Riding Bridle-less - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By Horsequeen08
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-01-2013, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Riding Bridle-less

I posted a thread earlier talking about doing archery from horseback, but before I can do that with my mare, I need her to ride with leg/seat only. I tried it today by just dropping the reins and seeing if she would listen by voice and legs. She did....ok. I think she gets it, but is just being stubborn and maybe a little confused because it is something new. We ride in a semi-small indoor arena so if she did take off, she wouldn't go far, haha. I trust her though. Anyway, if anyone has ever trained a horse to listen without a bridle, please help with any tips or tricks that worked well for you. Eventually I'd like to ride bareback and bridle-less, but one thing at a time. Thanks everyone!

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post #2 of 10 Old 01-01-2013, 11:26 PM
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Start off working with her with the bridle on, only use the reins if things get out of hand........then use your hands/legs to turn the horse and seat for stopping or saying whoa.......Clinton Anderson has a DVD to teach a horse bridleless which I have but I haven't gotten to that point yet LOL been trail riding too much!

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-01-2013, 11:41 PM
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Bridleless is so much fun! I had a mare who I taught to go off of may legs and seat and eventually worked up to bridle less riding. Loping was awesome. I do recommend a ton of work. With me I even worked out on a trail.

When I first started I would ask with my legs then would "tell" with the reins if she didn't get it. I wanted a fast response. Eventually I got her to the second she felt the pressure she was moving off of it. There also has to be a difference between "go" and "turn".

Bareback and bridleless was fun, right along with riding backwards ;D just not something I would suggest with any horse or any rider.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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I was trying this today. I wasn't sure if this was the right approch or not. She seemed to do ok with it. I'd like a better response but it wasn't a failed attempt for our first time. I think she was confused as we had never done it before and since I had dropped the reins she thought it was me telling her "wander free". Luckily she has a really good stop and stops just on voice alone.

Is there a specific name for the DVD? I'd like to get as much knowledge as I can about it. I'd LOVE to be able to ride without a bridle and saddle. Looks amazing and I bet you can really bond with your horse that way.
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~He knows when you're happy
~He knows when you're comfortable
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 01:39 AM
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My instructor gives me bridless lessons, we have to weave cones, do trotting poles, a mini trail course. We are pretty good at the walk, not so good at the trot but we have our moments. One thing I will tell you, those lessons are the hardest I work, I am usually drenched in sweat, horse isn't however!
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 02:08 AM
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It's Clinton Anderson Going Bridleless, it would be on his website.....

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 08:11 AM
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I used to do it a lot. I just kept the bridle on and tied the reins in a knot and held them on top of the saddlehorn. When the horse did not respond, I would give a sharp 'bump' (less than a jerk) to correct the horse and let it know that it did not listen well enough to my other aids. Within about a month, about any well-trained horse would ride with very few if any rein corrections. Like anything else, one has to be 100% consistent. Like everything else a rider does, the worst response a rider accepts is the best they are going to get.

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post #8 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 11:04 AM
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Bridleless is a lot of fun... i've found that two exercises help move the process along.. The cruising lesson- which, you can just cruise around on your horse usually at a trot of canter, but you can do it at a walk... so just go ahead and pick a gait you want and just let her cruise around, try to use little cues as possible, preferably no cuing, and when your ready to stop go ahead and set back in your seat and count to three, not cuing with reins at all, if your horse hasn't stopped go ahead and do a one rein stop (flex to both sides) and just continue to do this everyday and your horse will start to understand that when you sit deep and your seat he should stop...
The second lesson is follow the fence. Start by moving your horse up to the fence.. go ahead and pick a gait, and just move along the fence, if your horse starts to veer off use your leg and if needed, a little rein to move him over to the fence, if he speeds up one rein stop him into the fence.
Ive found these exercises to help a lot with going bridleless with my mare and my gelding.
Have fun and be safe! Hope this was helpful.
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post #9 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 11:20 AM
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It's definitely the result of a lot of training. My mare with a bridle:

Playing around bridleless; her first time:

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post #10 of 10 Old 01-02-2013, 11:43 AM
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You do have to accept that not all horses will do all things - or at least not as well as others
I always try to rely more on leg cues than reins for direction so the transition to bridleless is easier, the whoa can be the hardest and working from the ground I find is the easiest way to teach this - though I do find that you have to use variations on the verbal whoa to whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa as in my pinto for example the short clipped whoa means stop dead from whatever speed she's going at
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