Question: I have a 13 year old Arab gelding, which my daughter raised from a baby. (We owned and bred the mother)..it was my daughters teenage project.. he was not used much and spent a lot of time in the pasture, and was sort of a pet. My daughter moved so I let a friend of hers use him and he picked up some bad habits. I can no longer get his bridle on. He just clenches his teeth and will not let me put the bit in his mouth. I have a hold of the headstall over the top and between his ears with my right hand and raise the bit into his mouth with my left hand and gently encourage him to open his mouth with my thumb. He has his teeth clenched tight and just throws his head around until I loose my grip. I do this patiently, over and over until I want to scream (which I don’t, I give up and try again later with the same results.) It is very frustrating because I have always been able to put a bit in his mouth before he spent a year with another person. He is also pulling back on his halter.
Answer from April Reeves: Assuming your Arab had good manners from the start, he may not be as difficult as some horses can be.
Let’s start with the tying problem, assuming the horse use to tie before. Purchase a rope halter if you don’t have one, as they will increase the sensitivity and teach the horse to come off pressure faster. Traditional web halters teach horses to lean and resist, as their pressure points are wider. Make sure your lead rope is at least 12 feet long.