Bitless bridle?? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-11-2009, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofprints in the Sand View Post
Sandie's been getting kind of "spooky" lately, not very relaxed in the ring anymore...and she just constantly chomps on her bit all the time. I'm afraid to ride her half the time because she spooked and threw me a couple weeks ago, and she bolts now...this website said it can stop them from being so spooky/bolting, that those are things sometimes caused by the bit.
You might want to get to the bottom of why her attitude has changed.

First, what exactly do you feed her? Hay, what kind and how much. Grain, what kind and how much. Treats, what, how much, and how often. Any supplements? Exactly what brands and what dosage.

Second, how much turnout time does she get?

I'll ask more questions after you answer these .
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 02:31 AM
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You know I've known a few people to use this and I hate it. I saw one rider with very heavy hands cause quite a bit of pain to the horse with this bridle as it puts pressure in multiple places across the jaw and face, and just like any bit or hackamore, in harsh hands, anything is truly harsh. I also know a horse that the owner loved this so she tried it on him and he HATED it. Put him in a plain old low port curb and ride him around western and he's happy as a clam...go figure. So while I can see how to some horses it could be good, I haven't met any of them yet though admittedly my experience is limited.

I'd say with this, as with any other bridle or bit, it varies based on the horse's opinion and sensitivity and what feels and works best for them. Try it and if it works great! And if not, well just move on to the next item!

(if you're looking to buy one I know my friend is selling hers on consignment and she's only used it a very few times b/c her horse hated it btw.)

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 02:45 PM
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Please do not approach using a bitless bridle as if it's just another bitted bridle.
Take the time to re-introduce the bitless bridle on your horse from the ground and then again from the saddle - get him yielding to your rein aids before starting to ride... for a lot of horses, the bitless bridle (I'm talking the cross-action, not a hack or bosal, although those may apply) has completely different pressure points than a bitted bridle, and some horses WILL react to the sensation.
If you search my posts, I have a big long thread about my experience with a bitless on my TB gelding... let's just say I ride in a bit.


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post #14 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 05:39 PM
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Hello, this is my first ever post. I just wanted to say that the owner of the barn where I board my horse who is a breeder of Canadian Horses trains rides and drives all his horses, even his stallions using Cooks Bitless bridles.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
You might want to get to the bottom of why her attitude has changed.

First, what exactly do you feed her? Hay, what kind and how much. Grain, what kind and how much. Treats, what, how much, and how often. Any supplements? Exactly what brands and what dosage.

Second, how much turnout time does she get?

I'll ask more questions after you answer these .
I agree, I do need to figure this out, but there seem to be too many variables right now to narrow it down! Here's the low down:

- Got Sandie about 9 weeks ago, so we're still trying to get to know one another

- She was a rescued horse -- although she had some work done by a wonderful person who was fostering her before I got her, she is still kind of "green broke" -- she was not ridden much all summer and is about 150 lbs overweight, was just living in a pasture on grass and no grain

- Not sure of the exact grain, I board her and they are just giving her what they feed the whole barn, I'll have to ask what kind it is -- she only gets a handful or so bc she is so overweight still and wasn't ever grained at her old place anyway; always has hay available but again I'll have to ask the barn manager what kind -- she's beginning to tone up now that she's on a regular riding schedule and has lost 50 of the 150 lbs already

- First 6 weeks I had her, I rode her almost every day (with a day off every couple days) but nothing too strenuous...things were going very well until a week or two ago when she started spooking at one corner of the arena in particular -- nothing different about that corner, no shadows, objects, etc. so no clue why she is all of a sudden scared of it

- Had the vet out today to check her vision since her eyes have been blood shot for weeks now -- vet says her eyes are completely normal looking and nothing's wrong with her vision -- BUT she just got this weird cyst-like bump on her left side where the girth goes a couple weeks ago and had the vet check it out. the vet didn't like the look or feel of it and we ended up having to get it removed today

SO now Sandie is on "stall rest" for 14 days, has a giant suiture on her side and I'm praying she doesn't tear her stitches out!!! They haven't been turning the horses out for 9 weeks BTW bc of conditions of the pastures (too icy) but I've been there every day to let her out in the indoor arena and/or ride her, but now she's stuck in her stall for 14 days!!!

UGH...she's going to FREAK OUT by the end of that 14-day period...they are decreasing her grain so that she doesn't have too much pent up energy and freak out more, on the vet's recommendation.

