Side pulls - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-16-2009, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central TX
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Side pulls

Does anybody have alot of experience with side pulls? I just bought a very green (ie less than 10 rides on her) two year old filly and that is all she has been ridden in. I bought a simple on, and have figured out that you can use it with direct reining, and the basic stop and back. I will put her into a bit eventually, I am just wondering how much you can actually do with a side pull. (This mare is my H/J prospect for QH shows)
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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I think it comes down to the horse and what you plan to do with her. Many can be ridden their whole lives in one.
I waited until my fillies were 3 before we started them under saddle. You might spend a year with her just doing lots of ground work. Nothing wrong with riding a horse that young, but I would keep the work short and light. They have not physically matured yet at 2.

ETA- I suggest when/if you do go to a bit, look into a full cheek snaffle since she is used to the face pressure already.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-16-2009, 02:09 PM
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Put her in a snaffle whenever you want to and let her adapt to it. Just like with people if we didn't change anything untill they were ready for change everything would stay pretty much the same. If you continue to ride in the sidepull make sure that you don't do just enough with it to get her ignoring you. When you pull on the reins make sure that you don't release untill you get the desired response or you will make her heavy on your hands.
kevinshorses is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 08-17-2009, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I start all of mine in a sidepull. I like them lots. Just be prepared the first time they go in a bit to have some confusion - a bit applies pressure on the opposite side of the mouth, so they can get their wires crossed at first. We transition from sidepull to big, loose ring snaffle. Sidepulls are great for teaching direct and neck reining. I've always found that when they move to a snaffle from a sidepull, they find their frame quickly and are sensitive to the bit. It's so nice to teach them to stop bitless too, it's a nice feeling to know you have a horse that you don't have to drag to a stop!

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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