Bitless/Tack/Training Questions - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-24-2013, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Aurora, Texas
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I have a Kimberly stock saddle and its really comfortable, but the stirrup leathers leave marks on the flaps really quickly.
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-24-2013, 11:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Maryland
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As for the bitless bridle, I would say it completely depends on the horse. Personally I would never ride a bolter without a bit unless I went back to the basics and regained control (one rein stops, disengaging the hindquarters, etc) so that I knew I could control the feet if all else failed, lol. I ride my mare in a bitless bridle made by Moss Rock Endurance which is pretty much exactly like the Dr. Cook bridle. The difference between this bridle compared to a sidepull or hackamore is that it applies pressure against the sides and underneath portions of the jaw, which some horses just can't tolerate due to sensitivity. Some horses will also learn to lean against the pressure of the bitless bridle which can pretty much eliminate its effectiveness. I found that my mare, who is also extremely sensitive, learned to yield from the pressures of the bitless bridle fairly quick with short sessions that I did at a slow pace. I would highly recommend trying one on your horse first before going out and buying one as we know its always trial and error with horses Good luck!
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post #13 of 19 Old 02-25-2013, 02:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Just a note about the bitless bridles...

Any horse can run through a sidepull; you have no stopping power. I agree with testing how your horse goes in a halter (in an arena!) before purchasing one. They can be great, but not wonderful on the trail unless you have an extensive repertoire and respect with your horse. I find that horses will "respect" a bit and become very aware when they're out on the trail and not wearing one!

That being said, for trails, I have a combination bridle (hehe, I do love my gadgets...). It is a sidepull that can attach poll straps so that it becomes one of those Cook Bitless bridles. Or instead, I can snap on bit hangers and go bitted for a while until my boy settles down. Again, I love my gadgets and having options is just so darn fun...

It's the 3-in-1 found here

As for the colors... I don't know! I LOVE expressing my self through funky colors and quite honestly couldn't give a rat's bum about what other people think. ;) It's just fun! Although I always assumed it was perhaps a visibility thing...?
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-25-2013, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Crestwood, KY
Posts: 142
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Originally Posted by oliveoats View Post
Those are exactly the ones I was looking at, I really like them :) thank you for the review.
FYI, I've made a couple modifications to mine to make it more endurance friendly. I changed the stirrups leathers out for Wintec Webbers and plastic endurance stirrups. Much lighter weight and more comfy. I also added a billet strap to the overgirth ring so I can use any wide buckle endurance girth, no pull strap needed. Since the flaps are shorter than most aussies you also have more choices in saddle pads. Oversized dressage pads often work well with its shape.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-25-2013, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 115
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So I had little chat with the woman who trained Sawyer, and I greatly misunderstood why we switched him to a Tom Thumb. She had told me that he ran through the snaffle, but I worded it wrong when I posted here.

Basically, when he spooked he'd bold, and sometimes a snaffle wasn't enough to stop him right away and she'd resort to the one rein stop. In the past months I've been riding him, he rarely bolts when he spooks. Last time he bolted, when a dog ran out at us from behind a large bush, he took two steps and stopped himself before I had even realized what was happening. Lately I've noticed him start to 'think it out' when a trail monster confronts us. He'll typically flinch and take 1-2 bolt steps, then immediately stop and begin turning himself, knowing that's what I'll have him do in a minute.

I am starting to consider the little S hack more, listening to your guys' reviews. Do those have a good 'stop'?

You all are giving me such great opinions and reviews, I really appreciate your help!

"Putting pads on a gaited horse is like putting a mask on a beautiful woman."
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-25-2013, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Aurora, Texas
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On my ex-barrel horse I use a S hack and it works perfectly, to stop and turn and everything. But he's also 18 and very well trained
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-25-2013, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Burlington, North Carolina
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I don't know much about saddles, but I do have a fair amount of experience as far as bits and hackamore (and runaways!) go. I can't tell you what will work for your horse but I can give you a run down on what has (and hasn't) worked for me.

The pony I ride has an extremely hard mouth. We've never had a problem with steering but "whoa" has always been an issue. He would take off on me in a snaffle, so I switched him to jointed kimberwicke. I kept the reins attached to the top slot so it wasn't too harsh. He used to flip his head in the air with the snaffle and fought it all the way but he truly likes the kimberwicke. He actually takes the bit and accepts it nicely now. Eventually after a year of work we graduated to a hackamore! I have never used an S hack (I'm hoping to get one soon) but I have used Sprenger hackamores on many of my horses. I really like have just enough leverage to give you control when you need it, but it is far from harsh. The only thing that I don't like about it is that it seems to have a tendency to pull the cheekpiece a bit high - too close to the eye for my liking (tho I've discovered that removing the browband helps).

I do have sidepulls and I used to own a Dr Cook. Neither have worked for me. I will pull out the sidepull in a pinch but it just doesn't give me enough control. The Dr Cook I used just seemed to frustrate my horse (never tried it on the pony) and I ended up getting rid of it.

Last edited by prairiewindlady; 02-25-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-26-2013, 06:45 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 4,840
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OP-another post hinted that you were in CA-is that right? Are you anywhere near Norco? If so, go take a look at Thrifty Horse-they have new & consignment tack. Usually there are all kinds of bits, hackamores, etc, at all kinds of prices. Also, parts so you can put something together if that suits you better. They have lots of Aussie saddles, trail, and endurance saddles in addition to the regular Western & English. Norco Ranch Outfitters is across the street-they sometimes have some consignments, also. But not the range of prices that you will see at TH.
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-27-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 115
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Nice! I live closer to Broken Horn, but I have heard a lot about Thrifty Horse and haven't taken the time to drive out there. I know where my next tack stop will be >:) I never knew they had Aussies too

Thank you Cacowgirl!

"Putting pads on a gaited horse is like putting a mask on a beautiful woman."
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