Oh yeah, and for treats, I have been giving her sugar-free candies (vet says sugar free only bc of her weight), but I've been known once in awhile to cheat and give her an apple WHEW I think that's it, hope it helps! But like I said, it seems like it could be caused by a million things, which is so frustrating!!! I wish I could just ask her what's wrong

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post #16 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
- First 6 weeks I had her, I rode her almost every day (with a day off every couple days) but nothing too strenuous...things were going very well until a week or two ago when she started spooking at one corner of the arena in particular -- nothing different about that corner, no shadows, objects, etc. so no clue why she is all of a sudden scared of it
This is exactly where I'd take her for more ground training. She's learned if she spooks in that corner...she can get away with it!
I have a bitless...wouldn't ride (this particular horse) in anything else. I do want to stress tho that before you rely on this for control in the saddle...you need to get control on the ground. AND...as was said before...rely on your horse to tell you if this is right for them...or not.





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post #17 of 18 Old 01-12-2009, 11:04 PM
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I would ask the vet about hand walking her and working her on the lead line. That will help her from going too stir crazy. Plus you can work on her ground work then.

In order to build a bond, you need to NOT ride her. You need to spend lots of time on the ground with her: grooming, leading/walking, working on ground exercises, etc. If you have access to trails, take her out on "walks" in hand, just the two of you. Lead her from both sides. If you don't have access to trails, then just take her around the property, down the road (if it's not busy), and just sit in a chair in the arena while she's turned out. You need to spend time with her, and in this stage QUANTITY means more than "quality." You don't have to have your hands on her the whole time, just walking with her or sitting next to her is a good bonding exercise.

She needs some kind of turnout daily once she is healed, not just riding and lunging. That's only 1-3 hours in her whole day, not nearly enough. Horses do just fine out on the ice. Have her shoes pulled and make sure she's blanketed. Get some shortening from the grocery store or eventing grease and coat the inside of her foot, on the front and just around it, to prevent ice balls from building up. Reapply every few days.

Don't worry about her in the pasture. She'll be fine ;). The more the horses get turned out, the more they will break up the ice and make the footing better for traction.

Last edited by luvs2ride1979; 01-12-2009 at 11:07 PM.
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-13-2009, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979 View Post
I would ask the vet about hand walking her and working her on the lead line. That will help her from going too stir crazy. Plus you can work on her ground work then.

In order to build a bond, you need to NOT ride her. You need to spend lots of time on the ground with her: grooming, leading/walking, working on ground exercises, etc. If you have access to trails, take her out on "walks" in hand, just the two of you. Lead her from both sides. If you don't have access to trails, then just take her around the property, down the road (if it's not busy), and just sit in a chair in the arena while she's turned out. You need to spend time with her, and in this stage QUANTITY means more than "quality." You don't have to have your hands on her the whole time, just walking with her or sitting next to her is a good bonding exercise.

She needs some kind of turnout daily once she is healed, not just riding and lunging. That's only 1-3 hours in her whole day, not nearly enough. Horses do just fine out on the ice. Have her shoes pulled and make sure she's blanketed. Get some shortening from the grocery store or eventing grease and coat the inside of her foot, on the front and just around it, to prevent ice balls from building up. Reapply every few days.

Don't worry about her in the pasture. She'll be fine ;). The more the horses get turned out, the more they will break up the ice and make the footing better for traction.
I completely agree with on the turnout issue...the problem is that I board, and the barn manager won't put them out bc of the conditions. One of the pastures has a pond, which is frozen over and concealed with snow, and last year they had a horse walk out onto it and drown! So that's part of the reason he won't turn out. So if I want her out, I have to do it myself (and I work all during the day Mon-Fri)...and then she'd be by herself, which she dislikes greatly...as you'd expect. They do get turned out in the indoor arena a little bit during the day, but IMO it's not enough (esp for a horse like her who was used to 24 hr turnout at her old place!!) It's getting very frustrating.

I do spend time with her every day (I think I've missed 3 days in the last 9 weeks!), even if I'm not riding. I'll just let her out to walk around and roll in the arena (except for now of course bc of her stall rest!!), and most times all I do is go up and groom her/feed her little treats. I do lunge her sometimes instead of riding, and before I ride I always lunge her.

Now bc of her surgery I can't do any of that (vet said no walking around for 14 days or she'll tear her stitches out!), except just to spend time with her in her stall, which is my plan. This will give us a great 14 days of bonding in her stall though, just grooming her and being with her. But she's going to be so stir crazy at the end of all this, it's really frustrating. I feel like we'll be taking a HUGE step backwards in her training and conditioning because she's going to just be insanely stir crazy and spooky now, worse than she already was!!

I can't wait until they're being turned out again, but with Ohio weather, it probably won't be until JULY I heard someone say the other day (bc then the snow will melt and make terrible mud/standing water)! They can't be serious, but if they are, I don't know what to do...

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