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post #11 of 42 Old 12-19-2011, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by henia View Post
In my opinion you can teach your horse properly just with a halter and lead rope. Why not?
henia, it greatly depends on what you teach the horse. I'd say yes for trail riding. I'd say no for some other disciplines.
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post #12 of 42 Old 12-19-2011, 08:42 PM
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I like riding in both, and switch depending on how much of a "work" frame of mind I want my horse in.

If I'm going out with the intent to teach him something, like neck reining, or stopping quicker, then I use a bit. It offers a more enforced signal with less pressure, giving him reason to look at my other cues I'm giving like body weight, leg placement, etc for signs of what I want.

If I want a lazy, soft paced day I slip a halter on and attach a lead rope. He still is expected to respond when I ask for something, but his frame of mind isn't so work orrientated and usually the halter is accompanied by bareback.

My horse know when a bit is on we'll likely be doing some faster, and more challenging work, but when the halter is on he knows we're just going to have a lazy day.

A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli
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post #13 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 03:29 AM
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Ok, my mistake. Halter and lead rope maybe are'nt the best tool to comunicate. I meant bitless bridles in general. I used to ride just with a halter and lead rope and changed it to the rope bitless bridle. With it cues can be more exact and light.
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
If all you want to do is plod around and never teach your horse properly, keep using a halter and lead lines.

It's like trying to do delicate, close work while wearing gloves. The bit isn't a torture device, it's used for communication between horse and rider.
I disagree with this. I am not against bits, I use one myself and I agree its used for communication between horse and rider. However, you do not NEED to have a bit to achieve that communication or to teach your horse.
I am able to achieve the same result with a halter as I am with a bit. It takes even greater communication between horse and rider to go without a head device and to achieve more complex movements or perform in specific disciplines. The horse does not need a bit to learn properly.

I don't think a halter would be my prefered choice if I wanted to be training my horse bitless - there are other set ups out there I would prefer but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

To the OP, if you are looking to get into showing then training your horse to be just bitless may not be the best idea. I would look into the rules as to what devices are and aren't allowed. However, I am seeing more and more allow bitless devices to be used. If you wish to use a bit, use a mild bit like a single or double jointed smooth snaffle.
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 09:14 PM
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I have never seen a very finished horse that was trained with just a halter. I have run into several people that tried to tell me how 'broke' their horse was and bragged that they had only ridden with a halter or side-pull. When they tried to show me how well their horses did, all they managed to show me was how little their horses actually knew. It was really a case of 'they did not know what they did not know'.

I have had people bring me horses to train and either bring a home-made headstall of some sort or instructions to ride their horse only in a halter. I just sent the horse back home. I felt it was like trying to train a horse with one hand tied behind my back.
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post #16 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 10:27 PM
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If I can sens a note by carrier pigeon why would I want to use a text message? The level of communication is much better and clearer when using a proper bridle and bit.
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post #17 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 10:34 PM
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I agree with alot of the previous posts. If you can ride and have control with just a halter and leadrope then great, but if you want to teach proper headset and collection, a bit can be really useful in achieving that.
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post #18 of 42 Old 12-20-2011, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by henia View Post
Ok, my mistake. Halter and lead rope maybe are'nt the best tool to comunicate. I meant bitless bridles in general. I used to ride just with a halter and lead rope and changed it to the rope bitless bridle. With it cues can be more exact and light.
How so?
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post #19 of 42 Old 12-21-2011, 04:15 PM
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Personally, I don't think you do need to put a bit in their mouths - it all depends on what you want to do :)
I ride in a load of different ways, just because it's fun, and then it never gets boring! I take dressage lessons, for which I use a linked snaffle, because it's what suits my horse, but he'll also round up when bareback in a halter. But then I'll also ride him with no bridle or halter on, just with a neckstring. It really depends what you want to do :)
It is good to have a horse trained to be able to go in a bit though, because a lot of people will want to use one on a horse, and it can be useful for some things. But bits aren't always needed. And it's not a stupid question - I think that some of these answers have been really interesting :)
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post #20 of 42 Old 12-21-2011, 04:16 PM
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Hope that helps :)

Last edited by harryclifford; 12-21-2011 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Was a duplicate by accident.
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