Difficult to bridle - hates his ears being touched.

GrumpyHero

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I'm looking at taking a lovely gelding on loan. His owner has been very honest with me about him :)
He does not like his ears being touched. When bridling he simply throws his head in the air so you cannot get to his ears to put the bridle on ..
I'm guessing he's been twitched by his ears?

Now i'm not at all put off by this as i think its a minor problem for an otherwise lovely horse.

My question being do you think that he'll ever settle to his ears being touched when bridling or is he just stuck in his ways?

P.S there seems to be no problem touching his ears when putting his headcollar on.

Any answers appreciated :)
 
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FreddiesGal

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I think in a case like this it depends if you're willing to put the work in to sort the problem. I believe that it's possible :)

My Welsh Cob was horrific about his ears, he would snap baller twine from pulling back if I did so much as accidentally brush one of his.

It took a LONG time, but he is now fine with having them touched and even has a little snooze if I stroke them gently!

I did little and often everyday. I went armed with carrots and I would touch his ear with my finger and then reward, and gradually built it up to having his whole ear in my hand for a few seconds. It's a very slow process but it's so rewarding watching them get better.
 

Lanky Loll

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There are various causes for not liking the ears being touched - the ear twitch is just one of them. Some have white lumps inside the ear which can make it very painful (and are best left be), some take the mickey a little ;)
My mare has a few of the lumps but also takes the p. She actually loves having her ears scratched done in the right way but go about it the wrong way and her head is in the air without a hope of reaching it - at 17hh she's rather taller than me :rolleyes:
When bridling all I do once I have the reins over her head is just get on with it and ignore her being an idiot - so hold the head piece up without trying to grab her nose or poll - as soon as that touches her nose she drops her head and I can continue without any problems. If I grabbed her it would be an argument, this way I completely avoid it.
It's just a matter of finding what works for you.
 

Tammytoo

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Good advice from FreddiesGal and until he is happy with having his ears touched, I would put the headpiece and browband on first and then buckle the rest of the bridle on.

I do see people dragging the bridle over their horse's ears and it makes me cringe. I always put my hand over the ear and slide the bridle over my hand.
 

Jenna1406

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I'm looking at taking a lovely gelding on loan. His owner has been very honest with me about him :)
He does not like his ears being touched. When bridling he simply throws his head in the air so you cannot get to his ears to put the bridle on ..
I'm guessing he's been twitched by his ears?

Now i'm not at all put off by this as i think its a minor problem for an otherwise lovely horse.

My question being do you think that he'll ever settle to his ears being touched when bridling or is he just stuck in his ways?

P.S there seems to be no problem touching his ears when putting his headcollar on.

Any answers appreciated :)
Hi,

My mare was very much like this.

She used to be able to lift me right off my feet when she would put her head up when I was trying to put the bridle on.

I started of by taking the bridle apart to put on, so that when you are putting the ears in I put it on the behind the ears and pulled it forward, can be frustrating but it does work and then put the rest of the bridle back together. It is a long way to do it but now my mare put her head down and opens her mouth looking for the bit. She still isnt overly keen on anyone touching her ears but you can if you know how to approach it.

Good luck if you go ahead with it :D
 

Jazzy B

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hello OP just a thought my lad was horrendous with his ears (his still not great) but I had the physio out who found that he had a lot of soreness in his poll this has been eliminated and its definitely helped with this issue. :)
 

mandwhy

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My mare had previously had aural plaques when I bought her (the ear lumps, they're like warts) so very much disliked her ears being messed about with when bridling. It's a common problem, hers are gone, I can touch her ears fine but she is still not convinced!

I tried a variety of methods, either:

Loosen the left cheekpiece by 2-3 holes and put the bridle on normally, then do up the cheekpiece (the bit will be a bit wonky but that doesn't cause too much trouble as long as it doesn't bang the teeth).

Or

Undo the left cheekpiece at the top rather than on the bit (as those are billets and hard to faff with), pop the headpiece over her ears and bring the bit round into her mouth, then fasten.

