bitless bridles/ riding in a headstall

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bitless bridles/ riding in a headstall

This is a discussion on bitless bridles/ riding in a headstall within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    08-30-2007, 08:58 AM
bitless bridles/ riding in a headstall

I've been looking up about bitless bridles on the internet and they sound quite good but on a forum there were people talking about riding in just a headcollar with a lead rope I was thinking of doing this myself but am a bit unsure if I ride in just a headcollar does it have to be fitted to a certain spot or just like when you normally have it quite loose and do you attach reins to the sides or underneath where the lead rope goes??? Any help is much appreciated and any info about your experiences with bitless bridles or just headcollars thanks heaps.
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    08-30-2007, 10:18 AM
I've often ridden with just a halter and lead rope when I am just "goofing off" bareback, but this is with my horse that I have owned for 18 years - I am very familiar with him and him with me. I just use his every day halter and don't fit it any special way. If your horse is used to single reining (like english), tie them on each side. If he neck reins you can tie underneath also. If you've never tried this, do it in a round pen first to make sure the horse will listen to you! And I'd never try it in an unfamiliar location or trail, even as laid back as my horse is. Have someone on hand in case you need help the first few times. You never know how a horse might react, and you definitely do not have as much control without a bridle.
    08-30-2007, 11:20 AM
I wouldn't recommend it unless you really know your horse (or it's dead quiet one). I don't use halter, as they tend to go to my horse eyes (may be because they are cheap? Lol!), but I use leather noseband with reins attached. Just sits on my horse head better.

Another thing is whether your horse is OK with pulling on nose. My younger one doesn't like the noseband any type even though there is no bit there. So she doesn't behave really well in it.

If you have nice well-fitted halter, I think that's the one to go and try - just attach reins on both sides.

Good luck!

P.S. Some people say bitless bridles are great, some don't like it. I'v never tried one (too expensive to try and find out horse doesn't like it). I can say for sure my younger won't like it.
    08-30-2007, 07:39 PM
Yeah I only tend to ride in a halter when I'm goofing off aswell and I must say it really gives your trust for your horse a run for its money!!!!!
    08-31-2007, 06:46 AM
Thanks for all your help guys I do have alot of trust in my horse n I hope he has in me! Umm when you said a noseband did you mean like with a cavesson n reis attached to the sides because I had thought about that also
    09-04-2007, 12:17 PM
I mean this thing.. :)

I got it 1.5 years back. Quality is nice and seems to fit my horse well.
    09-07-2007, 02:24 PM
I have been riding a Morgan since 1999 with a side pull and would have it no other way.
I was training my qh to a side pull and she was coming along nicely on it before she died. Her former owner used a very evil bit on her and she is one of the reason I don't like bits in general.
I now have a new horse that I don't know what breed to call her, 1/4 Percheron with qh and tb, that I will use a side pull on also. So as you can see I do not like bits and feel that pain is not a way to gain trust of your horse.
    09-07-2007, 03:17 PM
It is not the bit that is painful - it is the rider's hands. A bitless rig or hackamore can be just as painful to a horse as a bit. Put firm pressure on the bridge of your nose and see - it hurts just as bad as firm pressure on the tongue and mouth. Of course, there are some bits that are excessive, but there are good bits out there - don't discount bits altogether. Myler makes a variety of english and western bits and all are well made with comfort of the horse in mind. But no bit or bitless bridle will be comfortable with a heavy handed rider.
    09-07-2007, 03:54 PM
I agree with you 100% Nurse, a heavy hand can still hurt. A hackamore like the one Kitten shows is the most gentlest that I know of. And if you don't know how to bridle up with a bit then it can also hurt. Try rattling a spoon on your teeth. Every time I hear it, it is like finger nails on a black board and I have to walk away. Some times I want to tell a rider to get off their horse and find some thing else in life to torture like them selves.
    09-10-2007, 08:11 AM
Yep, you guys are absolutely right about the hands. Sidepull in bad hands can be extremely harsh. I do know people (the beginners!) riding in ugly mechanical hackamores with long shanks(!) (riding the horse that never was even trained for hackamores). And they proudly say "Hey, look, I ride without bit!" When I tried to tell them that mild snaffle is way more gentle and safe than mech hackamore they got somewhat upset, and told me "Look, I can pool on reins too much and it will hurt the mouse". Well, I assume that if they pull too much in meck hackamore and break the horse nose it considers to be OK. Those people are just STUPID! But(!) in the end they can always say to other beginners "Hey, MY horse is excellent to ride with NO bit!". :( :( :(

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