Double Bridles - Page 5

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Double Bridles

This is a discussion on Double Bridles within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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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    11-08-2012, 02:33 PM
Well it is extremely sad that you all are so quick to judge and as katyty said, "t is unfair of either party to judge without seeing what is happening. Words, particularly typed words, may come out how they were not intentioned" it's very sad that you don't take this as a truth. I feel no further need to defend will only incite further argument. I stand by what I have said and since you all have nothing beneficial to say that I don't already know...I feel no further need to continue this discussion. I don't see the point of continuing an endless argument in which honestly there can really be no end. Perhaps before the snow flies (again) I will have a chance to video a lesson and then you can tell me your opinions...until then its a moot point.
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    11-11-2012, 06:14 AM
I did not read the whole topic, I am sorry.
I am french and it is very hard for me to understand everything... Be indulgent, please...

But I am agree with some ideas.

For me, the double bridle should be used when the horse is perfect in bridle.
It can be a good aid when the rider and his horse have a good level. It gives delicacy in the requests between them.
The work is more discret and it will be more appreciated.

For the first time, it is better if a teacher helps the rider Especially if the horse starts with the bridle. He can see the errors and correct them.

And the more important, for me, is to do not forget the bridle and work with it as much as possible.
Weezilla likes this.
    11-14-2012, 01:29 PM
I vo'ed "Don't have an opinion" because I didn't agree with any of the other options (at least how they were worded - perhaps the intent varies from the phrasing used to vote).

Double bridles should be used when the rider and horse are BOTH ready for it. The curb on the double allows rein aides to be MUCH more subtle - they are not for fixing "submissiveness" issues.

90% of the time you should ride in the snaffle, then tune up in the double just before a show ehere you are planning to show in the double,

A good rider can ride even GP movements in a snaffle.

You teach in the snaffle and refine in the double.
Ballerine likes this.
    11-14-2012, 01:38 PM
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.
For a crooked horse you use your body in shoulder fore to fix him - not the reins. (Inside leg and hip to outside rein - your legs control his hind end, the reins and your hip control his shoulders.)

For head in the air - take him to long and low (using your legs to push him into contact) and re-establish the connection over the back. When it is re-established then start asking for collection again.

When he ignores half halts (are you pushing your weight straight down through the stirrups as you ask - thus using more body and less reins?) then after asking him properly demain a full halt (again using your legs to ensure it is a square halt - not with his legs in China and head in Europe).

Using the bridle when he is on his forehand will not improve him - it's a bandaid over a wound. Instead start with trot/halt/trot - ZERO walk steps and halts must be square - to get him working properly from behind. Then go back to HH's.

Originally Posted by equiniphile    
This is a training problem and should be worked through in a snaffle. This is NOT the purpose of the double.
This ^ is Correct.
crimsonsky likes this.
    11-14-2012, 02:07 PM
Might I play devil's advocate for a minute here?

I have a friend - a dressage rider, and a dedicated one at that - who a few months ago was told by her coach she was ready to start using a double bridle with her horse. This horse has had HUGE problems with working forward into the contact and has a tendency to suck back behind the bit into false collection. Bearing in mind my friend has tried several different bits on this horse all with the same reaction. In a snaffle he likes to suck back and she has struggled for YEARS to get him to the level he is currently at [Medium in Australia, not sure what that translates to in other countries?]... this horse is ALSO not built for dressage, with his long back and interesting neck set.

My friend was very concerned that with the double she would immediately have a horse that sucks back off the contact again. More metal, more bit, more leverage and more to suck back away from.

Horse's reaction?




All of a sudden she is no longer struggling to get him to seek the contact, he actually stretches forward and down for it and is working very well. He has numerous wins and places from Prelim right the way through to Medium over the years and the scores they achieve as a partnership are improving all the time. The horse is much improved upon his muscling from this time last year, and two years ago, and three... I think it's 4 and a half years now that she's had him? He looks simply superb [though he still has an icky neck due to the fact that he is a bad cribber, it is much improved on what it was when she got him!!].

The OTHER factor in play is rider confidence - does the bit cover up the problem, or does it encourage the rider to feel more able to push the horse forward and thus have it going more correctly? You really can't know until down the track when either the horse is getting progressively harder and its muscling is getting more and more incorrect... or it is improving.

