Breaking and training bitless.

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Breaking and training bitless.

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    02-15-2013, 12:13 PM
Breaking and training bitless.

Hey guys,

I was wondering if its possible to train a horse from the start using a bitless bridle.
I've never done it bitless before, and people kind of look at me funny when I say that's the route I'm going.
I'm also getting a treeless saddle, to break him in.
This isn't the first horse I've broken, I've just never used this equipment before while training!

Thanks! :)
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    02-15-2013, 12:36 PM
Green Broke
Of course it is. I'm in the process of training my filly in just a halter and she is going great (and she is half Fjord so VERY stubborn) But time and patience is key with these things. She's only 2 so I am in NO rush.
I would start with a rope halter, personally, and then maybe move up to a bitless but it all depends either way on what you do on the ground with her first.
You need to get her backing up really well to pressure on the face, as well as bending softly and giving into pressure both on the face and on the body where you will be using your legs.
This will all help to make her softer in the saddle when you climb up for the first time and every time after.
You must take the time to prepare her on the ground first, though, or else the whole bitless thing will just go out the window because the horse will not know/be willing to respond properly.
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    02-15-2013, 12:44 PM
I'm glad to hear of someone else doing it. I'm excited to start him. Just have to form a bond with him first. I just bought him last week and I have to wait 3more until he finally arrives. I hate the waiting game. He was such a doll when I met him. I don't think he is going to give me any trouble, when we were leaving I kinda put some wait on his back and he didn't care either way. As long as he got pets he was happy. :)
    02-15-2013, 12:52 PM
Green Broke
Sounds like my filly :)
My friend also started her 3-year-old (coming 4 this summer) last winter in just a halter and has not had to put a bit in her yet. She's more sensitive than my filly, though, so it takes very little rein pressure to get a response out of her.
My filly actually responds better to body cues than rein cues as I have worked on getting her to yield properly from the ground first, but seeing as how she has only had 5 rides on her since August (each "ride" being around 15 minutes), she is improving wonderfully.
If you take the time you will see just how smart they are but don't rush things ;)
    02-15-2013, 05:10 PM
We start all our horses bitless, just in a rope halter. Most are very young or have been abused pretty bad, so from little paint pony to huge warmblood, worked for all of them!
    02-15-2013, 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by Island Horselover    
We start all our horses bitless, just in a rope halter. Most are very young or have been abused pretty bad, so from little paint pony to huge warmblood, worked for all of them!

My confidence is huge now! I wonder why everyone thought I was so weird for wanting to do it that way!

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    02-16-2013, 01:29 AM
Originally Posted by ApolloRider    
My confidence is huge now! I wonder why everyone thought I was so weird for wanting to do it that way!

Welcome to horse forum!
I have a soon to be 11yr. Mare, I got her at 3yr. Old with 30 days of riding on her, she was trained with a bite. In the last 8yrs. I have never used a bit on her, for the first 3yrs. I rode her with a rope halter and then got a biteless bridle, I still ride sometimes in the halter too........get a good bond with her, do alot of ground work with your horse to gain your trust and respect.....I've never had my mare bolt/rear/buck since I've had her, I sometimes just have to talk to her and she listens really well.....good luck, I love biteless! Especially out trail riding, I don't have to worry about a halter or lead, I have rope reins and when we stop for lunch I tether her with one front leg while we eat......
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    02-16-2013, 06:18 AM
Some horses do well bitless. Some do not. As with most things in horse training, the horse gets a vote.
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    02-16-2013, 07:28 AM
I start all horses(& riders) bitless & only introduce a bit after the horse &/or rider is reliably 'soft' without. I also 'retrain' horses bitless generally.
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    02-16-2013, 08:54 PM
I ride my horses bitless often. I see no problem in starting them that way either. It is not the pain of the bit that keeps the horse in line but training the horse to respond to the cue. The cue can be pressure in his mouth or on his nose.
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