Do you think Bareback riding and bitless riding should be allowed in 4-H? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 03:29 AM
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No. Most definitely not.

Perhaps, if it wasn't 4H, which I believe to be a kids program, if it was an adults show, then maybe. But its a kids show, and perhaps you can control your horse perfectly well, but maybe some other person can't and they try to ride bitless and bareback, then their horse takes off and gallops past some lead line ponies, or a young teen on their green project horse, then they could go bolting too and it wouldn't take much for a HUGE catastrophe with lots of crying children and lame ponies. Can you see, how if the people were wearing bridles and saddles, how it would be so much safer?
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 04:07 AM
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In our county we had two kids ride bareback during our fair week. I don't know what 'qualified' them to do so but I'm sure that asking your advisors and being in the intermediate or advanced grouping was required. I wouldn't like to see walk trotters bareback and bitless.. most of them can barely control where they're going with tack. Now if the horse had some mouth problem and couldn't wear a bit then id see the county making exceptions for it. But letting just anyone do this could be risky.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 04:20 AM
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Like others have said, if it was adults, then possibly. However you have kids, around the age of 9+ showing. I'm sure kids that age range don't have the experience of what an adult has (not saying that you don't).

Monkey see monkey do right?

Well lets say you go in and ride without a bit, like a bitless bridle. Well then kids are going to think that is 'cool' and so they will join in. Nothing is really wrong with that. However, since they are kids and aren't really quite sure what they are doing, they can cause nerve damage in the wrong hands. See where I'm going with this?

Not only that, but your going to have the kid with the hot-blooded horse going bitless, and lets say the horse wasn't properly transitioned into a bitless bridle and the child isn't that good of controlling his/her horse. Well then the horse spooks, child can't control her horse, the horse smacks into another horse. Possibly breaking it's leg, children flying everywhere, horses loose, broken bones, etc.

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post #14 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 12:47 PM
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I don't trust children to be strong enough to stay on and control a horse or pony without full tack. Especially on a horse that may not be trained to respond properly to a hackamore or bitless bridle, and most especially at a show with tons of noise, vendors, new people, new horses, etc. Its to easy to say hey look, a bareback class! That's new, mommy I want to try! And it could be a disaster. I don't trust kids and parents enough to be safe about it.

Think of it not as a failure but as a success in how not to do it.

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post #15 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 09:44 PM
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4-H is a 'teaching' organization. It pretty closely follows breed show rules and good, safe horsemanship guidelines. You cannot change the rules for one individual or small group of individuals. No one should set themselves up to 'judge' who should and should not follow the rules.

Western breed rules usually allow mechanical hackamores and bitless bridles in speed events and roping. Here is the quote directly from the AQHA rulebook.
Quote:
(i) In roping, speed events, team penning and ranch sorting western type equipment must be used. Use of a hackamore (including mechanical hackamores) or other type of bridles is the optional choice of the contestant; however, the judge may prohibit the use of bits or equipment he may consider severe.
I like the rules and think they are good rules and should be followed. What people do on their own times is there business. What they do at 4-H meeting and events should be 'by the book'. Part of learning good horsemanship is learning to follow the rules. When 4-H kids come to my house to practice, they wear helmets and ride with saddles and bridles -- period. JMHO Cherie

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post #16 of 17 Old 10-21-2012, 09:47 PM
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Really old thread, guys
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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Can you imagine a 4th grader and their horse trying to ride bareback and bridleless in the warmup pen?

I wouldn't do it. I don't show 4-H anymore because I got tired of the "mafia", I show HS Equestrian instead, but I do agree with the rules. It's there for safety, end of story.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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