The Horse Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 yr old filly, easy going, paint/arab so far easy to train. She is big at least 15.2 hh, halters, saddles even rides okay for a two year old. She stops, turns, backs, stands, loads, ties, no buck.
her issue: she does takes the bit, just doesn't want me to bend the ear to get the bridle over the head. So of course her head goes up or she goes up until something breaks.
I'm using a ring mouth snaffle.
Riding time is over here in MI it's very cold outside, and no indoor arena. I was just looking to research this and get advice from all of you.
thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,763 Posts
When you go to put the bit in her mouth, is the bit itself cold? I dont know any horses who will take a cold bit in the winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
Spend some time with your hand on her ears and also IN her mouth.
Lots of slow relaxed movements and scratches.
Have your horse wear the bit after you get it on and just take the reins off.
Make sure the bit is clean and warm.
Practice slipping the bit in and out smoooothy and being quiet with your hands.
Make sure that the bridle is not pinching around the ears and is very comfortable.
Breathe and make sure the horse is also.
Break everything down into slow steps and don't try to go too fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Maybe start with a halter. If you have a halter that has a throat latch snap, undue the throat snap and slip it over her nose like a headstall then over the ears. She will have time to get comfortable with the strap going over the ears and you don't have to worry about the bit banging in her mouth. Might not help, but I don't think it would hurt to try it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Just play with her ears. Get her used to touching, handling, and yes bending the ears forward..,,, (do this with out the bridle) just in day to day type handling. Soon she will realize its no biggie. Then slowly start to reintroduce the bridle to her, and if you have taken the time to desensitize her w handling her ears she should allow you to bridle her without incident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,061 Posts
Usually you shouldn't have to 'bend' the ear at all; just slip one side of the headstall over the ear one at a time, and just let the bridle sort of run the ear back; when the bridle gets over that ear, it will just move back into place...there is no need to bend a horse's ear to get a bridle on at all...let it sweep back naturally, and your horse will be much better about the process.

Yes, by all means play with her ears and mouth, and teach her to lower her head, as well, but stop bending her ears to get the bridle over them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
When I said bending that is what I meant, of course your not bending the ear in a bunch, but even sliding the bridle over, causes the ear to fold, slip, move (which ever word you prefer) out of its natural position. Even the slightest movement can cause some horse to be unhappy, if they have not had proper handling of their ears etc prior to introducing the bit. The ear does "bend" in the sense it is being manipulated out of the natural position, it slides back its"bending" back... but your not to fold or scrunch it in half :)...I think the OP knew this

But yes you don't physically "bend the ear"...sorry I just assumed the OP knew that and just used the term they used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
Another good thing is to loosen the bridle up a notch or two. You don't want to have to force it over her ears so a little too big is a good thing until she gets use to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for the ideas.
I don't use a cold bit, right now too cold to do anything.
It's the point when the bridle goes over the ear as her ear naturally bends back that bothers her. I will take time and start getting her out and just working around that area with my hands, she is sweet, she is also big and strong but super friendly.
I will also try the head down que and a looser bridle to put on then adjust it.
thanks everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
You can also try a quick change bridle until she gets used to her ears being messed with.

Just unclip one side of the bit, place the bridle over her ears onto her head, the just swing the bit up and in, and clip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
I worked with this colt that had the opposite problem....getting the bridle off over his ears. It took me about a week of working with his ears everyday, getting the bridle on (he took it fine) and then working it back off over his ears. I would just make it a little bit bigger so it wasnt such a tighter squeeze over his ears and just played with the bridle rubbing on is ears everytime I took it off. He would just throw a fit and he was big too at 3 (15.2)...I never made a big deal out of it, I just hung on and waited and I only took it right off when he was quiet. He got over it but he needed alot of patience and help. Just take your time. Dont make a big deal out of it, when she gets upset just hang in there and try again. You could try making your bridle a hole or two bigger for now and just take it on and off for a while until she is comfortable with it. Or, you could also try just a headstall, no bit and see how she does with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
I would bridle her ten times a day untill she was used to her ear bending wherever I wanted it. Just make it as pleasant as you can and if you have to stand on a bucket to reach her head then do it. Once she is no longer afraid of you hurting her then her head will come down. You may also want to make sure her ear doesn't have bugs or sores in it.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top