LG Bitless Bridle?
 
 

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LG Bitless Bridle?

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    01-06-2010, 09:24 AM
  #1
Foal
LG Bitless Bridle?

I am currently riding my horse Bird in a Nurtural Bitless Bridle.
I used to ride him in a snaffle but he would NOT have any part of it, head tossing, wouldn't listen to any aids, bolting.
With the Bitless, he is soo much better. The only problem is that he is still very strong at the trot and canter. I have to work and work and work just to keep him at a decent pace.
From what I've read about the LG, it seems that people having the same problems as me had them disappear.
Just wondering if anyone has used one, or has any opinion on it.
Thank you.
     
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    01-06-2010, 10:12 PM
  #2
Foal
LOVE it! I am kind of a bitless fanatic, and ride regularly in a variety of rope halters, hackamores, sidepulls, etc... and I just love this one. I use it mostly on my young TB who is in training for eventing - he gets a little strong out galloping on the trails (especially in company! Helloooo race horse!) and this just gives me a bit more "whoa" than a sidepull with a teeny bit of leverage, but not so much as a hackamore, which can actually be very severe despite being bitless.

My other favourite is this guy... Nickers Saddlery - Floatation Hackamore I use one of these on my lesson pony, as she can be a turkey and likes to take occasional nibbles along the fence during a lesson as well as head to the gate when she feels the lesson is over - so this gives my students a bit more control without having them bouncing thier inexperienced hands around on a bit while they learn. When I bought her, she used to be ridden in a kimberwicke, but this works way better.
     
    01-07-2010, 12:46 AM
  #3
Foal
In order to teach my horse proper aids there must be a release of the pressure from the bridle. With the Nurtural, I've found that the reins don't slide through fast enough therefore I cannot teach him well since I can't release the pressure fast enough. I need something that is still bitless, but will have a more effective release. Not looking for something stronger.
I suppose I should have put that in my explanation also.
     
    01-07-2010, 02:10 AM
  #4
Weanling
About the bridle. It looks good. It looks like it does have more leverage than a nurtural which is what I use (at least during the winter) as well. Kind of like a leverage bit mixed with a bitless bridle.
Go ahead and give it a shot: it won't hurt to try.
     
    01-07-2010, 07:29 PM
  #5
Yearling
Personally, I wouldn't use it. Looks like it puts the head in a vice grip.

Though, bolting with the snaffle doesn't sound like 'he doesn't like it.' It sounds like 'he was trained to bolt and shake his head.'
     
    01-07-2010, 08:43 PM
  #6
Weanling
Personally, I don't like cross-strap-style bitless bridles...or rather, I don't like their message "bits are evil" "no more metal in the mouth" blah, blah. I have seen bitless bridles and they can be abused just as badly and be just as harmful as any bit or hackamore. The put pressure over the entire face and when the reins are pulled it acts just like a vice-grip. If you've ever worn a helmet that's too small for any amount of time, you know how bad it feels to have something too tight on your head.

And from what I can see the LG bitless looks like a glorified English hackamore.
To compare,
The LG:


English Hackamore:


The design is a little less bulky and has a few extra features, but the function and princaple is virtually identical.
     
    01-07-2010, 10:16 PM
  #7
Trained
How is this for constructive? My advice, and you are welcome to ignore it, is to find someone with more experience to help you get him to ride in a snaffle. Then spend some time getting him soft in the face and felxing vertically and laterally. Also disengage the front and hindquarters and perhaps do some one rein stops. Backing will also help with stopping. Going to a different bridle is not the ideal solution for the long term. Any horse can learn to handle in a snaffle. Try a french link if you like. Blowing through the bridle is indicitive of a horse that has quit trying to find your feel and is taking charge himself. Work on getting with him at slower gates and then work your way back up. It may seem like I'm offering the same advice over and over but the lack of feel and flexion is normally the cause of many problems people have with thier horses.
     
    01-07-2010, 10:29 PM
  #8
Green Broke
As far as the gear, you might look in to a "Little S" hackamore. That's what I use when my Nurtural isn't enough.

Also, you might take a look at what you're feeding him. Nutrition plays a BIG role in horse behavior. As does tack. A check by the saddle fitter and horse chiropractor might be in order. A teeth floating might be needed as well (can effect your bitless and definitely effects the bit).

Some more training is a good idea as well. Work with a Dressage instructor (not just an eventing trainer that does Dressage) on getting your horse to be more balanced and listening to your seat more. You should be able to use your seat and weight to slow your horse down without having to rely on your reins much.

Teaching the horse what "WHOA" means is a good idea as well. Those western trainers can teach you a thing or two as well . When I say whoa, I mean "WHOA NOW". Not in 30 seconds, not even in 3 strides, but NOW! First work on the lead rope. Do not over-use the word. If he doesn't stop on the first "whoa", get big and send him backward, then jerk the rope and say "Whoa" again asking for the stop. Praise him heavily, including food treats if he's good with them, when he does stop on whoa, even if you had to back him. You want it to be very clear to him exactly what you want. Once he's doing well on the lead (leading him from BOTH sides!!), then move on to the lunge line or round pen. Once he's doing well in the round pen, then try using it undersaddle.

When teaching whoa, be sure you ONLY say whoa when you want and expect a FULL STOP. For just slowing down I say "Easy" or for a fidgeting horse I say "Quit That". Teaching the "Whoa" comes in VERY handy! I teach it and how to ground tie to all of my horses. I have the best behaved "English" horses my vet or farrier has ever come across, lol.
     
