Double Bridles - Page 2

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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 explained
  • Double bridle 25t WLL

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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    11-05-2012, 07:36 PM
@ anebel: I agree with you in theory. Yet with him, it takes a combination of my body and my rein aids to get him to actually listen to my seat aids. When he becomes lighter off of my seat aids I won't need to use the bridle at all. However to get him to that point, I need to make my point with him that running through my aids is not ok. And besides I'd rather tell him once with the double then keep nagging him with the snaffle. After a half dozen rides with the double I will switch back to the snaffle. In this way he will learn that he needs to respect my seat and leg aids and he will be lighter in the bridle.
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    11-05-2012, 07:52 PM
I ONLY use a double bridle for the "tweaking" in my upper level movements. If my horse can't do the moves softly in a snaffle, I am not going to put the double bridle on. As long as the hind end is working properly the horse should be able to work lightly off seat and leg aids. No extra metal in the mouth needed.
caseymyhorserocks likes this.
    11-05-2012, 07:59 PM
Originally Posted by katdressagegirl    
@ anebel: I agree with you in theory. Yet with him, it takes a combination of my body and my rein aids to get him to actually listen to my seat aids. When he becomes lighter off of my seat aids I won't need to use the bridle at all. However to get him to that point, I need to make my point with him that running through my aids is not ok. And besides I'd rather tell him once with the double then keep nagging him with the snaffle. After a half dozen rides with the double I will switch back to the snaffle. In this way he will learn that he needs to respect my seat and leg aids and he will be lighter in the bridle.
This is a training problem and should be worked through in a snaffle. This is NOT the purpose of the double.
Chiilaa, BCtazzie, core and 3 others like this.
    11-05-2012, 08:01 PM
There's the issue with my horse...we are working on some things that are harder and it is imperative that he uses his body correctly. However, he's a long backed horse and in the past (I've only ridden him for about a year) he's gotten away with faking collection because he doesn't use his hind end enough. I need to get him moving forward so that he can truly be engaged, but in order to do this I need to get him more refined off my seat; or he just runs. As I've explained...

So the double bridle comes in very handy...when I half-halt him and he ignores me I can follow it up with another seat aid added with a touch of the rein. He then is much more willing to listen to my seat after that. And no I'm not pulling on the reins. Simply pulling on the reins does nothing beneficial. I'm 'training' him to listen to my seat more so that when I go back to my snaffle I won't need a strong rein aid to get him listening. I understand that the reins don't collect a horse and that half-halts are not simply rein aids. But simply asking with my seat isn't enough at this point...

He's become much more responsive in the double bridle. My instructor can really see the difference in how he moves. Of course at this point, I cannot ride him for long periods of time in the double bridle because his correct muscles haven't been used enough so we are working on building the correct muscles so that he can use himself more correctly in the snaffle and it will be easier in general for him. So this is why I am currently working in the double.
    11-05-2012, 08:14 PM
If the issue is straightness and the horse not using its body correctly, no amount of metal in it's mouth is going to fix that problem. In fact, adding metal is going to cause more of an issue. It will hide the pre-existing issues for a period of time, but they will always come back to rear their ugly head with a vengance.
At the very basic level of Dressage, we learn that riding forward corrects straightness. Try riding a 20m circle on a horse that is on the forehand. It is near impossible to ride straight on that circle. Then try it on a horse that is motoring along with its hind legs - you'll ride a perfect 20m circle (that is assuming the rider knows how to ride a 20m circle in the first place ;) ).
The more you ride the horse's head, the more crooked he becomes. Its like doing a handbreaky in a car - pull up the handbreak and your back end will spin out. Same thing happens on a horse.

I firmly believe that a double should never be added into the equation, until all the work can be achieved in a snaffle. Otherwise you're using it as a bandaid tool, and it turns into a gadget, placed in the same category as draw reins, martingales etc.
A double is there for refinement of the finished product. Nothing more. It's not a handbreak, its not a magical fixing aid. It refines.
    11-05-2012, 08:25 PM
Then please explain this. My horse likes to canter on the straight sides of an arena with his haunches to the inside. I can correct this by using my inside leg at the girth along with asking his shoulder to come to the inside in shoulder-fore. However, when I ask for a medium canter he tries to fish-tail to the inside again, losing all straightness and he gets tense and his head comes up. I can ask for a half-halt with my seat to reposition him but he just gets more tense and it's a wreck.

So I put the double bridle on. I am able to get him more collected in general with the help of the double bridle and when I go to ask for a medium canter I can straighten his body and he does not fish-tail around and boom! A great medium canter which I can actually bring back into a collected canter without having to apply a strong rein aid just to get him listening to my seat? Why is this happening? What is so majorly wrong with "putting another bit" in his mouth? He obviously respects the double bridle and I have more control over him. He will learn to be more respectful of me and my seat aid.
    11-05-2012, 11:38 PM
Until he stops respecting the double... then what? Bits don't collect a horse. Collection is not having control of the horses head.
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Chiilaa and crimsonsky like this.
    11-06-2012, 03:52 AM
I rode my last horse in a double bridle. He was a schoolmaster, and when it came to schooling he was lovely and soft in the snaffle, so we would school in the double from time to time, and when we showed hunter classes we would ride in it instead of a pelham. I also used it for show jumping, instead of a gag, as it gave me the independent actions of the bits so I could be a bit softer with him but still have control when he gets strong jumping. Cross country however I always went back to the gag, just to be safe.
    11-06-2012, 06:23 AM
Green Broke
I agree with anebel and kayty. The double is for refinement it is not a teaching aid. In the UK snaffles are now allowed to GP level in non international competition.

If you can't do it in a snaffle then you shouldnt be attempting it in a double.
If your horse is crooked then he isnt going forwards!

By putting a double in his mouth you are riding front to back and not the way you should be whjich is back to front.

I would suggest that your issues in medium canter in a sanffle stem from the fact your horse has missed some training earlier on and you need to go back and sort it. He is obviously not ready for a medium canter if you can't be straight in working canter, he isnt straight in working canter because he isnt going forwards properly.

My 5yrold canters straight at working canter but he is not yet ready, he is not engaged enough or back on his hocks enough for me to think about asking for a medium canter (infact we are still working on setting him back on his hocks far enough to get a true medium trot).

My other 5yrold hass been injured for most of this year but before he was we did 2 dressage tests 1 week apart. Same judge, same test, same venue. The only difference was that in the first test I was not inclined to push him forwards as he is very very explosive at the best of times and it was his first ever ridden competition we scored 58%, a week later I gave myself a kick up the bum and rode him forwards (very scarey given that he is so explosive) and he scored 69.8% so over 10% improvement just because I rode him forwards properly!
Kayty and Chiilaa like this.
    11-06-2012, 09:00 AM
See now everyone immediately assumes I'm riding him front to back...not sure why...but anyways. This horse has been trained 3rd Level and he is 21. He was used as a school-horse for about 10 years so yes he has either missed something or just simply faked being straight or collected during those years. So he is extremely strong about doing the wrong thing. I don't see what is so wrong about using the double bridle to position him correctly, which is what I'm doing using both seat, leg, and rein aids, so that he builds the correct muscles so he won't be fighting to hard against me when we transition to the snaffle. Because at this point, moving correctly can sometimes be very physically hard on him so he fights back even more and I'm sorry no I'm not as strong as him. Can I get him straight in the snaffle? Yes. Is it easier to do in the double? Yes.

If I'm not supposed to do this...then why is it working?

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