Bridling problems! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-21-2014, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Bridling problems!

If you have a horse that is a sweet, gentle old mare that simply lifts their nose sky high when you go to bridle her, what do you do to fix that? I have heard previously that most horses do not like the taste of aluminum or chrome plated bits. I am currently using a chrome plated low port curb bit, and I am convinced that the bit formation itself is working fine. Maybe she doesn't like the taste of the metal? What experience does everyone have with copper bits? Do horses generally like the taste and feel of these bits? I've heard that the copper increases salivation, making the bit more comfortable for the horse. Is it even worth buying a new bit, because as you all know, you cannot return them to the store after you use them. Please let me know what you think!
-Michaela W
17mwallingford is offline  
post #2 of 22 Old 06-21-2014, 08:26 PM
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Curb bit? She may simply not like that type of bit. Try a snaffle maybe?
But I would get her teeth checked. You can get the vet or an equine dentist out to take a look at her teeth and make sure she isn't having problems with them that could be due to the bridling problems.
If there isn't anything wrong with her teeth, you can put some type of sticky sweet liquid on the bit, like molasses or honey. It worked for my gelding! Only took about two tries and he started accepting the bit easier and easier.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-21-2014, 08:34 PM
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Has the bit ever banged on her teeth when going in or coming out? Have you had her teeth checked recently?

My gelding isn't a huge fan of copper mouth bits (he tends to chew on them excessively). He does, however, like sweet iron. Since your old girl is in a mild ported bit, what about something like this: I have the cheap version of this bit from (doesn't have the sweet iron/copper mouthpiece, but is otherwise exactly the same) and I LOVE the design and feel of it.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 12:31 AM
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After checking teeth and all that, start training her to drop her head. It's pretty easy. Lay your hand on the crown of her head, right where the halter or bridle rests. Apply steady pressure. Wait. The moment she dips her head (it may take a minute or two, and she might even try to raise her head first), but the MOMENT she dips her head even slightly, release the pressure and rub gently. Wait a second. Ask for a drop again with pressure. The moment she gives it, release the pressure. In a single session, you ought to be able to get her to drop her head to her knees with only a slight pressure on her crown. Be patient, be calm, and mind your timing. You aren't pushing her head down. You can't. You're teaching her to drop her head with the touch of your hand. And it will happen.

Once it's happening, introduce the bridle, and go through the same process. Be careful to not bang her teeth with the bit, but using this process on a basically gentle, sweet horse will work.
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 07:38 AM
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She's likely a sly old girl who has figured out how well this works. Clicker training works well for this. Lots of info on the lnternet. You don't have to buy a clicker, just make a distinct cluck sound with your tongue. The clicker quickly becomes a nuisance. Skia has described the procedure well but each time you get a small progression, as she's lowering her head that is when you cluck and treat. It's telling her that the downward movement will give a reward. Don't expect much at first, she may give you only an inch or two so be patient.

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 08:48 AM
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Two old tricks would be to warm the bit up to make it more comfortable or smear the bit in honey to make it taste nice.
Nutty Saddler is offline  
post #7 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 09:10 AM
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Maybe this article explains your problem.
horseTraining is offline  
post #8 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 09:53 AM
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Yes I agree with the others, check her teeth first, and figure out if the bit is the problem. I ride my horse bitless and he used to decide he wanted to be a giraffe with the bridle. I worked on him dropping his head. Only had to do it a couple times bridling till he automatically dropped his head for me w/o me asking him to drop his head.

Chad Barnes 6-16-85~7-22-13
Hero Act - Thoroughbred Gelding ~ Gunner - Quarter Horse Gelding ~ John Deere - Mini Gelding
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 12:03 PM
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There are wipes you can purchase that make the bit taste better. They usually cause quite a bit of salivation, too.

Or, you could buy one of those rubbery "happy mouth" bits.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
Zexious is offline  
post #10 of 22 Old 06-22-2014, 05:00 PM
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I've heard putting a bit of fruit roll-up on it will make them want to take it.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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