Double Bridles - Page 6

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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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    11-14-2012, 06:19 PM
See IMO every showjumper should know a list of things:
W/T/C working balanced and through from behind [headset unimportant as it doesn't really matter where a jumper's head is though headset usually follows correct basics anyway]
Basic laterals [leg yield at least, half pass if possible, travers/renvers also very helpful as with shoulder in]
Flying changes
Shortening and lengthening of stride WITHOUT losing rhythm/impulsion or going flat [extension/collection best but shortening/lengthening is acceptable]
Walk to canter and canter to walk
Canter pirouettes can be a HUGE help in the jumpoff but not necessary, just useful [bearing in mind they won't be good ones and will still have some forward movement not just the lateral because a true correct pirouette is simply TOO collected to use when jumping - but will be of HUGE help with extremely tight lines, and it's the shortest LINE, not the fastest SPEED, that wins...]

Once the horse has those things well and truly established on the flat [with the use of cavalletti and small fences to help establish them] then usually the jumping part comes naturally. It's my belief that every dressage horse SHOULD be able to go out and jump a course at an intermediate height [say 3' or thereabouts] with no special preparation, and every jumping horse SHOULD be able to perform an acceptable dressage test at first to second level [which I think translates to novice and elementary, but I'm not sure].

My boy does everything except the laterals... and flying changes but I'm pretty sure that's more me than him because if I set up a 4 stride line and don't ride dead straight he'll do one-time tempi changes between the fences!

Yes in theory laterals should be easier in trot and canter [definitely easier on the horse!], but my lower leg is not all that strong and in the trot especially I really struggle to get a good leg aid onto him if he wants to ignore my light aids. My dressage saddle is not helpful in that aspect either, very difficult to get leg on in it in the trot and canter, but I am definitely a big part of the problem.

Edit; jumping is just dressage with speed bumps, after all :P
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    11-14-2012, 06:33 PM
That is interesting, and I agree. I have taken my horse to a two-phase before and I do some jumping with him at least twice a month. Actually it was amusing at the two-phase, I just rode him in a snaffle and dressage saddle and it was a bit scary. He really loves jumping and he gets quite worked up about it; in the past a running martingale was used on him for jumping. Anyways, we got a clear round simply because he's so good at organizing his body...I swear I've never gone that fast in my life. I was too busy hanging on for dear life, but I guess at one point he did about 6 to 8 tempi changes and one girl nearby asked how or why...and someone's answer was "Dressage."

I didn't die and we got second place I believe.

Again he's really strong about it, so one exercise I like to do is to walk him up to the jump, then ask for a walk-canter transition right before it and jump it (about two feet or maybe a little higher) and then immediately back to walk right over it. Also it really makes me use effective half-halts. So while I'm not going to competitively jump, I find it a fun change of pace that has some benefits.

And what do you mean by you aren't very strong in your lower leg? If you don't mind me asking...
    11-14-2012, 06:50 PM
Ahhhh yep my boy is really quick jumping too! He's bolted with me a few times and even though I can -usually- keep him in hand in a snaffle now and then he has a day where he's just beyond anything I can possibly do. Funniest thing is he's actually really easy to control on cross country, but in the SJ arena he's a demon. Last SJ day I did I took the curb rein off my pelham and tried him with it as a "snaffle"... and ended up putting it straight back on for my second round! -shudders- rather ride with double reins over fences than no control. We don't use a martingale because he doesn't throw his head up so there's no point in one... but I do use a good bit of metal because I'm tiny and there is NOTHING I can physically do to make him listen if he doesn't want to.

Re the lower leg - it's pretty stable, but that's really deceptive, because it's really not very strong! I can grip like heck with both [comes from bad habits when I used to grip when I was nervous, the strength hasn't left though the habit HAS] but one at a time? Anything more than a light aid forget it. I can and occasionally do ride with spurs [had to for 3 weeks straight to get any sort of laterals out of him at all] but I prefer not to because he bucks in canter transitions when I have them on... nothing I can't handle but not pretty in the show ring! Spurs help, but like I said... he bucks.

A friend of mine who is a dressage rider [same friend who I mentioned before, whose horse suddenly isn't sucking back any more] was out giving me a quick dressage lesson and decided to work on laterals... 30 seconds in we're both panting because I'm using all my strength with my leg and SHE is using all her strength driven into her thumb and he STILL won't get off. That was when I started riding with spurs to get the message to him... he's better now. The pelham also helps, I can pick up his shoulder a little more easily and with a lifted shoulder he moves over better.
    11-14-2012, 06:56 PM
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Double bridles are the norm in UK show classes once you go above the novice levels, they should be just for refinement but they often arent.
I like the word crutch because a lot of people do use them on horses that lack impulsion from behind and also I've seen it a lot where riders who are either not fit enough or don't know how to use their body strength to the best advantage especially on horses that are basically too big for them - a lot of warmbloods are huge - same goes in the UK with the heavy hunters and heavyweight & maxi cobs that are often shown by small women and if they have a lazy attitude will take some shifting if your legs are only half way up its sides so the rider uses the leverage action of the double to create a false outline
You could get the same effect without the double bridle simply by using one bit that has a leverage action which is why a lot of people use this bit called a rugby pelham in the show ring
Not saying that's whats happening with the OP - just my observation on what I see a lot of
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    11-14-2012, 06:59 PM
Yeah my boy likes to jump a bit too much. Actually after that week of jumping practice, two-phase, plus another week of horse camp (not ridden by me) , followed by a dressage show (ridden by me) we had to let him take it real easy for about a month or so because he is older after all and it was all a bit much. Honestly though if he just realized that he was 21 and he didn't have to jump like he was about 5, he wouldn't have been so bad haha. But he just loves it so much.

