Horsemanship Training Tips Introducing & Removing the Bridle & Bit

  • Added:
    Feb 24, 2014
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Horsemanship Training Tips Introducing & Removing the Bridle & Bit Photo by Ian Kirkham

The first few times you bridle your horse are critical. If bridling is done correctly, the horse will be easy to bridle for the rest of his life. If you rush and bang the bit on the horse’s teeth, he will resist you whenever you try to bridle him. The key is to take time and care when putting the bit in and taking it out.

Most problems with bridling occur because the person is in a rush; remember, it takes far less time to do an exercise correctly than to fix a problem later caused by your impatience or sloppiness.

Introducing the Bit:

• Begin by putting on the bridle.

• Use your fingers around his lips and mouth and practice opening his mouth.

• Let the horse get used to the bit before putting him to work; if the horse won’t take it, use a lead rope to get him used to the feel of something in his mouth.

Lessons that Solve Horse Training Problems with Bridling:

Teach the following lesson if your horse raises his head when you try to put on the bridle or if he won’t lower his head.

• First, make sure the horse’s head and ears are thoroughly sacked out.

• Next, place your hand between the horse’s ears on the poll and apply one to two pounds of downward pressure. You want the head to move down, even if only by a fraction of an inch.

• The instant you feel the head move, release the pressure.

• Let your hand rest on the poll for several seconds before re-applying pressure.

• Repeat until the horse drops his head the instant you apply pressure on the poll.

• Try this exercise while holding the bridle with your hand and applying pressure to the poll.

Teach this Horse Riding lesson using a halter.

• Hold the lead rope near the snap where it’s fastened to the halter and apply steady downward pressure of one or two pounds. The halter’s pressure point is centered on the poll; the instant you feel the pressure being relieved in your hand, release your hold.

• You will feel your horse giving to the pressure before you can actually see him lower his head; it’s important to give him the release as soon as you feel him lowering his head.

Removing the Bridle and Bit:

• Remove the bridle slowly; do not rush and do not bang the horse’s teeth on the bit.

• When removing the bit, gently lower the headstall a few inches to put some slack on the bit and wait for the horse to drop the bit from his mouth.

Company – LL Inc and the Lyons Legacy School of Horsemanship offer a wide variety of equine educational materials, including a series of horse training and riding courses, manuals, and videos for online and on-the-ground learning.

Contact – Ian Kirkham, LL Inc., ian.kirkham@gmail.com. A biologist with a PhD in animal behaviour, and a writer for much of his career, Ian now focuses on one of his lifelong passions – horses. He’s owned and trained horses in Canada, US, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. Ian divides his time between training horses and creating educational products for horse lovers.

Author's Profile

A biologist with a PhD in animal behavior, and a writer for much of his career, Ian now focuses on one of his lifelong passions – horses & Horse Riding lesson. He’s owned and trained horses in Canada, US, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. Ian divides his time between horse training and riding courses, Horse Training Problems


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