Why transition out of a bosal? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Why transition out of a bosal?

Hi! I'm hoping someone can help me with my question. I just bought a wonderful 6 year old TWH/Appy mare and she is in a bosal. I had no experience with a bosal, but her previous owner gave me a few brief lessons. Basically, very very light touch, slack reins, bumping not pulling, leg cues. This horse is so responsive to leg and light pressure, it's a beautiful thing. I can move my hand slightly to the right and she sees it from the corner of her eye and turns right even before pressure is applied. My question is THIS: I am falling in love with the bosal and the way my horse and I communicate, every place I've looked for advice on how to properly ride with one teaches that the bosal is a stepping stone and the ultimate goal is to introduce the bit. Can't I just ride in it forever??? I'm not showing her or planning on ever selling her. Just trail riding and some arena/cow work maybe (if we can get her over her fear of cows!). Why do people seem to move away from the bosal after initial training? Is there something I'm missing? (ok, that was a lot more than one questions!)
Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 12:59 PM
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 01:03 PM
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Have fun with your horse, if you're comfortable in the bosal and it works, there's no reason to change it.

...you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 01:46 PM
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The progression is from a hackamore to the two-rein then "straight up in the bridle" with a spade bit. The reason to do this is to save the horse's mouth in the training process. The spade bit is a tool of higher refinment, subtlety, and self carriage that you can't get from the hackamore. There's no reason you can't stay in the hackamore. Everything you like about how your horse works in the hackamore can be even better with a half-breed or spade bit. You've got to be really dedicated to learn what it takes to go to the next level though.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your answers! And Mike, I think that is where my confusion came from - all of the resources I've found in my search for the proper way to ride with the bosal have led me to the Californio or Vaquero tradition of the Spade Bit horse. It made me wonder...is there something inherently wrong with keeping her in a bosal? But you're right. I guess I will see how we continue to get along and progress in the bosal and if I feel she needs more refinement (after a few years!) I can see where we should go then!
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 07:46 PM
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping her in a bosal forever if she responds nicely and you both like it. Just because it is part of a greater plan in Vaquero training doesn't mean anything if you aren't looking to make her into a bridle horse.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-19-2011, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elinejk View Post
Thanks for your answers! And Mike, I think that is where my confusion came from - all of the resources I've found in my search for the proper way to ride with the bosal have led me to the Californio or Vaquero tradition of the Spade Bit horse. It made me wonder...is there something inherently wrong with keeping her in a bosal? But you're right. I guess I will see how we continue to get along and progress in the bosal and if I feel she needs more refinement (after a few years!) I can see where we should go then!
Spade bits require a lot of experience and steadiness to use. They take a minimum of 6 years to train for. From the way I read it, she sounds just fine in a bosal and has no need for a spade bit.
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