Some Thoughts on Bridling

     As I have mentioned several times, Jellybean is due to start being bridled soon. As I was thinking about how to do this, I realized I had never thought about it. I watched a cool documentary while I was on vacation about Buck Brannaman, and decided first to check out his opinions. I found this step by step article he wrote, which I will summarize for you:

  • Teach your horse to lower their head with slight pressure
  • Teach your horse to open their mouth as if with a bit calmly
  • Mimic the motion of the bridle over the ears and eyes with the halter
  • Accustom the horse to the new position you will use for bridling.
     Another trainer whose methods I appreciate is John Lyons, as I worked with/for a friend who completed his program. I browsed some of his material I have lying around and found similar suggestions:
  • Teach the horse to move away from pressure
  • Teach the horse when he turns toward you he will lower his head
  • Get you horse used to you playing with his teeth and tongue
  • Do not take the bit in and out on a green horse
     I haven’t completed many of the prerequisites to bridling with Jellybean, so looks like we will be working on more basics. I think our benchmarks/training program will look something like this:
  • Learn how to lower head, then leave it where it needs to be
  • Allow touching of tongue, lips, teeth without raising head
  • Accept motion of bridling with halter
  • Accept bit
  • ???
  • Profit!
     It looks like I have a lot of work to go! I think we will spice up training sessions with “pony rides”

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