    01-07-2010, 11:22 PM
  #9
Foal
Great advice everyone!
It's great because my old dressage instructor lives just down the road so maybe I'll drop by and ask her for a few lessons. As for the LG, I read that there are many different ways to use it. I'm going to look into it further, but it looks like some can be quite severe as others not so much. I just want something with a quick release of pressure so I can teach him properly how to slow and keep slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
How is this for constructive? My advice, and you are welcome to ignore it, is to find someone with more experience to help you get him to ride in a snaffle. Then spend some time getting him soft in the face and felxing vertically and laterally. Also disengage the front and hindquarters and perhaps do some one rein stops. Backing will also help with stopping. Going to a different bridle is not the ideal solution for the long term. Any horse can learn to handle in a snaffle. Try a french link if you like. Blowing through the bridle is indicitive of a horse that has quit trying to find your feel and is taking charge himself. Work on getting with him at slower gates and then work your way back up. It may seem like I'm offering the same advice over and over but the lack of feel and flexion is normally the cause of many problems people have with thier horses.
Now didn't that feel so much better than calling me ignorant?
Thank you and I will take your advice into heavy consideration.
     
    01-07-2010, 11:47 PM
  #10
Weanling
I think what Kevin was trying to say is that the problems and vices your horse had could be caused by your riding. I'm making this assumption completely off of the majority of riders (to be quite honest) coming from the bitless world, for I haven't seen you ride, but I see quite often bitless riders with the wrong idea.
The current "bit" may be quieting the mistakes you may be making, so the horse may not be noticing or not caring as much.
What it all comes down to in the end is what works for both horse and rider in the situation they are currently in. Perhaps your hands aren't steady and soft to be riding Bird in a bit. Perhaps Bird is sensitive to hand, or just maybe doesn't like bits. It depends on the horse.

Allow me to elaborate for you some things, yes?


Looking at this LG Bitless bridle, and basing it off of my (limited) knowledge of (english) hackamores, you can see the following things.
  • It utilizes three means of pressure, the most prelevent being downward acting poll pressure (which tells the horse, "Head down."), front-to-back force on the nose (which tells him, "Head in.") then the conflicting upward acting chin leverage (which says, "Head up.").
  • It works completely off of a curb "bit", meaning that you are constantly using leverage and poll pressure without escape. I've actually seen people attach a secondary "snaffle" rein to the joining part of the hackamore "bit". However, I'm not sure of the effect exactly of doing this, but I'd assume it works completely by putting pressure on the hard part of the nose, which is not good.
  • These conflicting aids often cause a horse to evade by curling his head into a low and deep position (meaning that he lowers his head so that he is overbending, and sucks behind the vertical), locking up the lumbar spine and thus eventually producing some of the problems that surface from LDR ("low, deep, and round", a practice similar to rollkur/hyperflexion, but less extreme).
English hackamores and this glorified version of it can actually be much harsher than actual bits, but they work in a more "drowning" type of harshness. The hackamore (and thus, the LG) in particular is notoriously used to silence issues by the malinformed horse owner, because it uses so much (conflicting) pressure. Often times hackamore users are convinced that they can make a horse "go round" without a bit, when they are really telling the horse to put his head Up/Down/In, and he then tries to evade the pressure.
These effects are prelevent in the hands of unaware riders. In the hands of a soft rider, the results may be different.



You'd have to use this bit knowing completely what you are actually doing. Are you truly making him better, or are you silencing his protests? If you honestly assess yourself first, then perhaps you can see fit what is best. Ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you balancing on his face, leaning on your hand, or lacking elasticity/give in your arms?
  • When you ask for a turn, yield, or anything else that involves a form of hand, are you backing up what you are doing with leg and (when required) seat?
  • Do you sponge the rein, or do you pull/open the rein when you add hand aids?
  • Where do you hold your hands when riding? Too high (amplifies the aid), or too low (which abuses the tongue)?
  • Is your horse ignorant/explosive/leaning when you use hand, or does he move into it and yield to and utilize the pressure?
These only touch the surface of questions to be asked. Responsible and proper use of the bit means using very little of it. Our aids to use should come in order of seat, then leg, then hand backed up with leg and seat. The seat combined with a little bit of leg and hand should be what is primarily used to ask a horse to slow or stop.

Of course, not everyone is going to be a master at this idea of softness, but when a horse is tossing his head and bolting, etcetera, this usually indicates that he is either in pain, the tack is not adjusted or suited correctly, or most likely that the rider is doing something that is bothering him.

Perhaps I should recommend these articles;
Feel: Teaching and Learning to Feel
The Horse is Your Mirror
Connection
When Things Go Wrong
Resistance
Causes of Resitance


To close, I will again remind you that I have never seen you ride, but I'm pointing out the first things you should figure out before resulting to this surprisingly "harsh" bridle. Just because it is bitless, does not meaning it is best. Remember that harsh is in the hands of the user, and a horse reacts to harshness in the way it sees fit to the particular situation (for example, if a rider is digging spurs into the horse's sides, they may bolt. But if the rider is doing this at the same time as leaning on the reins, they may rear).
So, my question is this: since Bird is sensitive to a simple snaffle, would you consider now changing him to this even more harsh "bit"? If it is something you are causing with your riding, don't you agree that you may just be harming him even more? And what is it that convinces you that your hand is what slows a horse's pace in the first place? Even a horse excited for a cross country course can be slowed and stopped with seat combined with a little bit of leg and hand when he is trained with softness and feel.
In no way am I calling you a bad rider, but I'm always compelled to make people aware of understanding the effects of what they are using or considering using. If the person is willing to learn, then they can use this new knowledge to better themselves as a rider and connect better with the horse, don't you agree?

Sorry for such a long post, but this is actually only scratching the surface of what I am trying to explain. I agree that going to your dressage instructor is a wonderful idea! Dressage is the basis of everything we do in english riding (perhaps it even has an influence on western!), and it never hurts to learn everything you can! ~
     

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