Double bridle. Why? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 01:30 AM
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You are misinformed. Actually I've never used a Waterford - on Denny or any of my previous horses. I am simply not against an educated hand using one.



Ah. Well that is what I percieved in the thread you started about Waterfords and said that you were thinking of using one with Denny. So I assumed that was what you were using with him due to your thread.

So if it is ok to use a Waterford with "educated" hands, then what is the difference with those is upper level dressage using a double bridle?

And as Spyder says, if one hasn't compeated at that level, then they have no clue what they are talking about.

And as David O'Connor and many Olympic Level Riders state - "Train at home in a snaffle, use what you need to get the job done in the competative ring"

I have seen Prix Saint George Dressage Competators train at home in snaffles, but in the show ring, they use the Double.

Rules are rules. Like it or lump it.

Refining aids, I cannot speak about because I've never been shown the differences.

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post #22 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 01:42 AM
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No, I haven't used a Waterford, I did switch him to a full cheek french link and he seems very happy in it, so hopefully that's the end of the bit saga.
I also beg to differ about the comment about not showing at that level means I'm not educated - for one, I have absolutely no desire to show, and secondly I do believe I have a fairly good grasp on what I do talk about. I do not know everything by any means - not even close!! However, saying that I cannot comment because I haven't shown at that level makes no sense to me.
I'm just presenting the argument that there is no absolute reason for there to be a rule to use a double bridle - I tried my best to explain myself in my previous posts. I see no reason for there to be a rule for a horse to be ridden in a double at the upper levels - if a horse could perform at that level in a snaffle and hold up against the big boys, why not?
I have absolutely nothing against a double bridle in educated hands, I'm just saying that if someone could ride competitively at that level in a snaffle, why not? (Besides tradition.)
Rules are rules is fine, I'm just presenting a friendly debate.


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post #23 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 01:53 AM
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I agree with JDI. Certainly, many riders may find it easier to use a double bridle. But I think it should be up to the rider if they want to use a double bridle or not, because some may find a snaffle easier. I do not ever plan on reaching sky-high levels of dressage, but if I did, I would have to spend a chunk of time learning to ride with a double bridle. That is a big setback time wise. I don't care if it's tradition, it's outdated. If anything, it is a fashion. If a judge is really too disgusted or distracted by a rider wearing (gasp!) navy blue breeches to judge the quality of a test for example, they need to work on their own focus. Same for a rider using a (another gasp!) snaffle during a test. It is very easy to find "snobbery" regarding equipment and attire. Honestly, it's a traditional fashion. It is not necessary to the sport.

Exhibit X Dressage Wear Blog Archive What Should I Wear for a Dressage Show? Part 5: What are the USEF Rules Regarding Helmets, Top Hats, and Gloves?

With a quick google search, I found this little piece of work. Ignoring the broken-neckline header of the page, this dressage wear company stresses the importance of white gloves, stating that "white gloves are more common in the dressage ring, but black gloves are also seen, especially in the lower levels where less experienced riders can "camouflage" unsteady hands". lolwut. How can you judge the value of a rider by the color of the gloves? You can't. Just as you can't judge the value of a rider based on what kind of bridle or attire they use. Companies can just squeeze a lot more money out of the sport if they make you feel inferior because you use cheaper clothing, equipment etc. I know the rulebook enforcers will viciously disagree with me on this, but I'm talking about the sport as a whole. Dressage-training. That's all there is, the goal of a well-trained horse and rider. Shadbellies, white gloves, and double bridles are not necessary for this goal.

Sorry for the text randomly getting smaller, I'm not quite sure what happened there.

