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Unbridling problems with my horse

I have a six year old paint mare and this will be the 3rd year of riding her although last year was almost a write off because I sustained a back injury.

I broke her as a three year old so has not had a lot of training yet. She is taking the bit easier now when bridling but when I go to take it off she tosses her head back and trys to spit the bit out herself. It usually ends up banging on her teeth some and this is what I was trying to stay away from because I know they don't like it. Do you have any suggestions for me in what I can do to keep her head down so I can slowly remove the bit? She does keep her head down pretty good when bridling but as soon as I go to remove the bridle from behind her ear she tosses her head back.


Briefly, practice with just a rope first. Put the rope over her head like you would a bridle. Then slowly and gently attempt to ease the rope forward over her ears. If she tosses her head, move the rope back a bit until she settles. Then do it again and again being very sensitive and backing off if she looks to toss her head even a little. Practice asking the horse to lower its head without the bridle present or you just holding the bridle. Do you know how to ask a horse to lower its head? If not it is easily found in the 'help center' of my website. Another thing to try is to bridle the horse part way (stopping short of moving the bridle over her ears) and then immediately remove the bridle. Do this a lot. As she settles to the process put the bridle on more fully. Handle the horses ears alot without the bridle. Perhaps there is an issue with the ears. Have the horses teeth checked by a vet, just in case. What has really worked well was to only put the bit in the horses mouth without bringing the bridle over the ears. Do this a lot so she learns to simply allow the bit to be lowered from her mouth. Again, handle the ears a lot, moving them forward and backward and rotating them at the base (all very gently). Take it slow and one step at a time. Allow a new step to be built on the learned previous one. Don't keep pushing for the whole picture. One step at a time.....good luck and please keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

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