Bitless Dressage - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 35 Old 06-09-2012, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tnavas View Post
The ultimate answer is YES a horse can produce good quality dressage in a bitless bridle.
Anebel never said that they couldn't. She said that they probably couldn't be trained to that level without a bit at any stage.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #22 of 35 Old 06-09-2012, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
Anebel never said that they couldn't. She said that they probably couldn't be trained to that level without a bit at any stage.
Oh dear!

I will rephrase...............The ultimate answer is YES a horse can be trained to do good quality dressage in a bitless bridle and will not need to do part of the training with a bit!


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post #23 of 35 Old 06-09-2012, 12:25 PM
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So far, all I hear are baseless claims.

Based on what evidence are you stating this, Tnavas? Generally, to state something as fact it must be fact. And the fact is you can't even produce a video of a horse who has been schooled solely in a bitless doing better that a poor second level.
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post #24 of 35 Old 06-09-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
So far, all I hear are baseless claims.

Based on what evidence are you stating this, Tnavas? Generally, to state something as fact it must be fact. And the fact is you can't even produce a video of a horse who has been schooled solely in a bitless doing better that a poor second level.
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Anebel - I don't own a video camera - so can't help with the actual movie that I personally have videoed.

I state from over 40 years of working with horses and riders. As a trainer, examiner and from being out and about and having an open mind. I am very aware that you are passionate about your dressage - you only have to watch your video to see that you really enjoy it, but you are very closed minded about what is 'Acceptable' - remember we have been having a similar discussion in the 'Can drafts do dressage'. Just another lovely pic of Airthrey Highlander the Clydesdale in Piaffe.


Go Googling - and you will find that there are horses working totally bridleless! They do very presentable work and have never ever had a bridle on them. We just don't see it much away from home because it is not competition acceptable.
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post #25 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 01:36 AM
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It has nothing to do with acceptable and a lot to do with possible.

Most purpose bred horses are able to do dressage. Very few draft horses are able to do dressage. So when one is looking for a dressage horse it makes sense to look for a purpose bred one, instead of leafing through hundreds of draft horse ads.
Same thing with the bitless. Very few horses are agreeable to one, very few riders are capable of riding in one, so why would one think that they can hop on their horse and train "true" dressage in a bitless?? It is proven to be far more difficult than riding in a bit.

I, unlike you, am able to see that winning the lottery is a very, very rare occurrence. I have ridden in a bitless, and ridden my fair share of unsuitable horses for dressage, far from closed minded. I like to think I am realistic.
If you are the one wanting to prove your point then you can be the one to do the Googling. You've seemed to be able to do it before with those lacklustre videos in your previous post.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #26 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 03:37 AM
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Anebel - You have missed the point on both the threads - as you aren't prepared to look outside the square.

Quote Bobthebuilder - "So my question is- is it possible to do dressage properly in a bitless bridle?"

Answer - Yes it is possible - its as possible to do as it is in a bitted bridle - if you are the right rider.

Quote Ceasar (can drafts tdo good dressage thread) - i am a taller rider at 6'5 but im not really heavy for my height (185)... I was wondering if drafts often make talented dressage horses and if so which types in particular?

Answer - They can but it is rare - they are very active horses with strong quarters but often lack the ability to lengthen. They are easy to train and are less likely to stress.

In an ideal world if you are a dedicated dressage rider with high ambitions you obviously won't look first at a draft or one that is ridden bitless. Bowie the Clydesdale was in fact a top level showjumper until an injury stopped him jumping - so drafts can be awesome competition horses. Warmbloods may be bred to do dressage but there are many around who are not able to do dressage beyond 3rd level.

For the majority of riders - going to the top is not on their wish list they want to enjoy their horse. I bought myself a warmblood when they first becme fashionable but sold it on as it was boring to ride - I loved my TB and took him up to Open Medium before Navicular forced him into retirement.
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post #27 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 05:01 AM
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Lol, reading these comments...hilarious

Love that someone put the pick up of airthrey highlander, he's amazing, seem that same rider produce a lot of other unconventional horses up the grades to.

All horses can be trained to do dressage to some level, I'm sure most could be trained to do most of the grand prix movements, to a competitive standard, absolutely not, with suppleness and collection yes within their physical limits.

Training is training, you can train a horse to go bit less just as easily to accept the bit, your just going to have differant obstacles with each. Bit less from my experiance only, you will have to probably sacrifice the contact a little bit. But I laughed myself silly when previously someone said no contact no control, those are two seperated issues. Bridles have problems to, some horses are super sensitive to pressure in the mouth and struggle to accept the bit...

I sit firmly in the middle, those who say bits are cruel, well anything is cruel in the wrong hands. Thoses who think only a few horses can go bit less are wrong it's just training like any other. I break my horses in just with a rope halter, but they all go one to compete bitted because that's the rules, I don't find one way better or worse than the other or mutually exclusive...
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post #28 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 05:46 AM
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wild horses - Airthrey Higlander is awesome and his rider seems to get the best out of everything he rides. I met AH in the flesh at HOY this year with Bill desperately trying to keep him out of the lake where he was determined to go. The horse is quite a character and to be able to compete top level in bot Dressage and Show Jumping shows the versatility of the Clydie crosses.

The horse had the right rider in both disciplines!
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post #29 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 01:56 PM
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Lordy, this is getting heated!! And perhaps a tad too personal??
In terms of Drafts doing Dressage, our National Champion, Claggan Roxy Music, is a full Irish Draft mare competing at GP both here and in the UK and doing quite well. There is also a quite famous Clydesdalex in the uk called Mr. President doing very well at GP. On that note, there is a very hairy traditional black and white cob (feathers, mustache and all!) competing successfully at Medium in the UK.
As one of my trainers once said, any sound horse should be able to school to at least medium. They just have to have that bit 'extra' to be competitive. But as you go up the levels, it is often the horses who DO NOT have that 'flash' movement who achieve as it is so much harder to collect and keep sound a big moving horse (erm... Totilas;b).
As for bitless v bitted- horses for courses. A bad rider can do so much damage with a bit, and as I posted earlier, the Micklem bridle was specifically designed to NOT put any pressure on cranial nerves (unlike Drop nose bands, Cranks, Flashes etc- which can even if well fitted). Email and ask the man yourself, he'll answer you. And he starts all his youngsters in his bridles (William Micklem FBHS) including Mandiba (US eventing Team- Karen O'Connor). Contact isn't just about what happens in your hands, it's about connection from back to front. If you are good enough, you should be able to produce that without a piece of metal in your horse's mouth.
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post #30 of 35 Old 06-10-2012, 03:26 PM
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The thing about bitless is, the release. It seems to be a head-thing---bring in the head, and the pressure ceases. Or bring in the whole neck. Or shorten up the whole body. This might help teach a horse to collect himself, but it's not encouraging a free, thorough-the-back and body-energy.

The thing about the snaffle bit, the horse can find release merely by relaxing his jaw. It's nice for the horse new to dressage to find that relaxation itself can bring release. Collection comes about with more energy, not a backing up, so to speak.

I think well-trained horses can probably be ridden with no tack at all. . .
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