Am I just stupid? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 01:14 AM
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Hehehe well i used to ride banjo in rope halter , bareback too and that was along roads and beaches. I dont have paddocks that are rideable in so can only trail ride/ road ride.
I had galloped banjo with the rope halter bridle to ( saddle too tho not bareback ) down the beach and stuff.And this was literally a rope halter i found in my shed and attached reins to....wasnt one of those bought ropehalter bridles instores now...and my boy was fine for me, my mum and 9yr old cousin ( and hes by far not even a bombproof horse).

But yea.....i did have a small test ride before going on a big ride in it. I have since switched to a hackamore on him tho, as the ropehalter tended to slide up his face a little sometimes, and as a precaution for such experiences as you described ( he used to be a bolter when he got a fright :roll: ).

But yea as far as keeping control, going bitless is the same as if you were testing out a bit, there are a few to choose from, so while a ropehalter may not work for your horse hackamores or bosals or whatever may do and they should be tested in a safe place first
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post #12 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 02:51 AM
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Well said Arrow. I was there and it was just as Vida said. The mare was fine until it knew she was on a homeword turn, then off to the races..Both mares were acting up a little yesterday frass was a little bucky when loping. and it was very humid. I have a Don West Bosal I ride Frass in around the farm or playing horse soccer. She stops fine and is a great neck reiner. However on a trail a curb bit will always be in her mouth not that she needs it, but it's not worth the time off work, lost wages, because of a fall. A runaway happened one time before when Maureen let my 30 year old, KNOW IT ALL, nephew ride Vida (my nephew that would'nt take a refresher course in the round pen first, and knew all about a one rein stop) . And it was with a curb bit.. when we made the last turn to the quater mile back to the farm. Vida (the mare) was off to the races all that could be heard was WOOOO DAMIT.. WOOOO... DAMIT WOOOO WOOOOO DAMIT!!!!.....DAMIT PLEASEEE!! WOOOOOOO. OH GOD PLEASEEE DAMIT WOOO!!! Did I mention that he did'nt want to ride our slow trusty Maddie, a bomb proof mix breed, because she was'nt cool enough for him 8) I was amazed he stayed on her..he was bouncing all over the saddle, feet out of both sturrips and arms in the air.. No Hi Ho Silver and away, just the wofull cry WOOOOO DAMIT!!! :roll: The mare stopped at the hitching rail and my nephew crawled off her and started yelling at the mare "YOU ALMOST KILLED ME" over and over.. this was the last time he has asked to ride a horse.. not that he needs to be on one... But YES, I would pay to see the whole thing again. ..only if I knew no one would get hurt... And Vida would'nt respond to her name for a month, if you wanted to call her in just cry out WOOOOO DAM IT.....

"Horses raise what the farmer eats and eats what the farmers raises" "You can't plow in the ground and get gasoline"...Will Rogers 1932
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 06:56 AM
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i know with possum it took her ages to understand that she had to listen to the halter the same way as she would a bit. i spent heaps of time riding her in the arena where she had nowhere to go if she decided to ignore me. through time and still riding as though you would with a bridle she will get used to it :)

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #14 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 08:03 AM
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While I would agree with Arrow about a riding in a halter, a rope halter is more in line with a bosal.

A bosal is fine on a well trained horse but on a horse that is questionable or has never been out on one, then that was a silly thing to do.

The thing to do is to put a bridle over the rope halter (or bosal) so that you have a means of control when needed. A lot of working cowboys will ride with double reins that way. They have the bosal to use for the simple riding and a normal bridle for the finesse.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Barbarosa
. .. No Hi Ho Silver and away, just the wofull cry WOOOOO DAMIT!!! :roll: The mare stopped at the hitching rail and my nephew crawled off her and started yelling at the mare "YOU ALMOST KILLED ME" over and over.. this was the last time he has asked to ride a horse.. not that he needs to be on one... But YES, I would pay to see the whole thing again. ..only if I knew no one would get hurt... And Vida would'nt respond to her name for a month, if you wanted to call her in just cry out WOOOOO DAM IT.....
OMG!!! LMHO! What a great story and well told. I love it.
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 09:43 AM
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I'm not an expert, but I imagine that it takes similar training/work to get the horse/rider 'communication' understood when riding bitless as it does with a bit, even for a well trained horse. Our 14 yr old finished/seasoned mare is very light in the mouth, always responds, knows verbal commands, and has never run through the bit (we use eggbutt snaffles), but she knows that if I take her out in an open field, get to a lope, give her a little leg and a loose rein, that means 'pick your speed until I tell you to slow down.' I don't think I would ever be confident enough, even with her, to rely on a 'whoo' to replace that slight 'slow down' bit pressure when riding at a gallop.

