different types of bit-less bridles
   

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different types of bit-less bridles

This is a discussion on different types of bit-less bridles within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Kaptoom hackamore
  • Curb bit with noseband

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    03-12-2012, 02:41 AM
  #1
Foal
different types of bit-less bridles

I am thinking about buying a bitless bridle for my arab mare. It will be used for trail riding, and maybe a bit of bare back 'schooling' in the area (more focus on my position then the horse, but still making her go nicely in a steady frame) I will still use a bit for pony club and eventing (as there is a rule against bitless bridles). I have used her rope halter before, but if she is working in frame it hits her neck and I havent got the control I like to have. It also feels weird.

What bitless bridles are out there and how do they work? Does it have different settings? Please don't just put "get the _______ bridle, I love it" I would like to know how it works.

Thanks :)
     
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    03-12-2012, 04:17 PM
  #2
Yearling
The three types I'm most familiar with are
(i) Hackamore. Metal sideplates, to which bridle headpiece and reins attach, are joined to one another over the nose and under the jaw by leather (and sometimes chain) straps with various degrees of padding. Severity depends on the length, and thus leverage, of the sideplate shanks.
(ii) Scawbrig. Old English design. The nosepiece has a ring at each end through which pass a leather strap which sits below the jaw, also with a ring at each end. Reins are attached to the latter. Very mild to medium severity depending on the width of nosepiece and strap.
(iii) Dr Cook's. Variation of the Scawbrig which adds two straps crossing under the jaw. These give a level of poll pressure so a slightly stronger bridle than (ii) in my view.

The severity of each of these types can vary tremendously depending on how much padding the manufacturer adds to the under/over straps. Worst example IMO is the 'German' hackamore which has a steel nosepiece with jaw chain and really long shanks. It's possible to do serious damage to a horse with one of these.

Having said that, some horses go much better bitless, but you have to know your animal.

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    03-12-2012, 07:11 PM
  #3
Foal
Thank you.
Has anyone tried the light rider bitless bridles? LightRider Bitless Bridles - LightRider Bitless Bridles Home
Just wondering how some horses work with it.
Thanks :)
     
    03-12-2012, 08:51 PM
  #4
Showing
Horses can lean into this type of head gear.
     
    03-13-2012, 03:43 AM
  #5
Yearling
In my opinion, in order of severity, mildest to harshest:

Part One: for direct reining:

-flat-nosed sidepull/jumping hackamore: function is that of a halter with reins attached, but purpose-built. Pressure on bridge of nose.


-scawbrig: as described by an earlier poster, the strap beneath the jowl tightens. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area.


-lightrider: much like a scawbrig, but more modern design. Doesn't slip around. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area.


-indian bosal: functions similarily to the scawbrig/light-rider, but instead of a single strap under the jaw, it is two straps crossing over one another under the jaw. Often made of rope. Release can be slow. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area. Please use one only with metal rings for the cross-under straps to cross through, as pictured. This allows for less friction and a better release.


-cross-under: made popular by Dr. Cook. Two straps coming from the crownpiece cross under the jaw and exit at rings at the sides of the noseband. Release can be slow. Pressure on bridge of nose, middle of jaw area, cheeks and poll.


-equi-bridle: odd pulley-style bridle. When reins are pulled, a sliding pulley attached to a curbchain moves up the cheekpieces, putting pressure on the bridge of nose, curb area and poll. Never have tried this one personally.


-LG zaum bridle: (a variation of this is the flower hackamore) similar to a standard hackamore, but with much less leverage. My personal favourite of all bitless designs. Allows a good, direct pressure with a bit of lift. Pressure is put on bridge of nose, curb area and poll.


-hackamore: this has the most leverage of all bitless options, and should be largely treated as a curb bit. Can be direct-reined in, but signals aren't very clear and need reinforcement from seat and legs. Pressure is put on the bridge of nose, curb area and poll.


Part Two: For Neckreining:

Bosal: the bosal works off of pressure on the bridge of nose, and the jawbones. Most definitely cannot be used for direct-reining.


Little S: similar to a hackamore, this bitless option can be used for direction in direct reining, but is really only meant to be used neckreining. Very mild, this bridle puts pressure on the bridge of nose and curb area. Very little leverage. Please use one with a flat noseband, as pictured.


Please note that none of these images belong to me.

