View Full Version : doesnt like the bridle anymore
9th Jun 2005, 10:59 AM
Can anyone help with this one please?
Over the last few months my mare's been getting worse and worse about having the bridle over her head, she's ok with the bit, even opening her mouth to take it but as soon as I try to put her right hear through (I always tack up right ear first) she lift her head so high and pulls away that it ends up half on and half off, I have tried putting it over her left ear first and she's ok'ish with this but then I get to reach for the right ear and we end up with the bridle halfway round her face, the only way I have got over this is to loosen the cheek pieces right down, get a crate (she's over 17hh) and try to pull the headpiece back but then we get her ear trapped against her head if it doesn't go through straight away, once it is on she's fine! Is she taking the mick, knowing bridle = work and I that can't quite reach her poll (I'm 5'10'' so not exactly small) or something else, she has her teeth checked every year and was last checked at the end of November 2004, she's fine to tack up in every other way but I'm getting fed up going round and round the stable taking a crate with me till she's ready to oblige, thanks in anticipation.
9th Jun 2005, 11:21 AM
I would say the fact that she opens her mouth for the bit says there is no resentment (about work) nor is there a teeth problem.
I would be inclined to check in her ears (if you can get that close, if not may be worth getting the vet out) Qaboos is not the best with his ears but at this time of year he is even worse, he and my other horses get these little bugs in their ears, if I rub my finger down inside the ear (can't do it on Qaboos but Phoenix will let me) you get all scabs and blood on your finger where those bugs have been munching away, they all wear ear nets all the time now and it seems to help.
Even if your mare is not suffering with the bugs she cold have got a grass seed or anything in her ear which is making it sore and having it bent round to get the bridle on could agrivate it. Is she any different when you put her head collar on?
9th Jun 2005, 11:50 AM
Yep, she is, can put her head collar on and off all day and she wouldn't flinch!!!
Also when we get back from riding she stands in her stable and puts her head down toward me and lets me take her bridle off, wherever I am standing she puts her head in front of me and down at a level I can easily reach and is quite happy for me to pull it off over her head.
But putting it on!!! She backs to the wall and lifts her head away, glaring at me if I try to grab the bridle to bring her head down she grunts at me, I have never been rough with her at all, but when I first had her noticed her real dislike to this side of her head being touched when being bridled, but it not got any better, I did have one thought and that was that as she is so tall maybe she has been grabbed by the ear by a smaller rider or groom in the past and it is like a remembered pain, but if this is the case how do I get around proving to her that I won't hurt her? Thanks
9th Jun 2005, 11:56 AM
A huge horse at my yard used used to have this problem, this is what we did to solve it: get a friend to hold some food under her nose after you have the bit in, stroke her face and mess with her ears, if she is ok try bridling her and she shouldn't be as bothered as she gets food if you keeps her head down! Just an idea
9th Jun 2005, 11:58 AM
I have had exactly the same problem...but don't have time to tell you what we did...will be back later! sorry! xxx
9th Jun 2005, 01:59 PM
Probably is something she remembers then, could you undo one cheek piece and put it on like a head collar? or maybe it could be her teeth, maybe there is a sharp one and as you lift the bridle up to get over her ears the bit touches something sore, might be worth a check, you could probably test that theory by putting the bit in and not putting the head piece up but just lifting the bit in the mouth gently towards the ears, if she reacts like she does to the full bridling it would indicate that there is soreness in the mouth.
Interesting though, I had a big 17.2 on loan a few years back and he was funny about the bridle too (now I think about it), and me being only 5'4" it was a real pain, I just started standing on a wall that meant I was at his head height and he was quite happy about that.
Maybe it is a combination of people hanging on the ears a bit to get the bridle on and the horses learning they are way taller than us!!
9th Jun 2005, 04:32 PM
a horse at my yard doesnt like her ears being touched-shes got ear mites. check about that. :D
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