02-04-2010, 12:54 PM
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Jamesqf you would do just what has been said, practice leg and seat cues with the bridle until the horse is solid and not requiring you to back them up with the rein. I would gather lightness may not be the goal of all activities that would require losing the reins.
Remember too that horses are conditioned response animals and they also will learn patterns of behavior that result in the rider 'letting them be.' For example the native American's had to run alongside bison and shot without reins. The horses learned, much like today's cow horses, to stay with the herd on their own.
Keeping that in mind, the horse may be under a certain amount of control in that one condition, but in another situation there may be no control as the rider is not really in the horses head, they are just running a routine.
It takes hours of work to gain true bridless control, you have to get into your horses head and be able to stop unwanted actions in the thought and have your horse relying on you for direction