Hmm's annoying that he bucks with the spurs. My boy used to do that too, also with the whip. He has since learned that gets him nowhere. Well good luck with that.
    11-14-2012, 07:08 PM
I looked at a rugby pelham for Fatty but I'm not a big fan of the look... IMO you can tell from miles off that it's not a double bridle so why even bother? I just have him in a standard... I have two of them, one is jointed and the snaffle-rein rings are enormous and D-shaped and ugly but the shanks are short [4-ish inches] and the other is mullen mouth with lovely round snaffle-rein rings but crazy long shanks [bit is 5 inch, shanks are probably around 5 1/2 inch]. The nonjointed is the one that's actually legal for the level I show... we're not allowed jointed curb bits here, not at this level, which I personally disagree with because the joint adds a degree of refinement that is lost with a solid mouthpiece [not to mention the pelham is not as refined as a bit and bradoon to begin with due to the single mouthpiece]... but nothing I can do!

I do use my pelham more for "emergency brakes" where I need them but my boy is working better in it [because I drive him forward - he is straighter, he actually flexes, laterals are better...] so there is definitely some refinement going on as well.
    11-14-2012, 07:14 PM
Kat yeahp that's my boy too - although Monty's only 17 - he just gets so excited!

Buck with the spurs, bolt with the whip [although better now that we have a pelham on because he knows bolting gets him an uncomfortable mouth], alternates daily between lazy old bugger and 2yo idiot, misbehaves at shows even though he's seen it ALL before [think that's me not him though]. He's not an easy horse, but he's good fun, and he's taught me a lot. He's really strange hahaha falls asleep if you're not doing anything, no matter where you are or what other horses [or people] might be doing around him, but as soon as you ask him to move in a really open space [without XC fences], at a show, or on a forward day, he's hot and on his toes!
    11-14-2012, 07:27 PM
Mmm my boy is a Tb/Holsteiner and sometimes he has hot crazy TB days and sometimes he has nice normal Holsteiner days hahaha. He's a good boy but he's strange too. He doesn't spook at massive skitters or leaves blowing, but he literally freaks out at hoofprints in the sand and his shadow haha
    11-14-2012, 07:38 PM
Lol, it's the TB in them! My boy is Anglo Arab, so arabxTB... arab mum TB dad and def not the way I would do the cross if I was breeding as I have seen a few examples now and arab dad TB mum seems to turn out a better put-together horse with more arab traits in the face and usually a slightly more reliable temperament depending on the horses used. If I had an Arab mare I would breed to an Arab [or part-Arab] stallion to remain close to type as that seems to produce the most consistent results. Refine with the stallion, ALWAYS, or stick with type. JMO based on much research and discussion with breeders.

I actually have a TB filly that I am considering putting in foal not this year but next year for a 2014 foal... probably to an Arab stallion because I do love the cross. So versatile. My boy jumps, dressages, events, is a show hack, has shown in in-hand conformation classes, and I'm pretty sure he's done some stock work... if not he's really cowy so he COULD. Also make good endurance horses particularly for someone who is too tall for your typical ~15hh purebred arab, and they have that BAZINGA factor... the try from the TB and the intelligence and one-person-horse bond from the Arab. I love a horse that will try whatever you set its hooves at, learns quickly, and has "their person"... boy is so special to me... I can be riding him at the beach, jump off, tie his reins around his neck and start running, he will be right at my side in trot or canter [whichever matches my speed better] and if I hit the brakes he can't stop as fast as I can but he always stops fast and comes around to me. I've never had that with a horse that doesn't have some Arab blood.
    11-14-2012, 08:08 PM
Awww that's so cute!! I'm glad you have such a special relationship with him. :)

My boy isn't technically "my boy" but I half-lease him and and I am prettty much the only one who rides him. Which is all thanks to my instructor...she's the owner but she is really awesome about it. She and I really consider him mine. He used to be this really grouchy schoolhorse when we first got him but he's actually quite the lovebug when you get to know him. He nickers at me all time, he gallops out of the paddock to see me, and I just love him so much.

You know what that's really funny you mention the running with thing...cuz me boy does the same thing! I didn't realize he would follow me everywhere until one day I jumped down to set up a jump and I let go of his reins so I could carry the standards. He followed me, even trying to bust through the arena fence when I went on the other side. He's like a big puppy dog haha.

I didn't like him at first...I had been used to this other mare who taught me pretty much everything. I had ridden her for years and years but she finally got to the point where I just couldn't ask her to keep going at that level..I was showing her Second Level at that point. She was about 24 when I had to stop. That's when I started riding Louis...and I just missed the mare so much. Now, I still love her, but me and Louis get along so well.

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