Bridling difficulties - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
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post #51 of 134 Old 09-29-2015, 06:45 PM
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I agree with WillowNightWind as well.
I *stunk* at bridling when I first got my horse, as I was quite afraid of putting my fingers anywhere near that mouth or those teeth, much less with the headstall possibly making my hands get stuck in there too. lol
My at the time just broke almost 3 year old mare knew how to bridle with the standard stick your fingers on the bars and lift the bit in. Which I wasn't going to do.
So I sorta cheated, and it has worked wonders with our 2 geldings who weren't fond of bits either when we bought them. (PS- all have proper dental care, :) )

My Method:
I would hold the bit up to her mouth, with a carrot chunk on the other side.
When she went to investigate the carrot chunk, I carefully slid the bit in. Voila, I have never once had to stick my hands in her mouth. A few times of that, and now I only hold her headstall in front of her face, and she opens wide and seeks out her bit to have it placed in her mouth. :)
(I am now much less afraid of teeth and will fiddle with mouths, in case anyone wanted to know lol)

My husband's gelding was particularly obnoxious about bitting. It took 2 of us to get him used to it.
I held his (rope) halter downwards while doing poll pressure as needed. My husband did the open mouth insert bit routine. Many times of this, and the time start to finish got shorter and shorter. Now he takes it with no issues even when its been a while.
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post #52 of 134 Old 09-29-2015, 07:51 PM
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What WillowNightwind described as pulling the horse's head toward you is very similar to what I was trying to explain. I was taught to pull the horse around me in a circle instead of pulling the head toward me while standing still. Either should work, I have had 100% success using the way I was taught.
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post #53 of 134 Old 09-29-2015, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillowNightwind View Post
Step 1: Don't overthink it too much. Many horses with bridling issues have simply learned that their rider/handler doesn't know how to bridle properly and have found loopholes to get out of it. You are a beginner and I suspect this is the case. I see too many people think to themselves, "Oh my horse has a bridling issue, it must hate bits!" or, "My horse was abused in the past so bridling is hard now". Most of the time this is a handler error.

Step 2. Re-educate yourself on proper bridling techniques. If you cannot put a bridle on your horse because he/she is avoiding your hands, then you are leaving a hole open somewhere that your horse has learned to exploit. Horse raising its head up? Your fault. Ducking away? Your fault.

Step 3. Have confidence. Horses feed off your energy. When you have an aura about you that says, "This is what we are doing, and we are doing it now", horses have a natural tendency to follow. They can pick out weakness more easily than you or I can and actively seek out a confident leader.

Step 4. Success.

My suggestion to re-teach your horse that you know what you're doing:
- first, know what you are doing
- put on a rope halter
- attempt to bridle the horse (with confidence) with the halter on underneath; this will give you an advantage over your horse when learning to bridle. Stand beside the horse's neck, behind the throat and in front of the shoulder. Where you stand is important in your success.
- IMPORTANT: if the horse does anything naughty at all/tries to evade the bit, grab the halter on the cheekpiece and pull the horse's head TOWARDS you as if you want the horse's nose to touch her left shoulder. YOU do not move. Try again. Rinse and repeat. Take no sass.

If you can't get a visual for what I mean about pulling her head towards you, this is what I mean. Just bring her head around:
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/AQo8Ui7xn1g/hqdefault.jpg

...But obviously you will be standing beside her neck, not hugging her. Ignore the human in that photo.
Thanks Im going to try this perhaps tomorrow night, by grabbing her halter, pull her head towards me.

I figured I shouldnt need to do anything like this since I always leave her halter on when bridling anyways and Im already standing at her shoulder and literally half a foot away from her.

I just dont want her to attempt to run over me like the other day. That IMO calls for a good real hard smack on the muzzle does it not?
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post #54 of 134 Old 09-29-2015, 10:46 PM
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Actually an elbow to her neck or shoulder would work better if you're standing beside her and she moves into you. The ONLY time I think it's ok to slap them in the muzzle is for biting. If you over use that form of punishment you are going to make them head shy and then you'll really have difficulties haltering and bridling.
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post #55 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Thanks Im going to try this perhaps tomorrow night, by grabbing her halter, pull her head towards me.

