draft's and Bosals???

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draft's and Bosals???

This is a discussion on draft's and Bosals??? within the Draft Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    01-06-2010, 06:24 PM
draft's and Bosals???

Does anyone use a bosal with their draft?
I'll be buying a horse in the spring and would like to maybe try a bosal or some other form of bitless bridal. I like the look of bosals though.
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    01-07-2010, 02:31 PM
I've never ridden a draft in a bosal before, but I've ridden a lot of drafts and draft crosses. One thing you have to keep in mind is that drafts are immensely strong. If they were not already trained to be soft and responsive to a bitless bridle then you would have to do that training yourself because otherwise willing through the bridle will be easy for them. As a generalization drafts can be very heavy in the hand and often have a tendency to lean on the bit and so I would think they would also pull and lean on the bosal. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. The most heavy header horse I have ever ridden was a draft, yet the lightest headed horse I have ever ridden was also a draft (both percheron mares trained by the same person). So really it is a mater of each individual horse, not a mater of breed. I guarantee there are probably many drafts out there that go fine bitless, but there are probably many more that would be a disaster without a bit. Again, a lot of this has to do with training, but sometimes it's just their nature.

On a side note, why is it you want to ride the horse bitless? Just curious. The bit is not a cure devise until you put it into cruel hands. You have such a higher level of communication and control with a bit than you ever will have without one. That's just a fact. What do you plan to do with your horse?

    01-07-2010, 03:42 PM
My husband rides our Clyde cross in either a halter or a bosal.

She is great about it and has a ton of respect for it. She's just a coming three year old.
    01-07-2010, 03:54 PM
If you are new to horses you should not be using any bitless bridle in my opinion. It is very easy for an inexperienced person to get a horse ignoring a bitless bridle. A bosal is not gentler than a snaffle bit. If used incorrectly you can easily skin up a horses jaw and the top of thier nose.
    01-07-2010, 04:55 PM
Jubilee- I just like the look of the bosal, the tack used would be horse specific, if the horse worked better with a bit, then that would be the direction I would go.
Kevinshorses - although it is correct that I do not currently own a horse, I am by no means new to the horse world. I do agree that whatever method used could harm a horse if not used correctly.
    01-07-2010, 05:00 PM
Whoa, I just realized that I made a whole lot of typos and misspellings in my last post. Sorry, hope you got the point.

I totally agree with Keveinshorses. I learned the hard way that using a bitless bridle is not as easy as it looks. Back a few years ago when I was first getting into horse training I tried training my own horse in a bitless Indian bosal (It's kind of like a combination of a cross under bitless bridle and a side pull). He did great with it in the round pen and in the pasture, but I did not get him as responsive to it as I should of before taking him out on trail. I should have taught him how to flex from side to side with it and do a one rein stop. But I failed to do this. On his third trail ride every he spooked at something and bolted for the barn at top speed. I tried to pull one rein around in a one-rein stop but he completely ignored it. Pulled right through it like I was not even there. I only succeeded in pulling myself out of the saddle, falling on the ground and breaking my arm. He got a little layer of skin taken off his nose in the process. Not a good experience. Totally messed up my life out the time. Had to drop out of school, return home for two surgeries, and ended up having to sell my horse because I could not work any more. Do I blame the bitless bridle? No, I blame myself for not preparing my horse properly. But, if I had trained him using the bit things might have turned out a little differently.

You live, you learn. I'm back in the saddle now, no more worse for ware, but I've got a nasty scare on my arm to remind me to be smart and listen to my gut (which I didn't). I'm telling you what happened to me so that hopefully it wont happen to you. Not trying to scare you away from using a bosal, just letting you know about the risks.


Edit: Sorry, didn't see your last post Alicia. If the only reason you want to use one is for the looks then I would not suggest it. But that is just my opinion. If you do find a draft that is already trained to it, then go for it! Otherwise, stick with what you know.
    01-07-2010, 05:40 PM
Originally Posted by Alicia    
Kevinshorses - although it is correct that I do not currently own a horse, I am by no means new to the horse world. I do agree that whatever method used could harm a horse if not used correctly.
Traditionaly the bosal was used after the snaffle bit and before the spade bit. You get the best results that way still. After the horse is neck reining I the snaffle and doing everything else properly then he is ridden in the hackamore (consisting of bosal, headstall and reins). That's my advice to you but good luck either way.
    01-07-2010, 09:08 PM
I have a Gypsy Vanner, that I ride with just a rope halter all the time (I know they're smaller than most draughts, but still...) I did a lot of ground work with her first to make sure she was responsive with it, to be honest she's even more responsive without the bit than she is with! (Not that that is neccessarily the case with your horse, but it would be worth a try, just make sure you do some ground exercises first) I hope you have fun with your new draught by the way, they're gentle!

However, I've never tried her with a Bosal specifically, and I don't know how it works regarding pressure points. But as long as you have something that will incorporate pressure and release, it should be effective (and like everyone has said, just be careful, whatever you choose to use, but I'm sure you know that by now hehe)
    01-07-2010, 11:21 PM
Jubilee- I didn't even notice the errors...lol

Thanks for all the great info guys - I appreciate it. There was a few things I didn't know about bosals, hense the thread. So I think I'll stick to the snaffle and go from there (probably never deviating from that, since I like to use what works...lol).
    01-11-2010, 06:29 PM
I have a draft cross and I have never seen a bosal that would fit her properly if I thought I wanted to use one and her head isn't even huge. Most bosals seem to be designed for the smaller headed horse, such as the Quarter horse.
Unless you are showing and have to meet certain standards for a class I would say just find a nice, easy on the mouth bit and stick with it.
Doing a lot of groundwork with your horse will help it understand about bending softly and make it far more responsive to the bit. My mare is 6 years old, I started her on a D ring snaffle and that is where I will keep her since I don't do any showing. She is happy and comfortable with it and so am I.
I do love watching a well trained Quarter Horse in a hackamore class though.

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