What does "horse on the bridal" mean? - Page 2

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What does "horse on the bridal" mean?

This is a discussion on What does "horse on the bridal" mean? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    06-03-2008, 11:52 PM
Wow - that was awesome, thank you! :)

So - I don't think I am *qualified* enough to have the whole "swan neck" look, but having a nice supple neck is my main goal. Thanks for all of your replies! I truly appreciate it, gives me something to work on!
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    06-04-2008, 01:27 AM
JDI, that was helpful for me as well. I wrote that all down. Haha. Thanks.
    06-04-2008, 01:06 PM
Mhmm...me too JDI.i agree with jubilee, I got that down.now im ready for the barn!
    06-04-2008, 05:10 PM
I can use that too! Thanks JDI!
    06-05-2008, 01:13 PM
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
Okay, that first horse was low in the poll, but he was working through his back and was ON THE VERTICAL which was what I was trying to get at.

I have to say no no no to riders dropping their hands to get the horses on the bit; always keep your position correct and make the horse come to you. Also, in response to the "there's no command for it" - yes there is. You keep the horse between your legs and ask for them to give to your hands.. I'll explain more below.

Here is a post I wrote back in Feb illustrating how to get a horse on the bit:

I'll try and explain it in very very simple terms:
You need the horse to be supple through the body before you even think about getting the head in the right place. You can do this by working on bending through circles, and making sure the horse is moving through the hindquarter. To ask for a headset, you keep the inside rein steady and check and give (like squeezing water out of a sponge) with the outside rein until the horse responds by giving through the jaw and putting its head closer to being in a headset, I.e. Lowering the poll. When he flexes, stop bugging him with your hands, and keep them steady. As soon as he raises his head or moves it out of the headset, you want to correct it by asking with the outside rein.
Ideally, I want to see a horse with a long and low headset when first learning, then you can bring the neck up and tucked when you further your dressage training. I like to see the neck flexed and the poll around the height of the wither with the head flexed so the nose is on the vertical..It looks more equitation-horse/ hunt-seat horse but this allows your horse's back to strengthen enough to ask for the "swan neck" in dressage, if you're going that far.

Picture examples:

Horse not in headset:

Horses nicely flexed in equitation-style/hunt-seat style headset:

Nice dressage Headset:

Horse Behind the Vertical:

Horse in front of the Vertical:
There is another way of getting your horse in a frame, and it's a little more straightforward:
You keep your outside rein with contact, then take your inside rein and draw your elbow straight back to your hip, and keep dirivng the horse forward in the gait you're trying to accomplish this in. They may fight and toss their heads around, but with your rein at your hip, the horse will reward itself when it goes into a frame.
Note that both reins should be of equal length.
Great explanation.
    07-07-2008, 05:45 PM
Hmmm... the first black horse is not in a superframe - he is behind the vertical, if only slightly. So is the chestnut in the low frame. I know that things are different everywhere, but my trainer would shoot me for either of these frames. The horse must always be seen to stretch his neck out from the shoulders towards the hand. If he is behind the vertical, he is showing that he lacks confidence in the hand.

What you want is a telescoping gesture - like this very green horse just learning to lift his back by stretching his neck:


As the horse becomes more collected, he will lower his hind end by "sitting" in the transitions - and as the hind end lowers, the front end will come up. But always the neck must stretch towards the hand and always there is the telescoping gesture.

In the end, there is no correct frame. The famous German riding master Müseler knew this, and in his book he put a "picture of the perfect frame" - which was an empty square The correct frame is the one which allows the horse to carry his rider without injury or stress at whatever schooling level that horse is at. The frame can be anything from long and low to Grand Prix collected. But the nose will never come behind the vertical if the horse is ridden correctly.

"On the bridle" and "on the bit" are unfortunate expressions which have been invented in later years in an attempt to create a multi purpose translation of various expressions in German and French meaning that the horse accepts the rein aid, is obedient and calm.

When the horse accepts the rein aid and is obedient and calm, he will flex his poll of his own volition. But flexing the poll does not make the horse accept the rein aid, or become obedient or calm. This is the unfortunate misunderstanding which leads to rough and uneducated solutions like simultaneous pulling on the reins and pushing with the leg.

Holding on to the outside rein and pulling on the inside will flex the poll as the horse will have nowhere else to go But then that has nothing to do with dressage - that's just plain force.

Sorry to butt in. Couldn't help myself.

    07-09-2008, 03:27 PM
...and that is why I stuck to posting 2 photos and didn't attempt to explain it...

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