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MidlifeCrisis
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:00 PM
What do you guys do for a horse that's very sensitive to poll pressure? I'm not looking for a debate. I'm just curious if you change equipment or bit. Currently in Courbette bridle with a cavesson fastened loosely and this bit
http://www.doversaddlery.com/herm-sprenger-kk-ultra-loose-ring-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01355/cn/1582/

eesterson
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:14 PM
I found this bridle in Europe--it's great. My dressage horse loves it.
http://www.dyon.be/sss_cat.php?Id_cat=11&Id_lang=2&Id_ss_cat=16

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 02:17 PM
Mid, how would you know that poll pressure is the problem, what would you be seeing the horse do?

If a horse was sensitive to poll pressure, say, due to a previous injury, abcess or the like, I'd put some padding under the crownpiece of the bridle, or buy a padded bridle, or both. My pony seems sensitive to the bridle in general so I bought a mild bit and ride with light hands and a light contact.

I'd have a tough time with changing bits to change the amount of poll pressure, as I'm not sure I believe the usual information about which bits cause poll pressure and which don't.

ToN Farm
Sep. 7, 2009, 04:24 PM
Wow Eesterson, I love the design of that bridle!!!

SLC, it's just common sense (to me) that heavy bits put torque on the poll. A double bridle's curb exerts poll pressure. Anything I can do to make my horse more comfy in the poll, I'll do. While I can't prove it, there have been times that during riding in the double, I have inadvertently caused poll pain, which I believe is like hitting a nerve. It didn't happen often, but I stopped using the double because of it.

Bogey2
Sep. 7, 2009, 05:23 PM
DIFFERENCE Collection
"The Difference" range of bridles stems from the collaboration between Dy'on and Equality Line after an idea from Lisen bratt Fredericson and Peder Fredericson.

It was designed to avoid any pressure behind the horse ears which is a particularly sensible and innervated zone.

It is noticeable that the pressure from a regular headpiece can create a real discomfort for some horses and generate communication problems between the rider and his horse.

Thanks to the exclusive shapes of its headpiece and of crossed throat latch, this bridle stays behind this neuralgic center and relieves the most sensible horses.


my horse is "sensible" and does not need a special bridle:lol:

I agree with ToN, the weight of the bits in a double can cause some horses an issue.
I would try some sort of padding...maybe that black foam you see people use under some nosebands?

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:01 PM
Poll pressure, in its usual use, is not due to the weight of the bit, but to the bit having an action that actually puts a type of leverage on the poll, for example, as the bit pivots in the mouth, it pulls on the cheekpieces and puts pressure that way on the poll. I'm saying that's what I don't think is reliably designated for specific bits.

The idea of that sort of 'poll pressure' is that it causes the horse to put its head down and round its neck.

While double bridles are more heavy than snaffle bridles on average, I'm not sure of how much that actually affects horses, or restricts their motions. I think if a bridle is fitted well, the extra weight is still within a comfortable zone. Too, curb bits need not be heavy. I have some that are and some that are rather light.

JRG
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:39 PM
I can not speak about any "study" on poll pressure due to the weight of the bridle, but I can tell you that when I hang my double bridle off my head it is significantly heavier then my feather like weighted snaffle bridle and I hold my head differently.

bossmare18
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:52 PM
This is interesting...I have been eye balling the thin line bridle...

http://www.thinlineinc.com/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=144

slc2
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:53 PM
JRG, the concept of poll pressure usually has nothing to do with bridle weight, but with leverage, the actual action of the bit itself, that puts pressure on the poll.

JRG
Sep. 7, 2009, 06:55 PM
JRG, the concept of poll pressure usually has nothing to do with bridle weight, but with leverage, the actual action of the bit itself, that puts pressure on the poll.

Thank you I am aware of how a bridle works. I was stating an observation.

Bossmare, that looks like the snaffle bridle you can get in Dover's cat. for around 90.00.

Invite
Sep. 7, 2009, 07:41 PM
I believe Dressage Extensions carries Cashel foam channels that can be used under crown pieces or cavesons. They also have some sheepskin caveson and crown "pad thingies".

angel
Sep. 7, 2009, 08:04 PM
The original poster did not say anything that I can see about using a double bridle. If the headstall is a normal headstall, and is being used with the snaffle bit shown, then I might think the headstall's browband is too small for this particular horse. If that is the case, it is probably holding the bit hanger too closely over the acupressure points that are immediately behind the ears, creating moments of discomfort when the reins are used.

JRG
Sep. 7, 2009, 08:38 PM
The op mentioned a change in equipment. What have you tried?