Most importantly, glad your weren't hurt!

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 09:55 AM
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I ride Gem in a rope halter. Tom and I felt bad for him because he was a lesson horse and had all sorts of kids on his back and who knows what they did to his mouth, so at first we took his nylon halter and attached reins. He was fine. Turning was a little interesting but his whoa is great. Now we ride in a rope halter and if he wants to be a brat you'll have to neck rein instead of direct rein, but i've never had a problem with riding him bitless, and I think he enjoys it a lot more too.

We have not taken him out on the trails, but i have walked him around the property in his rope halter. While i know it's not the same thing, if he wanted to go, he could have gone.

I have also ridden Vega in a rope halter once. It was in an arena and not out on a trail, but all went well. It was just a spur of the moment type thing, so she didn't listen all that well, but it was well enough for me to w/t/c and turn and whoa.

Maureen, i dont blame you for doing what you did. I would have done the exact same thing. You said it yourself that you were barely even using your bit. You are very brave and courageous and fearless for doing that :) Give yourself a pat on the back for that one.
Also, since you said she wasn't ridden all week, i would try riding her bitless again after you've ridden her some before. She could have had a lot of energy built up and wanted to give you a fun ride :)
Even your hubby said that Frass was acting up too, so i wouldn't let it deter you from doing what you want :)
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 10:02 AM
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Stupid is a stupid does - the first time I got on my ottb, I was bareback with a halter and the lead clipped on one side and tied on the other. I did do some prep work (I clipped long reins to each side of the halter and walked around behind him to make sure he would stop if I pulled back a little and said whoa), and then - on a whim - decided to tie the lead to the other side of his halter and get on. I lived to tell the tale, although I'm pretty sure the 83 year old wonderful woman who allows me to keep Scout on her property for nothing was inside covering her eyes...and my mom was not pleased when I told her!

Anyway, while I don't think I would have been brave enough to attempt that long of a ride in just a halter without some initial tests (like long reins on a halter on the trail), props to your bravery! And at least you had the foresight to bring the headstall along just in case. Besides, what fun is your horse without a little (perhaps misguided) adventure!


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post #19 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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I guess if I live through the ride, its a good day

She was much better today. I definitly used the bit, funny just knowing its there makes a big difference. I want to add it was a plain ol regular rope halter with the reins attached at the chin knot, much like a bosal. I did do some preliminary work lateral bending and stopping. I don't lunge my horses pre ride, just tack up and go usually.
My main problem was as Arrow stated, I just couldn't move her head. Maybe I'm not strong enough There was no leverage at all. I could barely bring her head around for the one rein stop.
I promise I won't do it again Lucky I have a husband (barbarosa) who let me do it without bashing me too bad. Guess he knows I would go ahead and do it anyway

I'll use that bitless one of these days, but only in our pasture. I'll trust the wild and wooly trails to a bit.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-31-2008, 12:00 PM
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I guess everyones' experiences are different depending on their horse. My haflinger braces up when a bit goes in his mouth and I have done tons of softening excersizes and he was at a trainers and he still has not softened up with a bit. He braces that muscled neck of his and their is no turning his head. I've tried several different snaffles, western curbs, pelhams, etc. I can get some softening in the arena, but never where I really like and absolutely none on the trail. After being seriously hurt a couple times I have found its much safer to not ride him in a bit.

However, with the bosal he is much more relaxed and I have never had a problem getting his head turned when I needed - even the few times he has tried to brace. I can get the leverage needed with the bosal. However, you can't compare a bosal to a rope halter. The thicker and stiffer structure of a bosal makes it work differently on the nose than a soft and flexible rope halter. If you use the two and compare you will see the difference.

The best way to use a rope halter is to get O-rings built into the side knots and use it as a side-pull. Its more direct-reining (similar to a snaffle) and its easier to get the head turned if needed. You use a rope halter like a bosal with the connection under the chins - all you are going to do is spin the nose piece, which is why a bosal is stiffer and works better than a rope halter in that respect - it doesn't spin when fitted properly. It starts to turn and it will catch on the chin bones and turns the horse's head.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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