Spade bits. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 36 Old 03-08-2012, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Spade bits.

I'm just curious here. Does anyone ride a true bridle horse. I've been reading up and would love to be good enough some day to ride in a spade bit. That is my goal. I have no clue if I will ever reach it but that is where I want to be. The biggest problem is in NC you mention a Spade bit people just kind of stare blankly at you. They either have no clue or don't want to spend the time training to get a true bridle horse. They will say something like " why use that? You can do the same thing with a snaffle then to a leverage bit is a quarter of the time." Not the point to me. It's more the trip than the destination I guess.
I was just curious to hear some opinions.
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post #2 of 36 Old 03-08-2012, 06:57 PM
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The main two folks you'll want to talk to here are kevinshorses and CowChick77, they are the ones most experienced with the Spade on this forum.

I like to see a good bridle horse at work, but I've never had one of my own.

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post #3 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:01 AM
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I am with you both a true bridle horse is a sight to behold.

And yes it is a very misunderstood bit. People think it is cruel and used as a torture device which is so far from the truth. It is actually very comfortable for the horse and there is, depending on the sway bars and balance, quite a bit pre-signal before it engaged.

We don't have any true bridle horses, Gracie and Zorro are ridden in half breeds but just recently figured out that Zorro prefers a Spade over the half breed mouthpiece.
I have tried riding him in everything, I have put him in a snaffle, a correction, square swivel port, various half breeds of widths, heights and amount of tongue relief and he loves a Spade. The spade we use on him is pretty forgiving it lays back and has a large spoon which fits him well with his big wide mouth, so he by no means is "straight up".

I would love to train a horse completely the vaquero way, without starting with a snaffle and take my time.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #4 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:12 AM
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Like Cowchick I don't have a true bridle horse right now. I have a couple that I ride in halfbreeds and one that I'm getting ready to put in the hackamore from a snaffle. The next horse I start for myself will be in the hackamore and never have a bit in his mouth until the two-rein. If you're on facebook you can look at the group called Californio Traditions. They are a very knowledgeable group of folks that are really willing to help. If you prefer a forum formatted like this one then Classical Horsemanship forum is a good one. It's new and doesn't have many members so there isn't a lot to look at but if you have a question it's a good place to post it.

I think if you use some social networking you'll find that there are more people than you think that are interested in bridle horses on the East coast.

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post #5 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:16 AM
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(Please note I am ignorant on this subject, so no disrespect intended). This may be a dumb question, but is it always the necessary to go from a traditional hackamore through all the steps to get to a spade bit horse?

What if the horse is used to a regular curb bit? What would happen if you tried a spade?

Please note, I am not thinking of doing this, I don't even have own a spade. I am just curious if a horse that is well broke and light on a "normal" curb could switch to a spade? And if not, why would that not work?

Aren't the mechanics similar in that the horse should be responding off the signal and not the actual mouth pressure? So if he backs off a regular curb and carries himself nicely, would he do the same thing in a spade?

Just thoughts in my meandering mind.
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
If you're on facebook you can look at the group called Californio Traditions. They are a very knowledgeable group of folks that are really willing to help. If you prefer a forum formatted like this one then Classical Horsemanship forum is a good one. It's new and doesn't have many members so there isn't a lot to look at but if you have a question it's a good place to post it.

That's good to know, I will have to check that out.

I got pissed off and deleted my FB page and I was a member of the Californio page. Was wondering where to get my "fix" from, haha.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #7 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:19 AM
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The horse may respond well to the spade but it wouldn't have the same look or feel as a horse that was brought through the whole process. Adjusted properly a spade can be used as a leverage bit if a horse is light enough but all you'll have is a conventionally trained horse packing a $400 bit.

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post #8 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
(Please note I am ignorant on this subject, so no disrespect intended). This may be a dumb question, but is it always the necessary to go from a traditional hackamore through all the steps to get to a spade bit horse?

What if the horse is used to a regular curb bit? What would happen if you tried a spade?

Please note, I am not thinking of doing this, I don't even have own a spade. I am just curious if a horse that is well broke and light on a "normal" curb could switch to a spade? And if not, why would that not work?

Aren't the mechanics similar in that the horse should be responding off the signal and not the actual mouth pressure? So if he backs off a regular curb and carries himself nicely, would he do the same thing in a spade?

Just thoughts in my meandering mind.
Good question! And the answer is yes. Zorro is a retired rodeo pickup horse and he gets rode in a Spade. He has always been rode in a correction of some sort. He is responsive and he will ride fine in those bits and responsive but we were looking for something for him to be happier with. But again he isn't a true bridle horse, he just happens to be happy in one and packing it.

But like FF said it is more about the process then the end result with traditional Vaquero style horsemanship.

I DON'T LEAD 'EM AND FEED 'EM, I RIDE 'EM AND SLIDE 'EM.
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post #9 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:27 AM
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I'd love to learn more about the Spades, Vaquero style horsemanship, I was doing some research and came across this gentlemen, "Richard Caldwell - Vaquero Horsemanship" , I was curious if you guys have heard of him?
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post #10 of 36 Old 03-09-2012, 11:37 AM
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Okay, got it! I was thinking "all that just to ride in a spade bit?"

Does anyone know of any online videos offhand that would show me what a bridle horse looks like in action? Something that shows what the finished goal is? Because there are a lot of light, responsive normally trained horses out there. Like reining horses and such. How is a bridle horse different than say a good reining horse?
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