Bridling difficulties - Page 11 - The Horse Forum
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post #101 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
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.
Yes, trainer has done it twice and my mare is still fiesty and rude and will push the bridle away with her muzzle and toss her head, but the trainer gets it on within a minute at most because she literally makes her do it. Thats it, she forces her to do it. When she brings the bit to her mouth, and she starts moving away from it, she will pick up the pace in putting that bit in her mouth.

When I go about it, I take it gently and slow. I dont go too slow to make it drag on, but I dont go too fast where it makes her feel too much pressure.

When tied, I can get to her side and have my right arm under her head and put my right hand on her right cheek no problem. She is fine with this, she stands quietly, doesnt toss her head, doesnt resist.

Trainer even said to rub her on her cheek for a few secs before going ahead, just so she knows Im not going in too fast with presenting the bit. While Im rubbing her right cheek, I dont even have the bridle near her head, its in my left hand.

But its when I use my left hand to put the bridle into my right is when she starts resisting. She sees it and immediately she starts moving her left, forward, back, or up so that you can no longer hold her head with your right hand. She will also try to move her feet into you or away from you.
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post #102 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
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.
Not necessarily. If you are worked up to the point where you can not think things through, but are reacting on an emotional level instead, then you are doing more harm than good. It is MUCH BETTER when you get in that state, to just walk away till you can get yourself calmed down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
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).
That is probably a wise thing. Take some of the pressure off. Focus on something that you get positive results with.

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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
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'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of clicker training for horses. Although, yes, I have seen some positive results in the hands of some people.
Every horse is an individual. What motivates one may not motivate another. Food would be a definite motivator for my Honey , but for most of the horses I work with, no. Toys? Again, most of the horses I know would give you a look like "and I'm supposed to do what with this?" The majority (because there is always the exception to the rule ) of horses respond well to pressure and release training. This can take many forms, but the basic principle is the same.

The most important thing you can do is to approach your horse in a calm and observant manor. LOOK at her, what are the signals she is giving you?
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post #103 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:32 AM
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Alright....break the steps down. D O W N. Down to where the problem begins.

Can you put you arm over her head? In between her ears?

Can you put your arm over her head, in between her ears, holding the bridle?

Can you put the bit next to her lips?

Can you put your finger in her mouth?

BEFORE you get to the trouble point, QUIT. You do not need to coddle, pet, treat, etc. just quit. Groom. Whatever. Then go back and do the same. When she is completely ignoring this, move ONE, only ONE, step further. Etc.....
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post #104 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Here is what I think.

I need to break the process down into small steps. Last night, 75% of the time I wasnt even able to get the bit anywhere near her mouth because she would do something like using her muzzle to push into me or push the bridle away, so I spent at least half of what was almost an hour, just correcting her. Bridle on the floor and backing her, moving her hind etc.

I think I need to start with her first being okay with having the bridle within a foot of her face. Pressure and release. Have her tied or lead in my hand, stand on her side and rub her right cheek. Present bridle from a foot from her face with only my left hand. When she stands still and doesnt resist, I reward her by putting the bridle down and giving her a rub with a "good girl"

Rinse and repeat. When shes okay with this, then I start having the bridle within 6 inches from her face, then eventually in front of her face rubbing her muzzle.

This has ought to help by breaking down into much smaller steps. If I need to spend one day just doing this excersize and having her bridle within a foot from her face and reward her each time for standing quiet, then I will need to do it. I need her to know that standing quiet will get her reward and that is the bridle comes down and no longer in her face.

This is exactly why Im going to start clicker training with her tonight. I feel her and I would benefit so much from c/t in general. I wont do c/t with the bridle but with other small very basic stuff.
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post #105 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MomH View Post
Not necessarily. If you are worked up to the point where you can not think things through, but are reacting on an emotional level instead, then you are doing more harm than good. It is MUCH BETTER when you get in that state, to just walk away till you can get yourself calmed down.
When I was trying to put the bit in her mouth, I was actually calm. I was reacting on emotion when she was getting into my space and being rude cause I was upping the pressure each time she did something unacceptable. Her using her muzzle to pushing into me really hard was a big no no and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time she did it, I was very hard on her. I dont think I could have put any more pressure than I did without having to resort to throwing stuff (which I dont do).

Like I mentioned in my other threads, my biggest weakness/flaw that my trainers have all said I have is that I dont apply enough pressure when needed. Im too gentle, Im too soft and because of this, no horse will take me seriously. Well last night Im quite pleased with myself in seeing how I stepped things up again to the next level in terms of the amount of pressure I applied and when I applied it.


Quote:
I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of clicker training for horses. Although, yes, I have seen some positive results in the hands of some people.
Every horse is an individual. What motivates one may not motivate another. Food would be a definite motivator for my Honey , but for most of the horses I work with, no. Toys? Again, most of the horses I know would give you a look like "and I'm supposed to do what with this?" The majority (because there is always the exception to the rule ) of horses respond well to pressure and release training. This can take many forms, but the basic principle is the same.
My horse is incredibly sensitive (she can get uncomfortable even from the slightest bit of pressure) but the fortunate thing is that the release of pressure and rubs and scratches can motivate her to doing something. She loves attention and she loves being given scratches and rubs when she did something right. So thankfully I shouldnt have to use food as rewards for c/t.

