Bridling difficulties - Page 8 - The Horse Forum
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post #71 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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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.
Im going to try this tonight.

I will try it in the arena with her loose tied in my hand.

Since I will be standing on her left and my right arm goes under her head while my right hand along her right side of the face to hold it with the bridle in hand.

When I pull on her halter to bring her head intowards me, Im guessing the only way to do this is by using my left hand? This sounds tough and will take some practicie obviously especially since the bridle is still in my right hand.
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post #72 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GracielaGata View Post
:) I still don't think smacking for not bridling is the proper way to get her to bridle. :) (Not saying you said this, :) )
My mare and the mustang, you barely have to touch when you smack, and they act like you are killing them. So literally 99% of the time, they never get smacked, because they don't do the behavior lol. Though the mustang, since he is a gelding, he gets mouthy a bit here and there. A light pop on the muzzle corrects it fast. It can be *very* light because it matches his personality.
If we were to use a whip, both of those 2 horses would nearly line up at attention and ask how high I wanted them to jump or how many push ups I wanted, drill sergeant! lol

My daughter's 17 year old gelding... ha. Whips are a joke, as is most smacking. I have discovered a few ways of quick pops with a whip that get his attention. But again- I try to set them up to not need the smacks. So usually the whip is only needed when I have to open gates in the pasture for all 3 to go through when loose, and I need him and the other 2 to back up. The whip gives me a safer working distance to do what I need. Sometimes her boy does get popped with it in the chest because he is pushing into my space to get to the gate.
I wont smack her for not bridling, I will be backing her up aggressively.

My horse is incredibly sensitive but for some reason she is very different than other horses because slapping her on her shoulder or neck for anything dont phase her.

Ive been able to get very good responses from hittting her hind but only when with a whip.

There is only two situations where I will whack her hard on the muzzle - when she tries to bite or when she rubs her face on me. I know people say I should only whack her on the muzzle if she bites, but if poking her soft spot on the face is completely ineffective and much too challenging to get it dead on the spot each time, then its useless.
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post #73 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxhunter View Post
If you are resorting t using a whip in the stable something is terribly wrong!

If you are doing things correctly then a mere 'Eh' should suffice by now.

A hard poke with a finger should get her attention.

Hitting her with a whip is only going to sour her.
Im not using a whip in the stable, havent used it in a long time and that was when she would turn her butt to me everyday (Which she doesnt do anymore). Round penning her got rid of that bad habit quickly. I wonder if roundpenning could work on her biting.
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post #74 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GracielaGata View Post
If she has been extensively bitted before, then the new bit shouldn't make a big difference for getting it in there. Sure, give her on the ground time to get used to the new one before riding her in it (for your safety), but taking it- no she has your number and knows it. :) My husband's gelding was just like that when we switched to a bit. He already is a *massively* stubborn mustang anyway, so it makes life interesting. :) But we just tried longer than him so we would win.

Don't ever put her up without that bit going in her mouth, like it was previously said. Even if you have to re-situate your brain and her for a moment... win still.
Chewing and playing is fine. All 3 of ours ride in simple full cheek snaffles. The 2 appys like to bite and chew them. The mustang just stands there and drools enough for a kiddy pool lol.

Definitely getting a trainer or other knowledgeable person there to help you or just hang out will help you de-stress and improve your situation. :)
Actually, this could be the problem. A horse at the farm was used to a certain bit and was doing well under saddle for the person working him. She decided to get him a "gentler" bit (rubber snaffle). He hated it!! He tried running through the bit when she rode him in it, freaked her out. I told her to put the old bit back on. When trying to put the old bit in his mouth he balked and was having none of it. This is a guy that was always easy to bit. I ended up having to help her get the bit in his mouth. After that, he was fine. So yeah, if the horse has a new bit that it doesn't like, it CAN effect how willing they are to take it.
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post #75 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 02:52 PM
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Question

I've been reading this thread, trying to get a picture of what's going on. Mind you, there's a lot of good advice being posted for you.

So far I have, she's never had a dentist look in her mouth and she has a new bit. Both of which could be an issue, but not necessarily.

Is she easy to worm? Will she allow you to stick your fingers in her mouth at the corners?
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post #76 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MomH View Post
I've been reading this thread, trying to get a picture of what's going on. Mind you, there's a lot of good advice being posted for you.

So far I have, she's never had a dentist look in her mouth and she has a new bit. Both of which could be an issue, but not necessarily.

Is she easy to worm? Will she allow you to stick your fingers in her mouth at the corners?
See, it's funny. My mare takes the bit wonderfully... but try to deworm her without tricking her? Ha, good luck with that. We have to show her a bowl of yummy grain, let her get happy over it, then put the dewormer tube in the corner, get it all in and quickly- with her head up- let her get have the grain to swallow the dewormer, or out it comes, usually all over us.

Nor does she like me messing with her mouth-face area. The vet even commented on it when she went for her 1st dental. I play with her lips and teeth a bit more now, but she is sorta no nonsense it seems like- if she doesn't get anything out of having me touch and fiddle with her face without a bit or purpose, she doesn't really want any part of it.

I am sure with time and working with her, we will have her be different. But I mostly just mentioned her way of being to show that biting well and mouth handling don't always correlate. :)
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post #77 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 03:34 PM
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There is NO reason--AT ALL-- to smack a horse who will not take the bit. You must STICK with it until you get a GOOD response. Then QUIT.
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post #78 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MomH View Post
I've been reading this thread, trying to get a picture of what's going on. Mind you, there's a lot of good advice being posted for you.

So far I have, she's never had a dentist look in her mouth and she has a new bit. Both of which could be an issue, but not necessarily.

Is she easy to worm? Will she allow you to stick your fingers in her mouth at the corners?
Yes shes actually relatively easy to worm, I worm her myself. She doesnt stand there perfectly but I can run my fingers to the back of her mouth no problem. She wont attempt to bite which is very good.

But when I worm I insert the syringe to the back of the mouth from the side.
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post #79 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 08:28 PM
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Maybe your trainer should try putting me a bridle on her with you around and then you can have a go?
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post #80 of 134 Old 09-30-2015, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well hell, what a night. She was being so fussy tonight! It took me almost an hour to get the bit in her mouth i was just about to scream!

I couldnt even get it on the normal way by holding the side of her face. I was getting frustrated. She kept using her muzzle to push the bridle away and also me, and i had to keep backing her up every single time. I had to do it so many times, i even lunged her a couple times for a couple circles and also even moved her hind aggressively by literally running towards her hind in circles while swinging the end of the lead literally as fast as i could. There was a few times where i got her to make 20 circles by moving her hind.

She was being so rude.

I cant do this again without my trainer watching, it was a nightmare.

Eventually when i would get by her side to out my right arm under her chin and right hand in her right cheek, she would swing her hind away from me so i couldnt get next to her.

I kept telling her to stand, stand... 10,000 times.

I kept at it. I went back and tried again after each time backing her, moving her hind etc


I had her in the arena the whole time, not tied, just lead in my hand. But there was a time where i got so frustrated i even tried tying her and she literally tried to rip the the lead off the post. So after one try i untied her and went back to not tying her.

I cannot believe what i just went through. I hope i didnt do more damage between us than good. She was probably upset im sure and will she remember this and hold this against me for now on?

Last edited by Foxhunter; 10-01-2015 at 07:29 AM. Reason: Language
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