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Double Bridles

This is a discussion on Double Bridles within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Double bridle for gaited horse
  • Double bridle for horse that likes happy mouth

View Poll Results: Double Bridles
They are a great teaching aid 22 51.16%
I use them all the time 0 0%
They are unneccesary and cruel 4 9.30%
Don't have an opinon 17 39.53%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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    11-30-2012, 07:29 AM
  #121
Green Broke
Quote:
showing world, there is an attitude that once a horse's mouth is mature enough for a pelham/double and the rider has the skill to ride in it, that they should be ridden in it consistently. However, the number of things the showing world thinks should be done which collide majorly with proper dressage training is pretty huge, and there's a reason you can always spot a dressage-trained horse in the show ring - they always move up the line after the individual show.
Not sure where you get your information from however the vast majority of top show horses (and I am talking HOYS winners here) are consistantly schooled in snaffles, hacked in snaffles and often hunted in snaffles.
I know for a fact that the philanderer and Humdinger (both HOYS supreme champions) are schooled in their snaffles and hacked in ones.
I do not know of a top show horse that could not be take out tommorow and put in a medium level test and do well.

Heck show hacks could probably do advanced medium with thier riders riding one handed! I know one show hack that is currently working to PSG level and still being shown!
     
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    11-30-2012, 07:55 AM
  #122
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
Not sure where you get your information from however the vast majority of top show horses (and I am talking HOYS winners here) are consistantly schooled in snaffles, hacked in snaffles and often hunted in snaffles.
I know for a fact that the philanderer and Humdinger (both HOYS supreme champions) are schooled in their snaffles and hacked in ones.
I do not know of a top show horse that could not be take out tommorow and put in a medium level test and do well.

Heck show hacks could probably do advanced medium with thier riders riding one handed! I know one show hack that is currently working to PSG level and still being shown!
I've said before that I've never ridden at HOYS, but I've ridden various classes of horses and ponies as far as the Royal Highland, so my information I've got from practical experience. And as I said the dressage trained horses do better - so it doesn't surprise me at all that top level show horses could walk through a medium test! But most horse never get to HOYS level, same as most horses never get to GP dressage - so I'm referring to the attitude of the masses in the showing world, not the top few. And this is definitely something I've seen far too much.
     
    11-30-2012, 08:00 AM
  #123
Green Broke
Perhaps in scotland (having never been showing in scotland I can't comment on it) and some of the childrens classes it deffinatly is, however I've shown all my life at county level and HOYS qualifiers, I've had horses at Sarah Challinors, am currently on a showing yard and I have regular contact/advice from Carol Bardo and Jayne webber. Those consistantly at the top of the line are dressage trained and ridden regularly in a snaffle.

It is like any discipline there are those that see bits as a shortcut or don't understand the principles and thus use it incorrectly. I've seen many many low level dressage riders constantly riding in drawreins and not engaging the horses behind. Take the draw reins off for the 4 mins of the test, and then they go straight back on.
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    11-30-2012, 08:10 AM
  #124
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by faye    
perhaps in scotland (having never been showing in scotland I can't comment on it) and some of the childrens classes it deffinatly is, however I've shown all my life at county level and HOYS qualifiers, I've had horses at Sarah Challinors, am currently on a showing yard and I have regular contact/advice from Carol Bardo and Jayne webber. Those consistantly at the top of the line are dressage trained and ridden regularly in a snaffle.

It is like any discipline there are those that see bits as a shortcut or don't understand the principles and thus use it incorrectly. I've seen many many low level dressage riders constantly riding in drawreins and not engaging the horses behind. Take the draw reins off for the 4 mins of the test, and then they go straight back on.
This was my point - showing in a double and training in it was used as an example, and I pointed out that correctly trained horses worked in snaffles according to proper dressage principles place better - its a fact. And I agree that the horses I see win classes (and I show at our equivalent of county level and HOYS qualifying classes, the differences are when we've won HOYS qualifiers we don't go - it's too far and far too expensive to travel) are the ones trained properly, despite the number of people within the discipline who preach what I said about mature mouths etc. There are a lot of people in the showing world who say this, but there's a reason why properly dressage train horses win at the higher levels!
     
