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Blowing away from me when unbridling her in the stall.

I have a large holsteiner mare that started blowing away from me when unbridling her in the stall. The first time she did it she got my foot and I got very upset. SOOO since then it has progressed. She is so quick I do not get the time to let her not let the bit hit her teeth. This has lead to her being fearful when she is done with work or going into the turnout. She blows hard.

I have been recently reading all the articles on the boards. My plan has been to calmly and assertively put the halter on and off. I am trying to get her to lower her head. She will lower her head but when I go to touch the bridle or halter she immediately raises head. So I get her to put head down again. I have touched the halter clips and lifted it up on her trying to get her to keep head down. She tries BUT if I release the halter completely she blows.

As for the bridle, I removed he bit and tried putting it on and off. When I get near her eye she mare screeches at me and arches neck.

Any other advice---patience is definetly a virtue at this point.

Thank you, Sonia

Hi Sonia,

I agree that practicing with a halter for a while would be a good idea. Get her used to the halter only coming on her part way and then removed. You want to do this with the bridle as well. Practice putting only her nose through the headstall and removing it. Then practice asking her to take the bit and immediately allow her to release it, keeping the bridle basically in the same spot. Practicing asking the horse to lower its head with a halter, just a rope over the poll and with your hand. Get it really good. Take your time. There is no short cut. Be confident more than assertive. In fact, being assertive is not what I would suggest at all. I would suggest patience and skill. Perhaps your position is a bit off. If you are too forward that will prompt many horses to blow away. I would suggest getting good at asking that horse to lower its head and bring the head to you. This requires basic training skills and the knowledge how to immediately reward a horse for attempts at compliance. A break in the pressure of the request and a "Good Girl" is all that is needed to immediately reward a horse for trying to do as you ask. Recognizing when the horse is trying to comply is another thing that many folks miss. You could be moving too fast. I always suggest folks slow things down to slow motion and get it down really good. Whatever it is, go slower, be precise, take it one little step at a time. Understand how to reward the horse and recognizing when the horse is trying to comply (when to reward the horse), are three very good cardinal rules when training horses. Another thing might be to put the bridle on over the halter with a lead-rope attached and then take it on and off for a number of times. That might be helpful as well. Getting the animal to keep it's head down should be your first goal. Once that is mastered, then go to the next....

Please keep me posted.....

Sincerely, Franklin

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