Spade bits. - Page 4

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Spade bits.

This is a discussion on Spade bits. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Martin black spade bit
  • Spade bit bridle horse

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    03-09-2012, 08:49 PM
Not my taste personally, but I can certainly admire the effort to be light on the hands and have a horse that responds to the lightest cue.

That is the aim of true horsemanship, whether it be classical dressage based on the works of Pluvinel and de la Guerinere, or the vaqueros of California.
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    03-09-2012, 08:59 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
Is this a good example of a bridle horse? Saw it while surfing YouTube and thought it was pretty impressive.

Martin Black - The Bridle - YouTube
See to me, that is the way I would expect a good western horse to respond in a regular curb bit.

Am I there myself? Not exactly, but I do think my Mustang is. He was a rope horse and all-around mountain trail horse and he was as light as butter when I got him. If I so much as flicked my wrist he would turn. It kind of led to a bit of confusion on his part I'm sure, because I am apparently not the rider his last owner was. But I'm sure that if a good western rider got on him he would be responding like butter again. He's kind of come down to my level.

But anyway, if no one said anything about spade bits or bridle horses or what-have-you, and I just watched the video without the sound, I would think that is the same stuff I see on RFDTV all the time. Reining and cowhorse stuff. (Which is actually what I think western riding SHOULD be, not all that western pleasure crud). I guess I am just trying to figure out what makes the spade bit so infatuating. I guess it's just a marker that you've arrived at a certain point in your horsemanship.
    03-09-2012, 09:32 PM
If you are curious about how the spade works in a horses mouth watch this.

    03-10-2012, 10:03 AM
Can you have a light horse in a curb bit? The answer is absolutely. For me the big reason I want to try my hand at a spade (down the road when Im good enough) is because it is the road less traveled. It is a style of riding that is no longer practiced in this part of the country and is lossing popularity all over. The big reason is the misunderstanding and the time involved. It is just a personal choice to try my hand. I fgure if I can get my boys going in a spade there won't be much out there that I can't handle. I may get them going in a spade and noone around here even have a clue that it is a spade bit. They may just think wow that is a fancy cheek peice on that bit. But I will know.i guess I'm just hard headed and don't like going with the flow. I like doing things that not everyone else does. Hell, I still hunt with a flntlock rifle modeled from one from 1760's.
    03-10-2012, 11:01 AM
Green Broke
It is the tradition that all western style of horsemanship has evolved from, not just buckaroos. It is was what the reined cow horse shows came from. But it kinda got lost for awhile other than cowboying on the desert. Martin Blacks video is a good example of a bridle horse, did you ever see him pull on that horse? That is when you know when you have gotten there. You have a horse so light, working cattle on a fast pace and you can stay out of his way and not pull on him. Like martin said, the spade is not a leverage bit, it is a signal bit. If you have to pull on it, then you ain't ready to ride in it, because your riding it like a leverage bit. Also it can be hard to train a horse like that just cowboying on him a day or two a week. For me sometimes I get wrapped up in getting my cattle moved that I forget about my horsemanship. It takes a hell of a hand to make a good horse and cowboy good. And Martin is a good cowboy, he's been there and done that. He worked on the Winecup for almost 20 years. And for me, someone saying that I cowboy good is the biggest compliment any one could give me. But its one of those things that don't get thrown out very often. So being able to train a nice bridle horse, being able to handle it in a cowboying situation and get the job done makes is part of being a good cowboy. It would be no different than someone wanting to compete in top level dressage I guess.
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    03-11-2012, 09:41 PM
Several people at my barn are training their horses how to carry them etc and we have one finished true bridle horse. I personally would never. My trainer said it takes about 6 yrs for her to have one completely trained. So it take me atleast 10.... Plus ya sure I could learn to ride in one,but I have no need to...

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