Lunging bitless - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 06:50 PM
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Knots specifically are specifically used for their impact on trigger points (put it over your bone and tug and see) which does cause pain (just like PP 'cradle bridles'). Posing away from pain is different that choosing to focus on the handler. Just because a NH uses something doesn't make w/o pain, it just makes it sold to a consumer. But the most interesting is that a knotted noseband would only be of valued because it would be used downward (from under the chin), which is no what happens when a horse is lunged from the side, same thing for knotted crown pieces effects. Lunging is for lateral flexibility w/o pulling the neck inward (or allowing counter flexion which is what happens with steady pressure, horses push into it). (What is interesting is NH rope halters are a product of the last 20-30 years or so. The most problematic thing about rope halters is that they do not break (unless they have a leather crown piece) if something untoward happens, seen horse hurt by that too. Slack lines don't give direction, so then is there a message? On parole, but training for what purpose? The horse should be responsible for its reaction to our actions, not the other way round. Jerks, very occasionally, and only for horse/handler safety if there is no other choices.

Last edited by equitate; 01-03-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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post #12 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by equitate View Post
Knots specifically are specifically used for their impact on trigger points (put it over your bone and tug and see) which is pain (just like PP 'cradle bridles'). Posing away from pain is different that choosing to focus on the handler. Just because a NH uses something doesn't make w/o pain, it just makes it sold to a consumer. The worst thing about rope halters is that they do not break if something problematic happens, seen horse hurt by that too. Slack lines don't give direction, so then is there a message? On parole, but training for what purpose? The horse responsible for its reaction to our actions, not the other way round. Jerks, very occasionally, and only for horse/handler safety if there is no other choices.
I hardly ever lung my horses now I perfer to ride their days of lunging are over. They didnt need direction they knew what was expected, I don't have to micro manage every step they take.

Have you ever heard of teaching them to be responsible for speed and direction. I don't have to be telling my horses all the time what to do. They are trained to go speed I say and stay that speed till told diffrent.

Oh my horses also lunge off line not in a round pen out in the open and stay on the circle, how ever far I want them to be from me. So id say I know how to train. They never tossed their head when pressure was put on the halter. So id say there wasnt pain!

Same deal when I ride they go speed I say never slow or speed up till told differnt. If you like to micro manage have fun I don't.
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post #13 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:10 PM
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We don't have a round pen and I've trained several horses to lunge. Yes they do pull at first as they try to "escape" to get a release from pressure. They do learn not to pull and keep slack in the rope to not have pressure on their face. Most of the time I use a nylon halter. Occasionally, I do use a rope halter if they do insist on lean on the halter. An occasional bump or jerk does not cause pain. Maybe discomfort but not pain.
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post #14 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:17 PM
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For your information rope halters with knotts on nose band doesnt cause pain. ....All the big trainers like clinton anderson, pat parelli use rope halters so id say can't be all bad. ...Horses kick and bite each other so I honestly dout
Slow down & think about it some more. Yes, of course rope halters with extra knots(what do you think the extra knots are there for??) or other equipment used harshly can cause pain. Just because some 'gurus' do something doesn't mean it's necessarily right for all, but I don't think the use of rope halters is what's being argued here anyway. Just because horses kick & bite eachother doesn't mean that we should aim to treat them that way, and just because they do that to eachother doesn't mean anything less is not painful.

Anyway... OP I disagree with using a bit(or other potentially harsh equipment) with a long rein when training a horse to lunge or such. The added rope length means added weight & leverage on the bit, so can have the effect of the horse becoming 'heavier' on the aids. I would only use a regular halter until the horse is well trained at least. For this reason I also disagree with using a heavy rope with a heavy clip, as some 'gurus' advocate too.

Agree basically with Equitate, that if you ask them to go out on a circle(or whatever... or dog pulling on a lead...) and they lean on the rope, if they continue this behaviour, it is due to the handler continuing to hang off the rope & allowing the horse to do that. Takes 2 to Tango.

So what do you do about it? First I'd teach the horse to do everything well & softly up close, before I test/reinforce it at a distance, as with lunging, so the horse is more likely to 'follow a feel' & not likely to hang off pressure anyway. Then if/when he does, I would be signalling for him to bring his head/FQ towards me a bit more, HQ away.

