Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sweden - the land of carrots and apples
I think this needs to be said again:
I'm in no way saying that I'll never use a bit again.
Or that you should do s I do on this matter (I recommend yo not to actually ;) )
Or that my hands get softer because he feel less of my pulling - however I mean that if I can't use my hands to correct him, I need to use my seat and weight instead. So it is training for me.
I don't say that my horse can't be ridden with a bit, in fact he can be ridden with any bit that I've tried, including several bitless options, snaffles and severe curbs.
In fact, the only problem I ever have with my horse is completely based on his education; example; He don't always get the right canter and he don't know how to do flying lead changes. We've never worked on that this far. He's a trail horse afterall, I'm in no hurry with those things (I am working on getting the right lead in the canter tho - which has improved since I use my seat more than my hand and focus on sitting right)
Again; I might very well take the snaffle next time I ride, or I'll use the tie-down instead. Or the curb. Anything works on him as long as I handle it right.
I'm not against proper use of severe bits, they usually have another purpose than being severe.
I'm aware of the risks, but I don't agree with everything you say. As you have seen in some replies. And I do know that he can be scared, I've also seen how well he reacts even on this gentle headstall when he was really scared. We met a tractor the other day and he wanted to run, but stopped, as always, for my very light signals, even as he was actually shivering from fear of this hughe machine. I got off, as I usually do since that makes him calmer and if he panics I can't control him even with severe bits since panicked horses are completely blocked. He stood close to me and let the tractor pass.
I tried something new and it worked wonders and proved to me that I'm going the right way according to my goals :)
Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.