I figured I shouldnt need to do anything like this since I always leave her halter on when bridling anyways and Im already standing at her shoulder and literally half a foot away from her.

I just dont want her to attempt to run over me like the other day. That IMO calls for a good real hard smack on the muzzle does it not?
No! Do not hit her on the muzzle!

You are trying to get her to give her mouth and if she moves into you, which if you have her head turned towards you, she is going to move away.

If you smack her on the muzzle she is not going to want to give her head to you.

Try and think logically, try and think like you were in the horse's position.
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post #56 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
Thanks Im going to try this perhaps tomorrow night, by grabbing her halter, pull her head towards me.

I figured I shouldnt need to do anything like this since I always leave her halter on when bridling anyways and Im already standing at her shoulder and literally half a foot away from her.

I just don't want her to attempt to run over me like the other day. That IMO calls for a good real hard smack on the muzzle does it not?
I just thought about this... When you are bridling, do you have the ability and safe space to have her lead rope loose/not tied while you bridle? (You can even just undo it only for the bridling. We had do that that a lot with the one gelding, so he had a better head set to take the bit).
That way if she decides to run you over, you can grab her by the lead right under her face and march her obnoxious butt backwards for a spell for being rude and in your space excessively and incorrectly. She I am sure KNOWS she isn't to run you over, and uses it to her advantage to avoid bridling.

I do concur with everyone that any sort of smacking in that situation isn't
going to get you anywhere. In my thinking, making her butt move back and fast is going to get more and faster respect. Then when she is calm, you bring her back to be bridled, and start over. The fast backing is only for if she is running you over.

I have used 'slow' backing to bridle before, just to get their attention back to me, and it works as well. But to me, the fast, almost trip them as the go backwards style is reserved for being dangerous to the human- i.e. not respecting my space.
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post #57 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
Actually an elbow to her neck or shoulder would work better if you're standing beside her and she moves into you. The ONLY time I think it's ok to slap them in the muzzle is for biting. If you over use that form of punishment you are going to make them head shy and then you'll really have difficulties haltering and bridling.
I dont know whats true or not, I keep being told by people that slapping a horse on the muzzle wont make them headshy and that its anywhere on the head WILL but the muzzle will not.

I ask because one of the tendencies my horse likes to test me by is rubbing her face on me. I will give a quick whack with the back of my hand to her muzzle.

Everyone has said to poke her on the soft spot on her face. Ive tried poking her soft spot right behind her mouth but I find it completely ineffective because its pretty hard to get your finger dead on as their head is moving and if you dont hit it bang on, then you just did nothing to correct them. My horse will see your finger coming a mile away and quickly move her head so by the time my finger hits her, its not on the soft spot. And this is even with me correcting her RIGHT AWAY, literally within a second. Remember if the method is ineffective, then all Im doing is poking the bear to do it more.

Wacking her on the neck doesnt phase her at all. She will stand there like "is that all you got?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
No! Do not hit her on the muzzle!

You are trying to get her to give her mouth and if she moves into you, which if you have her head turned towards you, she is going to move away.

If you smack her on the muzzle she is not going to want to give her head to you.

Try and think logically, try and think like you were in the horse's position.
So if she moves into me, a quick sharp elbow to the neck should suffice?

And I should point out, NO I HAVE NOT HIT HER ON THE MUZZLE AS OF YET when she refuses to let me bridle her. I was just asking if it was okay. But I have NOT done it and very glad that I have not and will not.

Last edited by Hoofpic; 09-30-2015 at 09:35 AM.
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post #58 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
I dont know whats true or not, I keep being told by people that slapping a horse on the muzzle wont make them headshy and that its anywhere on the head WILL but the muzzle will not.
To me, smacking them on the head when they aren't trying to bite makes no sense. Usually you try to go after the offending part. So if biting, then yes a small, sharp whap to the muzzle or neck is warranted.

I ask because one of the tendencies my horse likes to test me by is rubbing her face on me. I will give a quick whack with the back of my hand to her muzzle.

I don't think most horses need to be whapped in the head for this. Can you arch a shoulder or bring an elbow up so she self corrects on a sharp body part? If not, then yes some sort of shove it warranted to tell her to quit.