ToN Farm
Sep. 7, 2009, 09:42 PM
I agree about the browband possibly being too short, which is the case with most that come with bridles. One suggestion would be to get a padded cutback crown piece with a longer browband. I like the bridles were the noseband is part of the bridle.....like the Jerry's Bridle.

http://www.jerrysharnessshop.com/snafflebridlecaveson504.htm

MidlifeCrisis
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:41 PM
The original poster did not say anything that I can see about using a double bridle. If the headstall is a normal headstall, and is being used with the snaffle bit shown, then I might think the headstall's browband is too small for this particular horse. If that is the case, it is probably holding the bit hanger too closely over the acupressure points that are immediately behind the ears, creating moments of discomfort when the reins are used.

No double bridle. I have no concrete evidence that he's experiencing poll pressure when I'm on his back. However, on the ground, if I put my hand on his poll with gentle pressure, he will put his head to the ground. We are at training level. The bit is mild and he accepts it. Teeth are good, saddle fit is good, shoeing is good, diet is good, selenium is adequate :)
He often does try an evasion by getting behind the contact which I can overcome by driving him forward.

I think the browband is a strong possibility. He has a big head and it seems tight in that area. I will try riding him without it and see how it goes before I go shopping.

I guess my question should have been: explain to me if this loose-ring snaffle bit can create leverage to exert pressure on his poll.

Thanks everybody.

whicker
Sep. 7, 2009, 10:52 PM
eesterson's bridle crown piece works well for a horse who has injured his bursa behind his ears. One of my vets recommended it for one of my horses who was flipped by the cowboy who was starting him under saddle. We have done osteopathic as well as regular work on him. It has been many years since the original injury, but he is still hyper-sensitive. I think the common name for this injury is "poll evil".

slc2
Sep. 8, 2009, 05:50 AM
Poll Evil is an infection. Sometimes the infection starts because a trauma breaks the skin and allows the infection to get in. It is usually a brucellosis infection and if it worsens, winds up with draining tracts (fistulas) and can leave a thickened area. A similar condition can happen in the withers. I think there are (human) health issues as brucella can infect humans.

your horse might have been trained to put his head down when you put your hand on his poll. Many horses are taught that. That's often how breakers bridle the horse, and it's quite common in Western training overall.

If he's just lowering his head, not shaking his head or raising his head and trying to avoid being bridled, I'd question if he actually is sensitive in the poll.

Trixie's mom
Sep. 8, 2009, 07:25 AM
have you had a good vet and/or chiro/accu. person look at the horse? maybe they are in pain already and any tweak in the poll area makes it worse?

whicker
Sep. 8, 2009, 11:10 AM
slc,

My horse didn't have the broken skin/infection. We know that he was cartwheeled and he did have other major injuries from it. He does shake his head, raise it and use to panic if there was ANY poll pressure or he brought his head into vertical position. He is better now, but just started again under saddle. He has a super temperment, so he is trained to do things on the ground plus clicker positive re-enforcement..

Ps, I hope your asthma gets better. This is one of the worst times of the year for me, too.

Valentina_32926
Sep. 8, 2009, 11:15 AM
I had a beautiful very delicate looking bridle with a split headpiece for my mare. She hated it (too much pressure). I now have a jerry's bridle with padded crown and she's very comfortable with it - and by the way I use the same bit that you have in your post.

My double is an Arc d'Triumphe and also has a padded crown used with a short shanked curb and more narrow bit as she prefers that.

goeslikestink
Sep. 8, 2009, 11:53 AM
I agree about the browband possibly being too short, which is the case with most that come with bridles. One suggestion would be to get a padded cutback crown piece with a longer browband. I like the bridles were the noseband is part of the bridle.....like the Jerry's Bridle.

http://www.jerrysharnessshop.com/snafflebridlecaveson504.htm

tend to agree it can cause pressure well not so much as pressure but one of discomfort somee horses have large foreheads so th head peice and th brow band need to be bigger
as some horses and even ponies are inbetween sizes check the lenght of the cheek peices to as some times thye need to be changed mostly though a good fited bridle and a well made one you shouldnt have to alter it but there are exceptions when a horse might have like i said a bigger forehead which might not effect the lenght of the bridle

as and also if the bridle for exsample is o short then that would put pressure on the poll also
so its really important that the bridle is fitted correctly to the horse

for a guidance of bridles and types and bits and fitting please look here on my helpful links pages

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=178116
then pleas go to link 4 on page 1

Icecapade
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:49 PM
just an outside question: if the horse is supposed to carry the bit- how can you say its 'poll pressure' from the weight of bits?

in my mind it would be a different issue if that were the case- which I from everything I know about bits should be the case (the carrying the bit part)

Ibex
Sep. 8, 2009, 12:56 PM
My youngster is super sensitive about her pole/ears... a combo of a slightly too-large browband and sheepskin pad over the pole resolved the issue. I've since swapped the sheepskin for a stubben leather pad, and I don't think she noticed the difference.

MidlifeCrisis
Sep. 8, 2009, 05:05 PM
I looked at the bridle closer today and the crown piece is butting up against the base of his ear. So, I will take his bridle to the tack shop and get a bigger browband. The rest of the bridle is a good fit. The bit sits nicely in his mouth and isn't cranked up tight. He chew on the bit when it first goes in, but he doesn't fuss with it when he's working.

