throwing head up when putting on the bridle...

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by LifeIsGrand, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

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    I am about to actually tie my horses head to the ground so he can never lift it up ever again.

    Not really. I know that's bad.



    Anyway, I am leasing a 17.2hh gelding. I am 5'3. So it's pretty safe to say that when his head is up it is impossible for me to reach...

    Being the smart little boy he is, he learned "Oh! If I lift up my head like a giraffe, you can't get my bridle on!! muahhahaha!!"


    So he lets my go as far as puttine the bit in his mouth and then getting ONE EAR in head piece before he throws up his head and doesn't let me put it on.

    So here I am, fuming, trying to get his head to go down so I can put his bridle on but he just keeps his head up. I end up having to get a stool, but then he pulls his head away and ...gr...

    ITS EXTREMELY ANNOYING. :flaming:
    Instead of taking 2 minutes to get a bridle on, it can take upwards of 10


    He didn't always do this.


    Suggestions...???

    He looks innocent, doesn't he?
    [​IMG]
     






  2. CaitlynH

    CaitlynH Senior Member+

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    I'm 5'0 so I understand where you're coming from, this is what I do and it works extremelly well for me.

    Keep a halter on and teach the horse to lower his head with poll pressure, incorperate a verbal cue if you want. Out your hand on his poll and press with the pads of your fingers, increasing the pressure, slowly but steadily until he lowers his head, even a milimeter. at that point instantly remove your hand and rub. Repeat until it doesn't take much at all to do. If he raises his head too much for you to reach, put downward pressure on the halter.

    Then teach his to sort of flex when you ask him to do this. It'll be easier for you to reach both ears and it will be a bit more difficult for him to raise his head too. I Like having a horses head flexed when i'm doing alot of things, unhaltering to go to the pasture (safer for you, the horse won't be inclined to spin and run), haltering ( teaches the horse not to avoid it) and the same for bridling.

    Then start putting the bride on over the halter, this way you still have some control over his head if he does raise it. As he gets better you can just have the halter around his neck and it isn't a pain to get the halter off.

    I'd also check to see if his teeth are fine, is he raising his head out of pain?
     
  3. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

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    Im going to try that. All pain issues have been ruled out so don't worry about that. It is simply that he has found a way to avoid going to work.

    Anyone else have suggestions?
     
  4. Pirate

    Pirate Senior Member

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    trick I sometimes use is to stick my arm between the horses ears and grab the bridle from there... it makes it harder for the horse to raise its head and evade... also leave the halter on it gives you more control
     
  5. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

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    Thanks, but there is not stopping this big of a horse from lifting his head if I just stick my hand between his ears... I wish it were that easy! haha

    I can't leave the halter on when I put the bridle on. Halter comes off, then on goes the bridle. I don't ride with a halter on.

    Thanks though :D
     
  6. CaitlynH

    CaitlynH Senior Member+

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    ^ I think pirate meant the same thing I did? Leaving the halter on initially to teach the horse but not riding with it so the horse can't evade any more.

    You can remove halters though from under the bridle, i've needed this trick a few times with disrespectful horses I rode for people. Unbuckle the halter as normal then slide the noseband down the face to the bit, ask the horse to open their mouth againand slide it behind the bit and under. It will of course result in a slobbery halter, just thought i'd mention that trick for anyone reading.
     
  7. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

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    Ohhhhhhhh okay! Im willing to try anything. It's been driving me nuts.
     
  8. CaitlynH

    CaitlynH Senior Member+

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    It really shouldn't take that long to teach either. So far I haven't needed to put than half an hour into the initial lesson before the horse gets it and is nice and respecful of the pressure. By the end of the lesson when you just have it bucked around his neck and not on his head he should respond pretty well to pressure from that.

    If you do a mini lesson pretty often, just reinforcing it in a couple weeks (assuming you're out a few times a week to ride) he'll begin to drop his head automatically.
     
  9. LifeIsGrand

    LifeIsGrand Senior Member+

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    So when he lowers his head, the reward should just be a pat right? No food?
     
  10. kaitybug

    kaitybug Senior Member

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    Lizzie did this for a while, you just have to remember not to let him win. I just kept asking her to put her head down by pushing on her neck and praising her when do put it down, try this
     






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