My horse and I have been through some traumatic changes in the past. One included him colicing in a dressage barn in Southern California, that almost killed both of us. Since then I have moved across the country rehabbed him for a year and moved on again to go to school here in Washington. Where he has a wonderful, quiet barn, with out a insane work out schedule to give any one ulcers, he’s turned out all through the good weather, and up in a cozy stall for winter evenings. But in that experience he's developed some habits that I can't seem to work out, still. At this point he is turning 16 this year. He's been very well behaved in his youth and disipline only makes tacking him worse. I’ve had him since he was 3, and as a 3 year old he could stand to be tacked. Now he runs backwards when I tighten the girth, confined, not confined running into walls, ignoring him he runs backwards. The less attention I pay the quicker it’s over. Getting a peppermint, he still has his little emotional regression with his feet. I have tried numerous saddles, and yes he had a saddle in the past that did not fit, but we haven't ridden in it in years. I now ride mostly in a treeless baretech pad through the winter that is made mostly of wool, so there is no reason to run from it. It's not a pain issue, it's not even something that "training" has been able to address. He also tries to be a giraffe when bitting him. My thoughts on bitting are that he hates having his teeth touch the bit, but he evades, left right, straight up, what have you, and eventually those teeth will touch that metal bit. He’s better when the bit is warm. And now that I am not able to ride but once a week it’s getting worse. And I have pretty much lost my patience with this being the way he is and I am looking for a solution. In the past parallii has driven us both a bit bonkers, so I have been resistant, it’s not that he is new to being tacked up it has happened about 2x a week for most of his life with some exceptions. Then when I go to ride him he’s great, he’s lovely under saddle. He just hates putting on clothes. And I would like to get to the root of this to manage it more effectively. I was surfing through TTouch earlier, has anyone had an experience like this. The rest of my wonderful horse has come back in his spirit, he’s fit again, and he’s well. I don’t knock the crap out of him to put a bridle on and I don’t have the ability to not bridle him. He’s had his back and teeth checked. Any one have any suggestions for this. He also steps into me when putting the bridle on. It’s like these movements in his body are a repeat recording he goes back to in anxiety over the emotions that came with a bad training situation that we have left.

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Is he good at whoa and voice commands? If so then maybe try riding him in a rope knotted halter, or a bitless bridle..see if he doesn't like the bit, and if your comfortable with that try riding him bareback. I would really recommend another opinion on a chiropracter, saddle fitter, and vet..but thats me and maybe the vet/chiro is good..it just sounds like that is the problem.

I would try just talking him up, removing the tack, tacking him up, removing the tack, ect ect just keep doing it and see if he eventually just stops. I had an arab that would pull hitching posts apart when I brought a saddle and bridle out, and I just had to ignore his fits and tack him up anyway..there was nothing wrong with him (pain wise) he just hadn't been ridden ina while adn was kinda cranky and being brought back into work..he is now a lesson horse for beginners.

good luck.
If you had his back and teeth checked by a vet and they have told you nothing is going on, I would get a second opinion. Sounds like evasion due to pain.
My goodness, this is the first that I have seen this post. It sounds like you and your horse have had quite a struggle. Well at least you have. You say that once you do get tacked up. and in the saddle that everything is hunky dory. So I am going to start at the bridleing problem first. If the horse is soooo against the bit in his mouth, why not humour him and not put a bit in his mouth. As someone else mentioned if the horse listens to the whoas, and other voice commands and knows and listens to the cues, why not go bitless or mechanical hackamore etc.?? What ever works. I know a lot of people are against the mechanical hackamores but I use them off and on all the time and have good results with them.
As for the saddling, that is a real problem. Have you tried putting the saddle onhis back...and letting him adjust to that, like a few seconds with out even touching the cinch. Then if that works, then bring the cinch around (loose) to the tie or buckle...and very loosely bring it to just touching the tummy or if that does not work not quite toucking, waiting, another few seconds or a minute...walk him around if you have to with out the saddle falling off. It can be done...gradually as you walk him...stop, bring the cinch up a tad, walk stop up a tad, etc etc, you get the drift. I did this on a friends horse that really h ated that old cince to be tightened, unless you took him for a walk first. then eveything was fine....I don't know if these suggestions will work but certainly worth a try. Good luck
We event so going bitless is not a long term solution. He's had his teeth done and he's seen the chiropractor and we are working on different saddle however in the midst of this he has some pretty blatent behavioral patterns that he remembers wether we go for a walk or not (good try though). I have been warming the bit up in the cold weather and trying to bridle him with something tasty after he takes the bit. He's still got some resistance to the experience. I have been using a baretec pad (no tree) mostly and a proffessional choice girth with a fleece over it for schooling most of the winter and he still behaves this way.
This horse sounds like he is having trouble with his pectoral muscles. You should check for soft tissue (muscle ) injury and/or hypersensitivity. The book "Beating Muscle Injuries for Horses" can be a big help for this.



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