This is a NH-trained horse who worked cattle for 3 years. He was trained to submit to poll pressure, hence the lowering of the head when I put my hand up on his poll. He is a stoic animal and doesn't complain much. But we have had our biggest issues with relaxation. So if I can help him be more comfortable, than that's what I want to do.

I don't know if the browband will change anything on him. I was just curious what others do if they feel that their horse is objecting to poll pressure under saddle.

goeslikestink
Sep. 8, 2009, 05:11 PM
I looked at the bridle closer today and the crown piece is butting up against the base of his ear. So, I will take his bridle to the tack shop and get a bigger browband. The rest of the bridle is a good fit. The bit sits nicely in his mouth and isn't cranked up tight. He chew on the bit when it first goes in, but he doesn't fuss with it when he's working.

This is a NH-trained horse who worked cattle for 3 years. He was trained to submit to poll pressure, hence the lowering of the head when I put my hand up on his poll. He is a stoic animal and doesn't complain much. But we have had our biggest issues with relaxation. So if I can help him be more comfortable, than that's what I want to do.

I don't know if the browband will change anything on him. I was just curious what others do if they feel that their horse is objecting to poll pressure under saddle.

it will as there isnt any room round his ears which in turn makes the bridle tight so having aa bigger brow band might just do the trick , as you should be able to comfortable place the bridle on the head without him being agitated by trying to get on and up and over the ears

ToN Farm
Sep. 8, 2009, 05:39 PM
Another thing......it has been my experience that horses sensitive or worried about their polls will raise their heads when the poll is touched, not lower it.

JRG
Sep. 8, 2009, 10:10 PM
Weight is a factor in lots of things.

The study of rider weight in "onto Atlanta" detailed that just 10% of a horses body weight changed the way the horse moved.

Toe weights on standardbred racehorses, changes the way the hoof travels.

Why wouldn't weight of bits on a bridle? Especially one that maybe ill fitting, or a horse trained to submit at the pole with pressure.

I think it would be an interesting study.

Just athough in addition to the fit of the bridle, is the horse unsure of what you are asking, you mentioned the horse was at training level. Could it be the horse may be a little unsure of its way or lacking fitness that you maybe seeing another way thinking it maybe because of pole pressure? Just thoughts without seeing what is going on.

Icecapade
Sep. 9, 2009, 11:18 AM
Weight is a factor in lots of things.

The study of rider weight in "onto Atlanta" detailed that just 10% of a horses body weight changed the way the horse moved.

Toe weights on standardbred racehorses, changes the way the hoof travels.

Why wouldn't weight of bits on a bridle? Especially one that maybe ill fitting, or a horse trained to submit at the pole with pressure.

I think it would be an interesting study.

Just athough in addition to the fit of the bridle, is the horse unsure of what you are asking, you mentioned the horse was at training level. Could it be the horse may be a little unsure of its way or lacking fitness that you maybe seeing another way thinking it maybe because of pole pressure? Just thoughts without seeing what is going on.

I agree-weight is critical in vaquero style riding the weight of the bit gives you the connection in combination w/ properly balenced and weighted reins... rather than a direct contact like dressage- the weight issue here though is related to the poll... and if your horse is supposed to be carrying the bit- it shouldn't affect the poll pressure issue I wouldn't think (i.e. if you're horse doesn't drop the bit when you take the bridle down- he tends to carry the bit obviously and its not weighted on his poll)

I'd love to see a study on weights- esp as I'm much more partial to a 'heavier' bit vs a lighter one

Kafue
Oct. 11, 2009, 03:58 PM
I came on today to search for help for my mare. I did a search for head shaking and this thread came up and I am pretty sure this is the problem with my mare. She is just under saddle this year and doing very, very well. She scored a 69.4% in her second dresssage test ever. However, she has always had a bit of an issue with her ears and poll, she spends a lot of time rubbing her ears against the cross bar on the door of her stall and I went as far as to have ther vet tranq her and have a good look in her ears but he found nothing. Now she is head shaking whenever I ask for collection, she will warm up fine and then about 15 minutes into a ride she will start shaking her head violently and look very uncomfortable. I am pretty sure that her bridle is putting too much pressure on her poll. My bridle is a courbette the same as the OP which is quite wide across the poll. I hate to see her so uncomfortable as she is a happy soul and has enjoyed her rides a lot up till recently.

MidlifeCrisis
Oct. 12, 2009, 10:20 PM
I'm the OP. I just got a new browband from Jerry's (YUM) that's a full inch longer. Now the crownpiece doesn't butt up against his ears. In hindsight, I should have titled this thread "Ill-fitting bridle" instead of poll pressure. However, I did learn a lot from the replies. Thanks!