If he didn't listen to that, I would not be adverse to 'bumping' him with the lead. Tends to only need/want small 'bumps' to make it uncomfortable, rather than strongly 'jerking' the horse around. If that didn't have the desired effect, I'd stop the horse & go back to earlier lessons, as I'd be thinking something was missing there.

Last edited by loosie; 01-03-2014 at 07:21 PM.
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post #15 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:21 PM
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The most problematic thing about rope halters is that they do not break (unless they have a leather crown piece) if something untoward happens, seen horse hurt by that too.
Which is why you don't use them for tying. Or if you do, you make sure that the poll is protected if the horse does pull back and don't ever tie them fast to something that they could pull over. Same thing tying with a bridle, though, or lunging with a curb bit in my opinion. This equipment is all still very useful, and humane, when used correctly. Just because you don't use it for that purpose doesn't mean it's incorrect or inhumane. It matters more how the person is using it, and I don't believe you could really do anything with a rope halter in hand on a long line that is going to actually hurt a horse. Put pressure on it, make it uncomfortable if necessary, but not hurt or injure. You lose too much leverage with that length of line especially.

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Slack lines don't give direction, so then is there a message? On parole, but training for what purpose? The horse should be responsible for its reaction to our actions, not the other way round. Jerks, very occasionally, and only for horse/handler safety if there is no other choices.
I read this like an English rider who is judgmental and has no experience with other styles of riding saying that a horse can't be ridden correctly on a draped rein... I ride my horse without contact and sometimes not even using the bridle and somehow he still knows how to stay between my legs and take direction from body language. Not perfect, but isn't that the end goal? Can it not be the same way from the ground? What about bridleless riders? Liberty training? I want my horse to move with me, direct contact or not. I know there is definitely a use for contact in many facets of horsemanship, but the way that you have stated it sounds very narrow minded and as if that is the only correct way, no exceptions. Please correct me if I am reading you wrong here, it just does not make sense the way I am understanding it.

***Also to clarify, my example of the judgmental English rider was ONLY an example and not to be taken that this is how I think English riders all. It was just as close a comparison as I could think of at the moment!
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post #16 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:33 PM
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Use a knot halter, correctly adjusted and it should solve the problem. I also like round heavy lungelines, easier to keep a hold of with a horse that wants to be a punk. And rope halters do not cause pain. They use the pressure points only when the horse is trying to run though it. Smh.

Lunging cavesons are the same idea. Gives you a little more control.
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post #17 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 07:42 PM
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[QUOTE=loosie;4445306]Slow down & think about it some more. Yes, of course rope halters with extra knots(what do you think the extra knots are there for??) or other equipment used harshly can cause pain. Just because some 'gurus' do something doesn't mean it's necessarily right for all, but I don't think the use of rope halters is what's being argued here anyway. Just because horses kick & bite eachother doesn't mean that we should aim to treat them that way, and just because they do that to eachother doesn't mean anything less is not painful.


The knotts are there to get the horses attension that with a flat nylon halter doesnt get their attension. Flat halters cause them to lean on it. I wasnt using it harshly when id jerk or bump on line. Only jerked hard enough to get their attension back on me,iam not talking taking off their heads with the jerk.

I relise the rope halters can cause pain but I also don't care to be jerked around by a 1000 lb horse either. Sometimes it takes a little pain to get through to a hard headed horse.

I know just because some of the gurus use the rope halters and such doesnt mean its right. I find the rope halters to be more effective then the average halter is. My end result with training any horse. Is soft supple responsive horse that takes little effort to get it to do whats asked.

Maybe I have caused pain along the way but wasnt my inttensions at the time.
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post #18 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 08:37 PM
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SMH...seriously...you're still on the knot halter. It does it's job and makes the cue stronger. Makes the correction more obvious. A little pressure from a knot halter or repeated yanking on nylon halter are the OPs options if she doesn't want a bit.
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post #19 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 08:48 PM
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^A knotted halter or a bit doesn't teach a horse not to lean - there are many horses who have been inadvertently taught to lean on them. Likewise a flat halter doesn't teach them to do it either. It's the... jerk on the other end of the lead(don't pardon the pun! ) that teaches them to lean or not.
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post #20 of 89 Old 01-03-2014, 08:54 PM
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Thanks Loosie. A horse cannot lean on ANYTHING if there is nothing to lean ON! That goes for reins, halter, you when you are picking their feet…..whatever. It is NOT the horses fault. It is the human in the equation.
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