Bitless GP dressage

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Bitless GP dressage

This is a discussion on Bitless GP dressage within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Why cant you ride bitless in dressage
  • Do horses respond better bitted or bitless

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    06-09-2011, 05:13 PM
Bitless GP dressage

FN Training Seminar with Hess and Graf: "Quality Equitation Leads to Success" | eurodressage

Read the whole article. Seems that ALL the GP dressage movements can be ridden bitless.
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    06-09-2011, 09:01 PM
That was an interesting article to read!

I'm not starting arguments here, but to me on those pics looks like the rider has strong contact (aka pressure) on the nose. Is that indeed true or I'm missing something?
    06-09-2011, 09:26 PM
Yup, a lot of movements can be ridden bitless. So can reiners. The point of the bridle is to show off how subtle cues your horse can respond to and that it is TRAINED to carry a bit WELL.
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    06-09-2011, 09:29 PM
Since I'm on my phone perhaps you can clarify - bitless (I.e. A nose control contraption) or bridleless?
I'm not impressed by bitless riding - you're just shifting pressure from the mouth to the nose/chin. So what? What does that prove?
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    06-09-2011, 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
That was an interesting article to read!

I'm not starting arguments here, but to me on those pics looks like the rider has strong contact (aka pressure) on the nose. Is that indeed true or I'm missing something?
Very Good, Kitten_Val;
I blew up the still image before I saw the video. The cross under rein bridle has been modified so that the chin strap does not run continuous from the nose band....instead it comes in front of the rings and under the jaw. So what is occurring is actually extreme nose pressure and in the video the rings that the reins are going through actually appear to high up on the side of the head.

Dressage is not about the bit, dressage is about the performance of the horse. I would prefer to see bitted riders not being dependant upon the bits, however, this video clearly demonstrates that even well intentioned demonstrations of bitless shows the dependency upon using the bridle as if it were bitted.

FYI, I was schooled originally to use a simple snaffle without me taking the bit nor allowing the horse to take the bit. Contact was in ounces of pressure. So I do have the knowledge and experience to ride bitted.
    06-09-2011, 09:40 PM
I, admittedly, know nothing about dressage but I do know a thing or two about horses. I still attest that it is not which equipment you use, it's how it's used, how the horse is trained, and how they are ridden. Bitless or bitted, pressure is still pressure is still pressure. It's about teaching the horse to respond to it appropriately whether it comes from their mouth or their nose.

One thing I would love to see is video a GP level dressage horse that had been trained bitless from day one as compared to one trained with a bit.
    06-09-2011, 09:47 PM
So... what's the point to this post? We know you can ride dressage bitless, that has never been an area of contention. Spirithorse, you fight tooth and claw about how awful bits are and riding with so much pressure on the horse's head, you should be able to ride with barely a touch of the rein.
Great, we know your opinions and funnily enough, we all agree that YES, the rider should not rely on the bit to essentially hold themselves upright in the saddle.
The bit is used to provide a contact on the front end of the horse, to which the energy generated in the hind quarters can be cycled through, thus creating the upward 'lift' of paces and swing of the back.

So riding in a bitless bridle, essentially you are doing exactly the same thing, but the contact is on the nose rather than the mouth. A rider can still brace and lean against this contact and cause immense damage to the nasal bones of the horse.

So how is this so much better than riding with a bit??

I don't understand what you're getting at with this post, initially you are saying 'oh look, dressage can be ridden bitless, this is a much better way than with a bit'.... then KV points out that the rider is bracing heavily against the nose anyway, even without a bit, and you suddenly change you tune and you're saying that there is extreme pressure shown in this.

How is this effectively arguing your case that bitless is far kinder than bitted??
    06-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Kayty and Smrobs;

You have raised valid points.
I posted this to show the incorrect usage of bitless and found that this particular bridle was redesigned to add more nose pressure. In examining bitless videos on the Internet, all I see is excessive rein pressure which "does" cause such pressure to the nose.

I did not change my tune. In fact, I never said anything other than GP could be done bitless. The point of posting the video is to show the extreme pressure upon the nose..............!!!! Its wrong.......!!!!

Also, to see if anyone could see the difference in how this horse's front end is moving compared to bitted. There are some small improvements over a bitted horse...

A rider who stays out of the horse's bitted mouth can achieve a great deal, just where are these riders in GP?

I am not arguing bitted v. Bitless, I am posting to show that I am anti-incorrect riding either way.

I do not ride in this manner and there is very light contact on the nose because my reins do not apply continuous pressure to the jaws.....
I ride with extreme light contact and with a touch and let go rhythm so there is not constant pulling pressure in the rein contact.
    06-09-2011, 10:10 PM
Green Broke
Basically, the entire point of this post was to yet again bash any bitless bridle that isn't designed by spirithorse8.

    06-09-2011, 10:13 PM
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj    
Basically, the entire point of this post was to yet again bash any bitless bridle that isn't designed by spirithorse8.


Why do you try and cause a stink?

The point is simply that incorrect bitless dressage is not better than incorrect bitted dressage........geesh.........

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