Last edited by roro; 10-25-2009 at 02:01 AM.
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post #24 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by roro View Post
I agree with JDI. Certainly, many riders may find it easier to use a double bridle. But I think it should be up to the rider if they want to use a double bridle or not, because some may find a snaffle easier.
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Ahh, this is what I was trying to get across. That perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad thing for doubles to not be required... my argument for this being that perhaps there are some horses out there that can execute these movements in a snaffle only, that a double may not be required for "sensitive" communication for some horses.
I am not arguing tradition, but if we are upholding tradition and every rule in the USDF, then we should also look at why the top level horses are travelling hollow, why the poll isn't the highest point, why the extended trot is unharmonious (but flashy!)... I could go on.
Out of respect for the discipline, I can understand a bit of strictness regarding apparel, but when it comes to equipment - if a horse goes better in a softer bit and without spurs, why aren't we encouraging this?
Perhaps it's time for Dressage to take reform!


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post #25 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
- if a horse goes better in a softer bit and without spurs, why aren't we encouraging this?
Perhaps it's time for Dressage to take reform!
Feel free to form a group and lobby for it then.
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post #26 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
Feel free to form a group and lobby for it then.
*feels empowered even if Spyder's comment was mostly in jest/facetious*

Spyder, I see your point - really I do, but I would like it even more if there was an option for people to ride in a snaffle instead of a double bridle. I absolutely understand the application of the weymouth, and respect that.. but I see it misused a lot out there right now, people using it to overpower their horse rather than just using it as needed for finesse. More to the point, if a horse can do those movements well in nothing but a snaffle, why add more?
In my absolutely humble opinion, there could be a bit of a change.


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Last edited by JustDressageIt; 10-25-2009 at 02:15 AM.
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post #27 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 04:45 AM
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I'm going with JDI on this one. Now my mare (and myself, for that matter) simply isn't capable of doing upper level dressage. However, if we were, I wouldn't want to ride her in a double bridle as I feel like it isn't needed.

As stated before, if I can do it in a snaffle, why can't I? I don't want to be forced to use a double when it isn't needed. I'm biased, because I'm still piddling around in 1st and 2nd level. So maybe my mind will change as I learn more. I love dressage and its traditions, but sometimes change is good. It is possible for old traditions to hold back a sport from progressing for the better. I'd persnally love to see someone ride Grand Prix in a snaffle and do just as well or better than a competitor in a double.
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post #28 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 10:16 AM
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I agree with JDI.
Double bridles are unnecessary. As much as I like Dressage it's a thing that puts me off.
"When you get to this level you'll understand." WTF kind of comment is that?
I personally, couldn't give a rat's backside what level people are at, if the horses doesn't need two bits ripping it in the mouth, the **** horse doesn't need a double.

Whatever, I'd personally like to see a rule put in place that enables people with controllable horses to ride in a bit that's comfortable.
Haruko who's been to the Nationals and was placed in the top 20 didn't need a double. I was asked by the rider if she could use a double and I refused to let her.
I'd rather pull her out of a competition than use one.
That and she'd just stick two fingers up and tell me where stick the Weymouth.

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post #29 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 10:24 AM
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I would just like to iterate that I don't think the double is abusive by any stretch of the meaning - in most hands. Most horses can carry both bits fine, and many riders have such a light hand that they can use the curb rein effectively and not to excess.
However, there are the few that spoil the fun for everyone and take advantage of the curb rein. I have heard an upper level rider say "get them through the snaffle stuff quick so you can use a double bridle to really get them going." That is not right.
I understand and appreciate the use of a curb in the upper levels - it gives you a sense of refinement. However, if you don't need a curb to get that refinement, perhaps you should be allowed to show at that level in a snaffle? I for one think it would be very neat to see that shift, to see someone win at that level with nothing more than a snaffle in his or her test.
If one feels they are fine without a double, why make it necessary?


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post #30 of 93 Old 10-25-2009, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Aoi Miku View Post
I agree with JDI.
Double bridles are unnecessary. As much as I like Dressage it's a thing that puts me off.
"When you get to this level you'll understand." WTF kind of comment is that?
I personally, couldn't give a rat's backside what level people are at, if the horses doesn't need two bits ripping it in the mouth, the **** horse doesn't need a double.

When you grow up and actually get an understanding of various bits and what each does and does not do.....then come back and a mature discussion can be made. In the meantime do your research.

More horses have been ruined by the simple snaffle than the double.
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