    12-06-2012, 07:51 PM
  #125
Foal
My pony is 24 years old now, and he works in a snaffle for everything with his sharer but I ride him in his pelham with 2 reins every other time I ride him because I want him to be happy in it and to go well in it. I hack, school and even jump him over tiny fences in it.

Whilst a lot of top dressage riders or show riders/producers may use the snaffle for most work, I still think that a horse and rider must be happy with it and it's use which takes time and practice. I also do not believe that a snaffle is necessarily the best choice for every horse, or that at all snaffles are milder than curb bits.

However, double bridles are never a quick fix to a problem. They should help you refine your aids once your horse is at a reasonable level of schooling. It should not be used to control a strong horse as its sole purpose, for instance.

But, used correctly, there is no reason not to ride in it every day if used correctly.
     
    12-06-2012, 08:06 PM
  #126
Foal
Also, it is interesting to hear about bits as 'short cuts'. I believed that I should ride in a snaffle for 8 years of owning my pony, and when I introduced the hartwell pelham, he immediately seemed more comfortable because of the tongue room.

I searched for a snaffle with a port but didn't find anything suitable so I have taken the curb off of a kimblewick to use as a snaffle because it has a tongue groove. My pony is far happier, but unfortunately I cannot find a dressage legal snaffle with a port.

To get the point, I was surprised how much difference a bit could make as previously I was very snaffle, jointed or double jointed etc for my pony, yet he is happier in his pelham than anything else.

Of course, it is not a training aid. Bitting should be about making your horse comfortable, and I think that it is a shame that dressage doesn't allow the grakle noseband at lower levels (given that it allows the flash...) and does not allow the pelham at higher levels, given that some horses do not have the room for 2 bits in their mouths.
     
    12-07-2012, 03:39 AM
  #127
Green Broke
The reason they do not allow a grakle is that it has a totaly different action to the flash. The grackle prevents twisting of the jaw, flash prevents opening of the mouth and also holds the bit stiller in the horses mouth.

They do not allow pelhams because you have no way of only having snaffle action in a pelham. You would not want to ride higher levels in a pelham either because the messeges you are giving to the horse are blurred and unclear.

There are NO dressage legal ported snaffles.
My lad loved his ported pelham and went realy well in it as he had very little room in this mouth (low pallette, fleshy tounge and bars, typical connie mouth conformation) however he was schooled to go equaly well in a thin frenchlink snaffle.

Most top riders are well used to riding in doubles correctly and don't need the practice, most top horses are used to the double so don't need riding in it constantly. Infact my show horses were schooled in thier doubles/pelhams for a couple of days prior to a show and that was it. Other top show producers that I know after the initial training only ever put a double in thier mouth at competitions.
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    12-07-2012, 02:53 PM
  #128
Weanling
" But, used correctly, there is no reason not to ride in it every day if used correctly"
I wouldn't presume to comment on any other disciplines who use double bridles such as gaited horses since I know nothing about them or their training, but in the context of dressage, this statement shows a lack of understanding of the purpose of the snaffle, the double bridle, and upper level dressage overall. I have never known anyone who rode regularly in a double, much less every day, and I have been 'round the arena for a long time.
     
    12-16-2012, 01:03 PM
  #129
Weanling
They are for tact and NUANCE. VERY specific actions for each bit to affect balance.
     
    12-28-2012, 04:53 AM
  #130
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by katdressagegirl    
Because my horse likes to carry himself very crookedly and he disguises that by holding his head in the air. I cannot push him up into the bridle because he then just starts running and ignores my half-halts. So I use the bridle to contain him better so I can get him more on his hind end. And once he is there I can position him better so that he carries himself more straight.
If there is problems with crokedness then it is imperitive that you school in a snaffle as the horse MUST go forwards first in rhythm, then comes suppleness developed through systematic work in the school, circles, loops and serpentines for lateral suppleness and transitions between and within paces for longitudinal suppleness. When the horse is supple he is more able to maintain an even contact, neither raising his head above the bit, becoming overbent or leaning on the bit.

The double will mask many of these symptoms and will often stifle forward movement - the horse feels improved but often is not working throough.

The curb for a time will encourage the horse to bring it's nose in as the chain acting as a fulcrum tightens around the jaw, and the leverage generates poll pressure. What we really want is for the horse to stretch it's neck over the nose - imagine pushing the ears forward away from you rather than bringing the nose in.
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