Help with putting bridle on...

emma21

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Joined
29 September 2010
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193
Hi first post in this section so hello!
I am an experienced rider etc so know how to put on all tack but have started exercising my boss' horse and he hates putting a bridle on, he pulls his head up and won't let me near him. He's an ex-racer and they think he was not too nicely treated... But do any of you have any tips on how to put a bridle on him? It's also a battle to get him to open his mouth for the bit...!
Thank you! Hope it's not too much of a stupid question...
 

flirtygerty

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1 May 2010
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Rothbury Northumberland
Keep your hand over the nose to stop him raising his head, back him into a corner if need be, then ask him to take it, (bit) if he's reluctant put your thumb on his gum and press gently, with loads of praise.
It does help in cold weather to warm the bit in your hand first, be gentle and he will soon accept the bridle without protest.
I am assuming you have had teeth checked by a reccomended dentist, our vet once did my lads teeth by grabbing his tongue, yes he stood like a lamb, but the vet missed sharp points, resulting in him cutting his cheeks with the sharp teeth
 

cambrica

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8 November 2011
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2,145
Firstly, something you may have already done, is to ensure he has no problems with his teeth etc. Also check he has the most suitable bit.
Ruling out pain I would personally set time aside and start with a pressure halter - dually or similar and get him used to lowering his head with pressure, then release and reward. Then try the bridle over the top, without the bit to start. Take it slowly and lots of reward. Bridle on - reward - bridle off. Set aside time when he's not going to be ridden just to work on this.
 

martlin

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3 December 2008
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Location
Lincs
when you manage to put the bit in his mouth, does he object to you pulling the bridle over his ears or accepts it?
 

Carlosmum

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16 August 2010
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1,479
Location
Oxfordshire
I always use a little black treacle on the bit. My hands are quite small & I struuggle to get horse to open mouth with thumb & guide bit in. Hence treacle always encourages him to open up. You may find it easier to undo the cheek piece buckle on your side get his bit in & then do it up again.
 

gunnergundog

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27 August 2010
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3,109
You may need to go through a process of assembling the bridle on his head to start with and build his trust accordingly....assume as others suggested that he has no teeth or ear problems or issues around the poll/axis?

Another way is to attach a bit to a head collar.....not ideal, but can work.

Years ago I was involved with a horse sold to the then crown equerry to become one of the Windsor Greys.......after about two months we got a phone call to say that they couldn't bridle him. They sent him back along with a state bridle for us to rehab him......the bridle with all the brass work weighed over two stone!!! You can just imagine someone shouting at a young YTS that the queen is waiting and said kid hanging off the horse's ear!!!

Patience is everything to overcome such an issue.

Good luck.
 
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