Quote:
The most important thing you can do is to approach your horse in a calm and observant manor. LOOK at her, what are the signals she is giving you?
I always take in account on how I approach her, every single time. I always approach in a soft and gentle voice, relaxed body walk and posture, and when I go to catch her I never walk directly to her. I always first greet her from a good distance, then I walk up to her indirectly at an angle. I was told it makes you not come across as a predator going right for them.

I dont even put my hand on her right away. The first thing I always do is, as I get close to her, I will say hi then her name, put out the back of my hand for her to reach out and smell THEN I will give her rubs and scratches while talking to her.

The signals she is giving me, well....she will always come walking towards me when she sees me. Rare cases that she wont if shes distracted or focused on something, last night she didnt cause she was hanging out with another gelding there that she really likes and she was watching him eat grass.

She will always nicker or whiny every single time. If she sees me at a distance, busy doing something and I havent come to her yet, she will stand and watch me and whiny loudly. If she sees me carrying a halter in my hand while going up to her, she will touch her nose to the halter because she wants to be haltered and get out of the pasture paddock.
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post #106 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 11:00 AM
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Just curious, but what is your objection to using the pulling-her-into-a-circle method? It is so easy (even a caveman could do it).I don't "get" running out to get clicker stuff when you haven't ever used that method. It takes timing and patience with that, and all horses don't respond anyway. It is looking like the advice here is being discounted and you are looking for some magic bullet here.

I am still of a mind that you should get another knowledgeable person to bridle her and help you. Your trainer "makes her do it" sounds like some kind of force being used and that is not necessary to get a horse to bridle quietly and correctly. I am not developing a very good opinion of your trainer.

I am sorry you feel defensive, everyone is just trying to help.
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post #107 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 11:01 AM
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I am also wondering why your horse continues to invade your space and disrespect you when you have corrected her every time. If she is incredibly sensitive to pressure and gets uncomfortable, it doesn't make sense she persists in pushing you around.
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post #108 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greentree View Post
Alright....break the steps down. D O W N. Down to where the problem begins.

Can you put you arm over her head? In between her ears?
Yes

Quote:
Can you put your arm over her head, in between her ears, holding the bridle?
Taking it that the bit is already in her mouth, yes. Once the bit is in, putting on the bridle is easy so that means the problem is 100% on getting the bit in, not the bridle on.

Quote:
Can you put the bit next to her lips?
Havent tried it.

Quote:
Can you put your finger in her mouth?
Yes and one of the better things is that I can put my fingers in her mouth and she is pretty good with it.

But if the bit is within her sight, then shes much different.

Quote:
BEFORE you get to the trouble point, QUIT. You do not need to coddle, pet, treat, etc. just quit. Groom. Whatever. Then go back and do the same. When she is completely ignoring this, move ONE, only ONE, step further. Etc.....
Yes and the trouble point is when I am holding her head with my right hand on her right cheek and I bring up the bridle from my left hand to my right. Its all of a sudden near her face and she reacts.

This is why I insisted on working with her on just getting her to stand still with the bridle a foot from her face, and reward her each time. I need her to know that by standing still, not resisting will get her a reward.

Obviously she feels pressure once the bridle comes up to her face.
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post #109 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
I am also wondering why your horse continues to invade your space and disrespect you when you have corrected her every time. If she is incredibly sensitive to pressure and gets uncomfortable, it doesn't make sense she persists in pushing you around.
This I agree with ^
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post #110 of 134 Old 10-01-2015, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
Just curious, but what is your objection to using the pulling-her-into-a-circle method? It is so easy (even a caveman could do it).I don't "get" running out to get clicker stuff when you haven't ever used that method. It takes timing and patience with that, and all horses don't respond anyway. It is looking like the advice here is being discounted and you are looking for some magic bullet here.

I am still of a mind that you should get another knowledgeable person to bridle her and help you. Your trainer "makes her do it" sounds like some kind of force being used and that is not necessary to get a horse to bridle quietly and correctly. I am not developing a very good opinion of your trainer.

I am sorry you feel defensive, everyone is just trying to help.
Im not ignoring the circle method, im not being defensive, in fact I am probably going to do it.

Just to clarify, does this mean pull her into a circle so that her head is curled around me? Or actually pull her in and make her circle 360 degrees around me?

Im sure this is effective but I just see this similar to backing her each time she resists, just a gentlier approach since backing a horse is more demanding.

I just feel right now, pulling her into a circle method can be tried, just not now seeing how I really feel I need to do this in baby steps with her, then eventually do the circle method.

Cause right now, I just cant do the whole bridling process with her, its too much to ask for from her. Thats why I feel I need to break it down and get her to stand quiet with just even having the bit within her sight.

I wasnt planning on using c/t for bridling, otehr stuff to start.
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