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How to Get a Horse to Lower Its Head for Bridling

By Jen Davis

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you are having a difficult time bridling your horse because you are unable to easily reach his head, then teaching him to lower his head on command can make it easier for you to get the bridle on him. The ability to lower your horse's head on command is useful while haltering, administering medications and performing basic grooming.

Step 1

Place a lead rope around your horse's neck and hold both ends of it in one of your hands. Put two fingers at the base of your horse's poll. The poll is the top of the head behind the ears.

Step 2

Apply gentle but steady downward pressure on the poll until the horse lowers his head. Reward your horse by releasing the pressure and removing your fingers from the poll when he lowers his head satisfactorily for you. Praise him verbally or give him a small treat while his head is still down. Repeat as necessary until the horse understands that you want him to lower his head whenever you put your fingers on his poll and press down.

Step 3

Ask your horse to lower his head, then bridle him as you usually would. If your horse raises his head, ask him to lower it back down by placing pressure on his poll with your fingers. Ask your horse to put his head back down every time he raises it up while you are bridling. Praise him for keeping his head down.

Items you will need

  • Lead rope
  • Bridle


  • 💡 Be consistent with your training. Most horses will learn to drop their heads when they see you coming with the bridle if you make them lower their heads every single time you bridle them.
  • 💡 Before you can teach your horse to lower his head on command, you may need to desensitize him to being touched on his face, ears, poll and neck with your fingers, the lead rope and the bit and bridle.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images


Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.