My lad is currently in a pelham with double reins and with my confidence much increased due to knowing 100000% that I can keep him well in hand, I am pushing him from behind much better, he is actually flexing in his turns and he will reach for the contact regardless of the length of rein I give him. If I back off the forward and keep the same contact [same bit] he pokes his nose, falls onto the forehand, and stops flexing to the left. Same issues we have in a snaffle - which we have BECAUSE I don't push him forward enough, because I lack far too much confidence, and don't trust him, after all the times he has taken off with me, bucked, or otherwise ditched me. Which, of course, all stem from ME and how crap a rider I was when I first got him.
    11-14-2012, 04:26 PM
Hmm I can rather relate to blue eyed pony....because I can keep him more connected over his back easier I feel more confident in pushing him forward. I can obviously do this in the snaffle, but it's just that much more with the full bridle. Since I can ask more, he gets that much more collected and is overall lighter in the front-end. Again, we are working on building correct muscle memory so when I work him in the snaffle he will automatically move more correctly overall. MIGHT I add again, he doesn't really have a training issue (he's a schoolmaster) ; there is somewhat of a physical issue involved as well...and at this point we are working on our refinement to get to the next level. This isn't anything he hasn't done before....its just been a long time.

I'd like to point out, that I am perfectly capable of riding him in the full bridle. I've ridden him for almost 2 years in a snaffle, we have gotten great scores at First Level, and in the past I've gotten good scores at Second Level with the mare I used to ride. I've spent plenty of time in the snaffle, in fact until just a few weeks ago I'd never used the full bridle on the horse I'm riding now. And we still got great scores...I have put my time in the snaffle and now it's time to move up a level and this is helping us. I'd also like to say I can do all the Second Level movements in the snaffle just fine; but we are getting everything better so come spring I can get good scores at First and Second and etc.
    11-14-2012, 05:17 PM
Kat, I'm kind of jealous that you can use a double bridle on your boy... mine doesn't have room in his mouth for two mouthpieces. It can be hard to get one to sit in the right place.

My boy is also ridiculously heavy off the leg, laterally, though he is nice and responsive to forward aids. I do wonder if he simply doesn't know the laterals, but if that's the case there are some big holes in his training as apparently he used to be a competitive 4' jumper! [actually he can get very strong and I know he went from a professional to someone who didn't have a clue, then was rescued, then I bought him, so somewhere down the line someone let holes develop... somehow I don't think it was the pro!]
    11-14-2012, 05:36 PM
Haha yes my boy has a big, long head with enough room.

Perhaps then since he's a jumper, not much time was spent on his lateral work? And of course like you said, even if he did have the necessary training he could have gotten quite rusty at it from the person without a clue.

I have actually been working a ton on lateral movements with my boy recently...he's actually quite good at it. We are working on canter half-pass which is really good for him. Also the box exercise; that kind of works everything. Perhaps that's something that could help your boy?
    11-14-2012, 05:43 PM
Kat, maybe, not every jumper rider actually trains laterals. I just find it saves me buckets of time in jumpoffs if my horse can go sorta sideways-ish... means I can take a shorter line and go quick at the same time! He is actually awesome in the jumpoff but would be even better if he would get over off my leg. Our last show, I nearly pulled him over to get a really tight line [he was being strong and I just couldn't get him to slow down but I had to get that line], and he just dropped back to a trot, instead of bucking like the horse before him used to!

My boy does have quite a short head. He's half Arab which explains a lot! Only has about 2 or 3 inches between his molars and his tushes and he has a short mouth so the bit can't go up close to his molars anyway.

We're struggling with leg yield at walk at the moment, at trot I don't have the leg strength to put enough pressure on him to make him listen [not without spurs and he bucks when I ride with spurs] so I want him really soft in the walk before I push him for more...
    11-14-2012, 05:50 PM
Yeah that totally makes sense. This only furthers my belief that having a basic knowledge of first level movements can only help any horse.

Yeah that would do it.

Well doing the box exercise in the walk might be beneficial, combined with perhaps some turns on the forehand...again at the walk to begin. Also, doing in the walk is great to get the geometry of it down, but I find doing the lateral movements in the trot to be actually easier due to the natural rhythm. However, yes doing in the walk is helpful at first.

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