Rope Halter instead of Bit? What do you think? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Question Rope Halter instead of Bit? What do you think?

Hi Everyone!

My little sister got a 4 month old foal last year for her birthday. Now please don't judge if it doesn't work out it will remain a family horse! My family is experienced with horses and if you have read my previous topics you will have met Sugar. The horse I rescued and trained.
Anyways when this foal turns 3 years old I'm gunna be the one training it. She's just gunna be a trail and low competition horse.
My sister is 12 years old right now and will be 14 when she starts riding her. In that time she'll have been getting lessons for about 3 years. She has been around horse all her life and she's ridden Sugar already a couple times and she seems to like it even though Sugar can be a little stubborn sometimes lol She seems to handle it well.
Here's my question: What do you think of starting her out in just a rope halter and using that instead of a bit.
I ride Sugar in a rope halter all the time and she loves it but what about a green/unbroke horse? Does anyone have another suggestion instead of a rope halter?

Greetings! Sugar :)

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post #2 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 05:19 AM
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i argue that rope halters are better for starting youngsters because they can and do make mistakes, like bucking, and ocasionally need a firm hand. and with a rope halter we can do that without risking their mouth. a lot say otherwise but that's my opinion.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 09:35 AM
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Start the foal off in a bit, a snaffle of some sort. Then, when she learns how to ride I would switch her or him to a bitless bridle, not a rope halter until you are 100% sure she is a trust worthy riding horse. Cause like the person above me said sometimes they new foal need a firm hand and some pressure in their mouth to correct bad behavior.

E v e r y horse is good for something. You dont throw a whole life away just cause he's banged up a little...
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 09:46 AM
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If you look at ALL of the notable trainers that turn out great horses from pleasure and reining western horses to high level dressage and hunt seat horses to SB or TB race horses, you will find that they all use bridles and not halters.

Some trainers, especially of really 'feely', 'light' cutting-bred horses, use side-pulls and some start by getting forward impulsion in a small round pen with no bridle, but they are cowboys that can ride a bronc if that is what the horse tries to do. Then, they quickly go to a snaffle, side-pull or bosal.

So, I personally think it is quite silly to try to invent it over. When a would-be young trainer attempts to start a horse, they are best served by using a mild 2 or 3 piece snaffle with a chin strap that prevents it going through a horse's mouth.

Remember, the person handling the reins is MUCH more important than the equipment. The best thing you can do is get someone that knows what they are doing to assist you or to actually start the horse for you. It is pretty hard to do it right when you do not know what you do not know.
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
If you look at ALL of the notable trainers that turn out great horses from pleasure and reining western horses to high level dressage and hunt seat horses to SB or TB race horses, you will find that they all use bridles and not halters.

Some trainers, especially of really 'feely', 'light' cutting-bred horses, use side-pulls and some start by getting forward impulsion in a small round pen with no bridle, but they are cowboys that can ride a bronc if that is what the horse tries to do. Then, they quickly go to a snaffle, side-pull or bosal.

So, I personally think it is quite silly to try to invent it over. When a would-be young trainer attempts to start a horse, they are best served by using a mild 2 or 3 piece snaffle with a chin strap that prevents it going through a horse's mouth.

Remember, the person handling the reins is MUCH more important than the equipment. The best thing you can do is get someone that knows what they are doing to assist you or to actually start the horse for you. It is pretty hard to do it right when you do not know what you do not know.
Well said! I start mine in a half-breed side pull so I get the benefits of both the noseband & the snaffle. This is generally only the first few rides & then they go into a 3 pc myler. I can only think of one over the years that I re-trained without a bit, but she was definitely the exception case and she did blow like a bronc. She had been started by someone extremely rough & had her tongue nearly ripped out of her mouth so she was very untrusting of the bit. She did eventually transition to the bit once I had gained her trust.

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post #6 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your input and I'll try to keep my mind open! :)

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post #7 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 01:10 PM
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I agree that a two or three piece snaffle is your best option because it's going to give you a forgiving but constant contact with her. I've only started two horses so far, but I began with a rubber snaffle on both of them. The first took to it great, and the second I gradually transitioned to an Aeron Riding halter (basically a rope halter with rein attachments) because she had an extremely sensative mouth and will soon begin reining training. She responded great, but I definately think that the snaffle work was a must.

Its MUCH easier to bring a horse from bit to bitless than from bitless to bit.

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post #8 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 01:44 PM
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There's actually a bit of a movement among trainers going on, starting horses in rope halters in place of bits. Makes perfect sense to me, and I intend to start my next one that way. http://www.horsechannel.com/media/we...tless.aspx.pdf
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-04-2011, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
There's actually a bit of a movement among trainers going on, starting horses in rope halters in place of bits. Makes perfect sense to me, and I intend to start my next one that way. http://www.horsechannel.com/media/we...tless.aspx.pdf
Thanks a lot for the article!!

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post #10 of 25 Old 05-05-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher View Post
i argue that rope halters are better for starting youngsters because they can and do make mistakes, like bucking, and ocasionally need a firm hand. and with a rope halter we can do that without risking their mouth. a lot say otherwise but that's my opinion.
I second that. Once trained with a rope halter then progress to a bit. Personally i like bitless and ride in a bosal.

should i or should i not.........
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