's point of view? You've got to give them time to process.
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post #98 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
It's better to walk away when getting frustrated and doing something that is really damaging.
Yes but I will say that I think the visual image that everyone has (from reading my original post from last night) is that I was screaming on the top of my lungs, letting out grrs and roars verbally, lots of heaving breathing, stomping, throwing down the bridle, roughing her up, forcing the bridle on her, pulling her on the lead like a bull. That is totally not the case.
I was MUCH more frustrated AFTER heading home (when I had time to reflect) as I was typing my post because I needed to vent, than when actually working with her.

One of my best qualities is that I have very good self control, this is in general and I feel this quality could really benefit me in horse ownership. If I have people get on my case, I never show it. If people make me upset, I never show it. Its when Im OUTSIDE of the situation (in this case, the people) that I will sometimes let it out. And this would be the case for last night. I showed my frustration a lot more after leaving the barn when typing my post then when I was at the barn.


Yes I was frustrated and I know she sensed it. But I wasnt doing any of the above. I was just firm and stern as time went on. I didnt raise my voice anymore near the end than in the middle of the hour. I was just persistant. Rinse and repeat.

I was most aggresive when I was correcting her for trying to get into my space. I made it well aware to her that rubbing on me, using her muzzle to push me away or the bridle was not acceptable and I made her work. She knew it because after each time she did it, I immediately would drop the bridle on the ground and work her. She knew she was going to get corrected because her ears and head were up right away and she was giving me full eye contact.
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post #99 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:15 AM
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MomH, my trainer is a 20 year old college student who has been helping me since she was 18. She has been working under trainers since she was 10. She knows her stuff and is supremely patient. She rocks!
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post #100 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:23 AM
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Does the person you are using for lessons also train horses or just people to ride them? Not all do both. If he/she is an instructor of people only I think your horse would greatly benefit from being sent off to a horse trainer for 60 or 90 days while you continue to get lessons on a horse that is a little more forgiving towards a beginner.
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