Riding without a bridle. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 12:23 PM
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Bridleless riding really isn't as phenomenal as people like to make it sound. Many people are trained to use the bridle as a tool to tell, when, in reality, it should be a tool to listen and assist.

I have several horses that are perfectly fine to walk up to, jump up, and ride around an open pasture for a while, walk, trot, canter. In their training, I never once thought "I want to train them to ride bridleless". Instead, I simply just trained. The fact that the "listening device" was no longer needed was just a side affect of the training through the rest of the body. I don't do away with the bridle completely and still use one with daily training, its just fun to stroll around the pasture every now and then without anything between you and the horse, well, except pants of course..........
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post #12 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 05:06 PM
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I have a number of times. In the arena but the horse had been trained for mnay years and I ride with my legs all the time.
On trail I have riden with a stiff rope hool a hoop and it actually worked really well but very uncomfortable. Your hand doesn't rest in a normal position. When you get off for a nature call you can't really hold the horse so you count on ground tying and when I get off at the end of the laneway , loosen the girth to lead in leading is very uncomfortable.
To ride out with nothing is asking for trouble no matter how well trained the horse is.
I have don't demonstrations in an arean bareback and without a bridle with my arms out like wings but I also got dumped when the horse did a hard roll back. I did the splits off his back
A twin string works also.
This horse had years of training on him and again he really knew neck reining and he tried to stay in the center of your hand, shift the hand left or right and he went that direction to recenter the hand.
Good luck
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post #13 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 06:30 PM
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I've used a leadrope, my reins, and my stockwhip as neck ropes... My horses mane is hogged so I need it not only for assistance steering sometimes, but sometimes just to grab on!!

I agree with flitter bug, it really is just an extension of the training you do with your horse. I see moving off leg, stopping and steering off seat and being able tor ide most manouvers on the buckle as essential parts of my training of any horse, so the next step to brideless really isn't a big one. I normally ride bridleless in a pen/yard, but my best bridleless ride was on a showground, out in the open. That was the ride I first tried spins, and it went well.

I've given the bridleless a break for a while as I want to do more fine tuning... He started to bear his head down in stops when he realised I had no head contact, so i'm working on that.

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post #14 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 06:44 PM
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I didn't read all the other posts, but i'm in the process of doing it with my mare. Its all trust and knowing your horses actions before they even occur. I started with just a rope halter, and getting on bareback, asking her to back up one step with the lead rope while on (after accomplishing from the ground), and getting off. Then I asked her to walk forward one step, stop, and I would get off. It got to the point where with a halter on, i'd just drape the leadrope over her neck so I have a little more controll if I need it, but I practice turning with my weight and natural aids as well as with pressure to either direction on her mane. I already use my natural aids and weight to turn her while tacked, so this part doesn't take long - just consistency. Eventually i'll repeat all this with nothing on her face. Cues are very important, for instance my mares cue to back up is a cluck with leg.. forward is a kiss with leg, and the only change I have to encorperate is the pressure on her mane.
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post #15 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 06:56 PM
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do you guys think my 18 year old gelding would be to old to try this with?

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post #16 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Flitterbug and wild_spot .. I think you guys aren't giving as much credit to riding without a bridle or anything else, just you and your saddle saddle, as it deserves. I don't know much about it but it's not something you can wake up and do, it takes years and years of training. I know horses that have been in training their whole lives and still can't ride without a bridle, and that is with an great trainer.

Thanks everyone for all the advice.
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post #17 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 10:59 PM
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^^ Then how come I can do it on my gelding who i've only had for a year?

I'm not saying it isn't a really good thing to do/learn/train, i'm just saying I agree with flitterbug that all it is is an extension of normal training people SHOULD be doing with their horses anyway. I'm fairly confident that I could do up to any of my horses, and any of my past horses I had for a decent amount of time, In an enclosed area, and feel safe and secure at a w/t/c without a bridle, because of the skills I teach every horse I own.

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post #18 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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" ^^ Then how come I can do it on my gelding who i've only had for a year?"
You posted earlier that...
"He started to bear his head down in stops when he realised I had no head contact, so i'm working on that."

It must not be an extension of "normal" training then. When I talk riding without a bridle I mean a horse that is responsive as soon as you tell him to do something, being able to ride with a bridle even if you aren't in an enclosed area.
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post #19 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 11:30 PM
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I do ride him without a bridle in open areas. I started out in a yard, any sane person does, but if I eventually want to do demonstrations, I need to practice and get comfortable riding brideless in open areas, which I do.

Why is working for better stops not 'normal' training? Am I supposed to accept the problem and ignore it, or am I meant to have a horse prodigy that just knows what to do and always does it correctly?

It seems that your interpretation of bridleless riding is brideless riding without ever having things to work on. There is ALWAYS things to improve on, to tweak... If there isn't, your just not seeing them.

He still stops, still stops dead from a canter/hand gallop. I just want to improve the technique, so I have gone back to the bridle for a while. It's the same as teaching a horse to neck rein... You don't just accept neckreining that isn't exactly what you want, so you may go back to direct reining to help.

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post #20 of 38 Old 07-02-2009, 11:31 PM
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do you guys think my 18 year old gelding would be to old to try this with?
Definately not! Horses never stop learning. It would be a great thing for you to work on,and even if it never happens, will result in imrpoved responses anyway!

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