Do you think Bareback riding and bitless riding should be allowed in 4-H? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think Bareback riding and bitless riding should be allowed in 4-H?

I was going to ride Ace bitless and bareback a lot as he is really comfy to ride bareback and is extremely calm and bombproof. I was looking at the 4-H rules and you are only allowed to ride bareback in 2 recognized classes. Bareback English Equitation and Bareback Western Equitation. Ace is going to most likely be a barrel and trail horse. I think Hackamores, Bitless bridles, bareback, and that kind of thing should be allowed. At least in the practice ring.

In the practice ring you must have a bit in your horse's mouth unless you are in full speed tack(breast collar, saddle, Helmet, etc) So you can't just clip reins to your halter, or use a hackamore or bitless bridle and ride bareback. I understand for the fact that some people shouldn't ride without a bit if their horses just run through it but if you have a horse that can easily be ridden bareback and bitless(or in a hackamore) I think you should be able to.

So what do you think? Should riders be allowed to use hackamores, bitless bridles and ride bareback in the practice ring and more then just in the bareback classes?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:39 PM
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The better question is...why can't you just put a saddle on and ride? Is there som reason why you would chose to ride bareback and bitless?

4-H rules are for safety. I am sure this is why the bareback/bitless/bridleless stuff isn't going to work there.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:43 PM
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Exactly, it's a liability issue. All it would take is 1 kid to fall off and get hurt for one sue-happy parent to take the city, arena owner, show steward, and whever else they thought they could get for every cent they had.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:43 PM
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Oh and you may want to contact your leader...rules change from county to county/state to state but here in PA, Westmoreland County you are allowed to run in a mechanical hack. Full saddle though.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:46 PM
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I agree with the 4H rules. I can understand some cases for bitless or bridleless riding if the rider is competent to use the hackamore or bitless bridle, but I agree with their decisions about bareback.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 04:46 PM
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I think horses should be allowed to be ridden in proper hackamores, but just clipping reins to a halter sounds dangerous. Sure, I do it all the time at home. At home, if I can't stop my horse, he isn't a danger to others. He won't startle their horses with his behavior and cause them to act up. There are inexperienced riders out there who can't handle their horses spinning and running and trying to join in the fun.

Halters (rope halters excluded; those things can have some bite) don't give you enough control to keep your horse contained if he decides to do something stupid. Furthermore, it is more likely he will do something stupid at a show anyway. It's too big a risk.

Bareback poses a similar problem; anyone will tell you that it's very easy to fall off bareback. You fall off and your horse goes flying around the ring. That'll certainly mess up someone's warmup. But of course this can happen with a saddle as well. It's just not as likely.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 12-06-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 05:18 PM
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No. 4-H is for people learning about horse showing for kids, showing later on in your life you can ride however you want.

What if someone got out of the gate after their class, horse spooked, took off running through the fairgrounds and down the street? With a bridle and saddle it provides much more control if something DID happen.

Last edited by equiniphile; 12-06-2010 at 05:20 PM.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-06-2010, 10:17 PM
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Safety reasons. Nobody needs a loose horse, people falling off, and other such things.
And in my county and state, were allowed to barrel race or do any contesting event in a mechanical hackamore.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-07-2010, 09:13 AM
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This is one of those situations where when in Rome do as the Romans do.

You do not join an organization with set rules for their shows and then expect the rules to be modified because you like something else.

I agree with the others, the rules are there for the general safety of everyone.

If you can make a good argument to have the rules changed why not make a presentation to the leaders and see if you can get them changed?
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-07-2010, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind View Post
This is one of those situations where when in Rome do as the Romans do.

You do not join an organization with set rules for their shows and then expect the rules to be modified because you like something else.

I agree with the others, the rules are there for the general safety of everyone.

If you can make a good argument to have the rules changed why not make a presentation to the leaders and see if you can get them changed?
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