Tag: head shy

Bridling Solutions

Bridling Solutions


Bridling is a problem that a lot of horses have. Maybe they throw their head up to avoid the bit, back up, or block you. Sometimes it’s because they are head shy, meaning they don’t want to be touched on the head or face for a number of reasons. In a case like that you will want to desensitize your horse so they are comfortable with you handling their entire head and mouth, use approach and retreat to get this response. For example, if you can rub your horse’s neck by his cheek, start rubbing him there. Then slowly rub up to his cheek, and if he tries to get away, stick with him until he relaxes then rub his neck again.

Once the horse is fine with you touching their head and the outside of their mouth, they must then accept you handling the inside of their mouth. Put the tip of your finger in the corner of the horse’s mouth; they will most likely want to work their mouth which is normal, just let them get to a spot where they relax their mouth and lips and then release them. Eventually you should be able to manipulate the horse’s mouth and stick your fingers in their mouth without any resistance. This will help them to be comfortable with the bit when you put it in their mouth.

If your horse backs up while you go to bridle you need to change their mind, meaning that just before they begin to back up lead them one or two steps forward. It might take a couple of times but your horse will stand still while bridling.

One more important step is to have your horse in the correct position for bridling. You want their head low enough to see the top of their poll and their head slightly turned into you. Your horse must hold their head there until you are finished bridling; while teaching them this position if they move just put them back in the position and continue to bridle. Do not bridle them unless they are in the position, otherwise they will not learn to hold themselves there.

Horse related activities are inherently dangerous and caution should be used at all times.