TWH, what am I getting into?? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-05-2012, 06:20 PM
Yearling
 
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Originally Posted by EmmJayCee View Post
My TWH is about 10 years old, trail ridden and used to a snaffle. I would prefer to go bitless with him partly because of my inexperience. I know being soft with my hands and having "feel" comes with time. I hate the thought of hurting him while I'm trying to learn. Another reason is simply because he's so soft and responsive now on the ground. I don't think you'll ever find another more even tempered, sweet natured, laid-back horse anywhere.
Better that you improve your skill. You can spoil a horse with a bitless rig every bit as fast as you can with a Walking Horse curb bit with 9" shanks. While this is a surprise to many inexperienced riders, it's quite true. The hard truth is that most bitless rigs are much more severe than a well handled snaffle. Dr. Cook's literature will tell you about the "cruelty" of bits; he's rather more reticent about the pain inflicted by his rigs.

If you suspect I'm not a fan, you're right.

A green rider needs instruction and coaching. The consequence of not getting that is a sore backed, sour horse and a very frustrated rider. A "sweet" equine disposition can quickly "go south" if the rider doesn't know what they are about.

Find a good, solid, classical equitation instructor. Start on a trotter. You will develop better hands, balance, and feel. After a year or so on the trotter you'll be ready to move to the more demanding gaited horse.

G.
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-05-2012, 07:31 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Southeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
Better that you improve your skill. You can spoil a horse with a bitless rig every bit as fast as you can with a Walking Horse curb bit with 9" shanks. While this is a surprise to many inexperienced riders, it's quite true. The hard truth is that most bitless rigs are much more severe than a well handled snaffle. Dr. Cook's literature will tell you about the "cruelty" of bits; he's rather more reticent about the pain inflicted by his rigs.

If you suspect I'm not a fan, you're right.

A green rider needs instruction and coaching. The consequence of not getting that is a sore backed, sour horse and a very frustrated rider. A "sweet" equine disposition can quickly "go south" if the rider doesn't know what they are about.

Find a good, solid, classical equitation instructor. Start on a trotter. You will develop better hands, balance, and feel. After a year or so on the trotter you'll be ready to move to the more demanding gaited horse.

G.

I won't use a bitless rig. Just a rope halter with the pressure knots across the nose band. I've ridden him in a bit before, and I know it can be done if I'll start out slow in a secure area (round pen) and teach him how to give to the pressure from the halter. We have all the time in the world, and I know we'll get there. My goals aren't to show, etc. just to be able to toodle around in open pasture and eventually some of the wonderful trail heads and logging roads we have in our area. I've been working with him for better than a year and he's SO soft on the ground in the halter. As to the instructors, I don't know of any in my area and probably would not be able to go that route. It's just me and my horses, I'm learning by trial and error and they've been very patient with me. We're starting out just working on the ground in the round pen and we'll go to very short (5-10 minutes) rides in the saddle and gradually increase the time as we both get better.

As to his gaiting, I've ridden him in the flat walk and that's absolutely my favorite. I've seen the running walk as he comes down from pasture, but he also trots with our quarter horse and gallops when they're playing, and has a beautiful canter. His favorite gait, however is the "mosey" which will suit me fine starting out. I don't think he's a demanding horse, he's a big sweet feller and like I said before, we'll do fine if I'm patient.
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-06-2012, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Minnesota
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It seems while I was away people got to talking. Sorry I'm pretty busy on weekends and with no computer it's a pain to try to type everything out on my phone.

So first off Corporal, I think I may always prefer the trot. I'm english all the way, hate western saddles, and the trot really helps posting. Also gaited horses don't really show up in the dressage and eventing scene, which is my goal to get back in to. Although for trail rides it may spoil me, especially the really long ones that take all day and my legs get tired lol.

And now on to the bitless conversation. There's a time and place for that but for trail rides I would not. There's to much that can happen, I like the control and feel a bit gives. In an enclosed area, like a pasture, sure bitless can be fine. But it also depends how you go bitless. I prefer a mechanical hackamore if there's no bit. There is more control and definately more stop than if you rode in say a rope halter.

Lessons are a marvelous thing for the beginner rider. I took lessons for 10 years, only time I got to ride as a kid. You can read all the books you want, or watch all the videos you can but nothing compares to having someone there with you, showing you and correcting you. Unfortunately my current horse's health issues have taken the extra money that was supposed to go to lessons.
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