Posted by admin | Posted in Main | Posted on 22-01-2012
Itching to teach your mare some dressage essentials? Don’t take things too fast—don’t forget to do some basic horse care and health maintenance—like checking her mouth. Are you using a hackamore because your mare won’t permit you to touch her mouth? Did she hurt her gums and now you need to treat her injuries? There will come a time that you will need to check her mouth. Don’t wait for an emergency to happen before starting coaching her to be content when you’re touching her mouth.
How do you go about training your pony to allow you to touch her mouth? Start with a halter placed on your mare. Stroke her face making sure you’re only touching the area where she permits you to touch. Then, gradually and with single strokes at a time, let your touches come near her mouth, making sure you move your hand away before she reacts negatively. By rubbing her neck or through your words, praise your pony every time she accepts your touch. When she turns her face away with your hand still touching her mouth, it suggests it is too early for you to let your hand stay longer. Go back to stroking the spot you started on and repeat the procedure , but this time remove your hands quicker. When your mare is finally accepting you stroking her mouth, start letting your hand stay there a bit longer till she accepts your laying your hand on her mouth. Practice the lesson on the opposite side of her face as well, allow breaks between each lesson, and always fuss over your horse for any improvement she makes.
Rub around her muzzle and attempt to touch her longer each time but don’t go overboard as you’ll come off as annoying to your pony. When she is eventually comfortable when you rub around her muzzle, you can proceed to rubbing her outer lips and between them.
Hold her head by placing your right hand under her neck and putting your hand where the halter strap is—on her nose bridge. Rub the inner part of her lips with your left hand. Then, using one finger, rub the outsides of your her gums and bars. When she grows comfortable with it, go on to rubbing the top of the bars. If she resists, go back to the point where she is comfortable and try again; slower and lighter this time. Patience is the virtue by which you defeat the pride of a pony.
Horses have a spot where no teeth grow; it is between the molars and incisors and that’s the only spot where you should place your hand when touching the insides of their mouths.
When your horse is ok with one of your fingers touching her bars, add another finger until you can get your complete hand into her mouth and she doesn’t resist. Do this exercise often after grooming—before you go on to your horse riding until she accepts it as part of daily happenings.