Everyone has said to poke her on the soft spot on her face. Ive tried poking her soft spot right behind her mouth but I find it completely ineffective because its pretty hard to get your finger dead on as their head is moving and if you dont hit it bang on, then you just did nothing to correct them. My horse will see your finger coming a mile away and quickly move her head so by the time my finger hits her, its not on the soft spot. And this is even with me correcting her RIGHT AWAY, literally within a second. Remember if the method is ineffective, then all Im doing is poking the bear to do it more.

Wacking her on the neck doesnt phase her at all. She will stand there like "is that all you got?"



So if she moves into me, a quick sharp elbow to the neck should suffice?
To me, if she is moving into you in the situation of being bridled, then yes maybe a quick elbow works... but what about trying what I previously suggested- run her backwards out of your space so she learns it is YOUR space and she has to be invited there. Horses don't like to move, they are inherently lazy, esp. when it is going backwards. (My honest thought is to try running her backwards over an elbow, since you say smacking doesn't get attention. Maybe the backwards will. :)

And I should point out, NO I HAVE NOT HIT HER ON THE MUZZLE AS OF YET when she refuses to let me bridle her. I was just asking if it was okay. But I have NOT done it and very glad that I have not and will not.
See all of the above where I italicized and bolded, HF, didn't like me not having words down here, so I had to type this. lol
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post #59 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GracielaGata View Post
I just thought about this... When you are bridling, do you have the ability and safe space to have her lead rope loose/not tied while you bridle? (You can even just undo it only for the bridling. We had do that that a lot with the one gelding, so he had a better head set to take the bit).
That way if she decides to run you over, you can grab her by the lead right under her face and march her obnoxious butt backwards for a spell for being rude and in your space excessively and incorrectly. She I am sure KNOWS she isn't to run you over, and uses it to her advantage to avoid bridling.
Yes I can try bridling her when loose/not tied but it would have to be either outside, in her pasture paddock or in the arena.

This actually sounds like a great idea (obviously only for the time being until she gets better). I might start trying this tonight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
No! Do not hit her on the muzzle!
You are trying to get her to give her mouth and if she moves into you, which if you have her head turned towards you, she is going to move away.

If you smack her on the muzzle she is not going to want to give her head to you.

Try and think logically, try and think like you were in the horse's position.

Quote:
I do concur with everyone that any sort of smacking in that situation isn't
going to get you anywhere. In my thinking, making her butt move back and fast is going to get more and faster respect. Then when she is calm, you bring her back to be bridled, and start over. The fast backing is only for if she is running you over.

I have used 'slow' backing to bridle before, just to get their attention back to me, and it works as well. But to me, the fast, almost trip them as the go backwards style is reserved for being dangerous to the human- i.e. not respecting my space.
No no, mentioned in my post earlier that I have not smacked her yet for refusing and fighting with me to put her bit in. I have just moved her hind end over, aggresively. Cause thats what Ive been doing whenever she wants to move her body into my direction when tied. I immeidately get her to move her hind over and aggresively with me walking into towards her and trust me she moves alright!
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post #60 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 09:58 AM
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An elbow or a quick hard shove with your hip should push her over.

When I had a filly come in for breaking she came with a not so good reputation.

For the first few days to catch her in her stable I had to use a pole to corner her!

Soon I could catch and halter her with no problems but, try and get anywhere near her ears and she was a fighter.

I used the running head of a double bridle, this is just two cheek pieces one extra long so it reaches over the poll to do up on the other.
I could get the bit in her mouth and then had to flick the long cheek piece over her neck and gradually get it behind her ears. I had to undo it to remove.

I am not one for tidbits but this filly, after I had got the 'bridle' on was sniffing at my pockets where I had some mints. These were crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle. I gave her one, she took it and bit into it with her molars. She didn't like it and tried to spit it out but it was stuck. She shook her head up and down to no avail.

Next day I went to bridle her and she took the bit open mouthed and allowed me to get the strap right up by her ears as I flicked it over.
No sooner was the bridle on and she was looking for her mint.

She had got the taste.

Within a few days she was allowing me to bridle her correctly and to push her ears forward to get the head piece over. The one day I didn't have the right mints she wasn't happy. The following day she was difficult until she knew I had the right mints.

One very smart filly and one of the bravest I have ever known.
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