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Abby P

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Yes, my Arab used to clench his jaw and flip his chin in the air when you went to remove the bridle. The bit would then whack him in the teeth and you were lucky if it didn't whack you in the head on the way out too. It took a long time of asking him to put his head down and slowly removing the bit to get him over it. If you can, maybe try unbuckling the cheek piece and taking the bit out that way for a while? That way you can take it out really slowly and can still have a feel of his head with the rest of the bridle while you do it. Some horses really object to the bit clanking on their teeth on the way out so try to avoid it hitting his teeth, and see if that helps.
 

Pitter Patter

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Many might disagree with me but I taught them using a treat.
Hold the bridle/halter in one hand and a a treat in the other. Put the treat in front of the noseband and when they go to get it they get the halter too. Mine all put their nose in the halter now.
I don't always treat, but they always give me their nose.
I used the same way to teach Jelly Bean to take the bridle. Made things a lot easier.
I have to confess, I have done the same thing! I don't drive or anything, but sometimes just putting on a halter in a hurry can be frustrating. I don't do it often, but mine also know if a halter is on it usually means good things, like getting groomed, going for a walk, etc.
 

Pitter Patter

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I agree with the going slow with the bridle. I have a different issue though, I'm wondering if anyone else has. Rocko clamps his tail whenever you do anything with it so it is not fun to place the crupper. I am always really careful to smooth the hair and it fits properly with no rubbing. He just doesn't like anyone doing anything with his tail. He doesn't move or kick or turn his head to look or any other signal. Just the clamping.
Must've heard how pregnant mares clamp their tails down!
 

MindySchroder

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Has anyone else seen a horse clamp their jaw when unbridling?
YES! And what I did was offer a treat when I unbridled. When the pony opened his mouth to get the treat the bit dropped out. Please be super careful that the bit is not clinking his teeth as this is typically what causes them to not like to have the bridle taken off.

As for the tail clamping @Willow Flats I spent quite a lot of time with this same pony lifting and holding his tail until he would start to relax and then I would click and treat. Of course I first taught him what the click meant! LOL! It wasn't too long before he understood that if he relaxed the tail, he got a treat. Then his tail got softer and softer and pretty soon I didn't have to treat him at all. This video shows how I would hold and "comb" his tail. This was after TONS of work on the tail clamping. This is what it looked like when I mostly phased out the treat. Please fast forward to 2:07 as this video is very annoying ;)😆 Maybe also mute it! LOL!
 

Willow Flats

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Thanks Mindy! Once I placed the crupper I would just leave it at that. I'll follow your example of getting relaxation after it is placed and a reward.
Might even try it just with a short time spent grooming first too and a reward.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Yes, different tools in winter than summer. The hardest in winter is Dapper Dan's thick mane. The air compressor works best on that, to get deep debris out.
I don't know if they actually enjoy it, aside from enjoying the attention, but they don't mind it. I want my husband to get photos of them being aircompressored. Midnight doesn't like it around her head so I leave that alone, but I just protect Dapper Dan's eyes, fold his ears down a little, and use short little bursts to clean his forelock. I do think they like feeling cleaner. They never go and roll afterward.
 
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Marsha Cassada

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I've been trying to get Midnight's weight down--not. It was too hard with inclement weather to dry lot her and exercise her every day. But she is slimming down due to sparse grass. In another month, when the grass begins greening up I will have to be alert for sure. BUT, I have noticed that Dapper Dan is also slimming. I did a feel through his heavy coat and could feel ribs. I'm giving him extra alfalfa. Plan to take them into the elevator to weight them today, if I can get the trailer out. He is probably at a weight the vet will approve, but I don't feel comfortable with it. They are feisty and loving the colder weather. Haven't been able to do a good grooming lately either; just feet and quick whisks. This week is supposed to be fair so hopefully we can manage that.
Both horses are pretty much the same size, but Dapper Dan's yak hair makes him look like he has no legs. Midnight has shorter, finer hair and her legs make her look several inches taller than him.
 

MaryFlora

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I’ve enjoyed this post very much. Thanks, Marsha, for starting it! I love reading what and how others do things, but sadly admit to being green with envy over those of you in warmer climes!

This past week has been tough with temperatures around zero, but we are warming up a little now. In these temperatures, I use fingers to go through manes and tails and over their bodies, but do not brush their coats. As it warms up, then the rubber curry comes out for some gentle brushing before shedding season.

I do pay special attention to their backs where snow can settle and seep moisture down into their skin.

Happy grooming!
Mary Flora

🥶
 

Marsha Cassada

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Dapper Dan's mane is doing its usual Ivan the Terrible look as it's growing out. I really don't think I can stand it. He is such a handsome boy but that mane makes him look awful. I'm seriously thinking of cutting it off, but am afraid to do it because we can still have winter weather and he needs it to project his neck. Do you think I could get away with cutting it back?
 

Marsha Cassada

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I scissored the mane first to about 3 inches long, lengthened the bridle path a little, and cleaned up his beard. He looks so much better. And I think he still has a nice mane length to protect him in the weather. I worry a little about the tips of his ears. Do you think that is frostbite? trimmed mane.jpg
On another grooming note: I found out today that mares can get beans in their vulva. Vet thinks Midnight could have urine scald, so I am to put vaseline on her for a while to see if it clears up. I've been doing that, but not regularly. Also, he said to check down in the little pouch at the bottom and see if there is a bean. I looked-- carefully. But I'm not sure what I'm looking for/at, so I didn't want to get invasive. I will make her an in-person appt as soon as I can.
 

Cayuse

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I've had a couple of horses "not let go" of the bit during unbridling and I'd have to use my thumb like you did but they figured it out after awhile. I think they were afraid of it hitting their teeth on the way out so I was just extra cautious and supported the bit as it was passing through the teeth.
 

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