Or

As above but use a bridle with clip cheekpieces - you can get endurance bridles that are like a headcollar bridle combo so you can have the headcollar on first and just clip the bit in... or grackle bridles often have clips in which case I would use without a noseband or replace it as I don't want to use a grackle for no reason.

It took my mare a little while to trust I wasn't going to squash or bend her ears so it was rather inelegant to start with with me jumping up to get it over her ears, now she just drops her head happily and we do the second option :)
 

tinap

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We had a rescue pony that was the same. She had had tags ripped out of each ear & had a chunk missing out of them both :(

We started off putting the bridle on by just sort of pulling the headpiece & browband up but letting her flick her ears through herself then attaching the cheek pieces with bit. She was nervous anyway so it was just a case of lots of time, repetition & praise while ignoring any paddys she had. After a year or so the daughter took her to PC camp, she was aged 10 & could managed to tack her up normally herself :)
 

HaffiesRock

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My friends mare is exactly the same. It turned out she had quite an infestation of mites in her hairy ears.

She is still funny with her ears so my friend just puts the bridle on like a headcollar. She too has no problems having a headcollar put on. x
 

webble

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I have the exact same problem, hates her bridle going on fine with the headcollar. I just take the headpiece out of the browband pop it over her head and pull the browband around and slot it back in. It take a min longer and keeps us both happy.

She has got better over time and I can now lower the buckles on the cheekpieces slid the browband down so it is a bigger space and pop it over her head without too much argument.

Personally if that is his only fault I would go for it its really not a problem
 

oldjumper

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If the horse is OK to put a headcollar on, it doesn't sound as though the problem is so much with having its ears touched as with having a bridle on. If this is the case, make sure the bridle fits correctly. If its ok, it would be worth trying a different design of bridle. I've come across a few horses that are very sensitive to the headpiece touching the back of their ears. If you can borrow a Micklem bridle, try that. It's a very different design that is cut to avoid touching the 'nerve' areas of the head. Borrow first though if you can - they're expensive and don't do it for all horses (if it does work though, improvement can be dramatic).
 

alainax

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My boy would throw his head up and go stand in the corner of the stable when you went near with a bridle.

Now a few months on he opens his mouth and waggles his lips to grab the bit and stick it in his gob :D


I just took it ever so slowly with him. I did and still do all things backwards. He gets the breastplate on first then the saddle, his boots, i get me all sorted and the bridle on very last.

I un-buckle the reins and pull the nose band clear away - so that literaly all he has going on his face the the headstall, with the bit and brow band. I found doing the whole process ever so kindly and gently, whispering to him how good he was. I whisper to him over and over " so gentle" as I slowly placed the bridle over his ears. Then when its all done and one.. he get a treat :D :eek:


Now as I said he's great with it! opens his mouth and waggles his lips for the bit :D I still praise him everytime :)

I guess people were rough with him before, and he seen the full process as being a bad one. Where as now he knows its a very calm and gentle thing, with a treat at the end!
 
Joined
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He does not like his ears being touched. When bridling he simply throws his head in the air so you cannot get to his ears to put the bridle on ..
My question being do you think that he'll ever settle to his ears being touched when bridling or is he just stuck in his ways?
My horse used to throw up his head too. He never minded the halter, but when it came to bridles and bits - he was a different horse almost.

The reason my horses did that was because he had a bad tooth. We also switched to a bitless bridle.

We got his teeth fixed and he has been much better. We tried a bit again and he was a little better, but still didn't like it. He knew that when he had the bit in, he would have to work still. So we always put his bit on, then just rest a while, letting him know that as soon as the bit/bridle is in, he doesn't have to immediately start doing work. After that he has gotten so much better.
 

Luci07

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I would just make sure the horse does not have an ear infection first. Mine started doing this and that was his problem. He never got over his hatred of having the bridle put on so I ended up rather putting it with a cheekpiece undone and then doing it up once the bridle was on him. Actually took me no longer than a normal bridle up either.
 
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