I hope there were no omissions in this post; and I can go in to further detail about any bridle on request.
Best of luck on your bitless journey!
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    03-13-2012, 01:34 PM
  #6
Foal
Rope halter / bridle with knots
Quote:
Originally Posted by lozza159    
i am thinking about buying a bitless bridle for my arab mare. It will be used for trail riding, and maybe a bit of bare back 'schooling' in the area (more focus on my position then the horse, but still making her go nicely in a steady frame) I will still use a bit for pony club and eventing (as there is a rule against bitless bridles). I have used her rope halter before, but if she is working in frame it hits her neck and I havent got the control I like to have. It also feels weird.

What bitless bridles are out there and how do they work? Does it have different settings? Please don't just put "get the _______ bridle, I love it" I would like to know how it works.

Thanks :)
     
    03-13-2012, 06:37 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspin231    
In my opinion, in order of severity, mildest to harshest:

Part One: for direct reining:

-flat-nosed sidepull/jumping hackamore: function is that of a halter with reins attached, but purpose-built. Pressure on bridge of nose.


-scawbrig: as described by an earlier poster, the strap beneath the jowl tightens. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area.


-lightrider: much like a scawbrig, but more modern design. Doesn't slip around. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area.


-indian bosal: functions similarily to the scawbrig/light-rider, but instead of a single strap under the jaw, it is two straps crossing over one another under the jaw. Often made of rope. Release can be slow. Pressure on bridge of nose and curb area. Please use one only with metal rings for the cross-under straps to cross through, as pictured. This allows for less friction and a better release.


-cross-under: made popular by Dr. Cook. Two straps coming from the crownpiece cross under the jaw and exit at rings at the sides of the noseband. Release can be slow. Pressure on bridge of nose, middle of jaw area, cheeks and poll.


-equi-bridle: odd pulley-style bridle. When reins are pulled, a sliding pulley attached to a curbchain moves up the cheekpieces, putting pressure on the bridge of nose, curb area and poll. Never have tried this one personally.


-LG zaum bridle: (a variation of this is the flower hackamore) similar to a standard hackamore, but with much less leverage. My personal favourite of all bitless designs. Allows a good, direct pressure with a bit of lift. Pressure is put on bridge of nose, curb area and poll.


-hackamore: this has the most leverage of all bitless options, and should be largely treated as a curb bit. Can be direct-reined in, but signals aren't very clear and need reinforcement from seat and legs. Pressure is put on the bridge of nose, curb area and poll.


Part Two: For Neckreining:

Bosal: the bosal works off of pressure on the bridge of nose, and the jawbones. Most definitely cannot be used for direct-reining.


Little S: similar to a hackamore, this bitless option can be used for direction in direct reining, but is really only meant to be used neckreining. Very mild, this bridle puts pressure on the bridge of nose and curb area. Very little leverage. Please use one with a flat noseband, as pictured.


Please note that none of these images belong to me.

I hope there were no omissions in this post; and I can go in to further detail about any bridle on request.
Best of luck on your bitless journey!
This post needs to be stickied!
     
    03-13-2012, 07:17 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
I have this kind:

Side Pull Rope Hackamore Bitless Bridle Attachment | eBay

You just attach it to a bridle you already have. There's no leverage or anything to it so it's extremely mild. The knots I chose to have put in the nose of mine make it a little harsher, a flat one would be the mildest possible. It's basically like you're riding in a halter, only much sturdier and it doesn't twist around the nose like a halter sometimes does.




I also have a rope halter with rings for reins which is alright. It does have a tendency to twist around the nose though so I don't use it often.


As an aside, with any sort of bitless contraption, you aren't going to have the same "feel" or "control" that you do with a bit. A horse can run through any bitless thing very easily if they chose (they can do that with a bit too but with a bit you can reschool, bitless it's nearly impossible to reschool). Basically, don't expect it to feel the same as a bit does because it won't. :)
     
    03-13-2012, 08:08 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
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    03-14-2012, 05:35 AM
  #10
Foal
In addition on the post of aspin231 I would like to add the cavesson as a possiblity. There are a lot of different types and I will not descripe them all.

The cavesson works like a sidepull, therefor it has a quick release (wich I miss in some of the bridleless tack). If the horse knows about moving away from pressure, this works perfectly.

The Vienna cavesson. It is a multi-purpose tack. It has a soft noseband and 3 rings on it, so you can use it also for lunging and work in hand, long reining, riding. On the side there are some rings to attach a bit (or reins if you do no want to attach them on the noseband)



On the horse it look like this:



There is also the one wich has a poltered iron chain in the noseband. This one works of course more severe.



     

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