Transitioning to bitless? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Transitioning to bitless?

I got an Indian hackamore/bosal for Lacey to try because while we haven't exactly been having issues with the bit (single jointed snaffle) I just have had this feeling that she could be more comfortable in something else and when someone suggested trying her bitless I figured "what the heck". Then I found the bosal thingy for $15 I figured it was worth a try.

Anyway, so I rode her in it for the first time today. She did very well but she seemed to be a little confused about direct reining (thank goodness she's awesome at neck reining now). I can understand why she was confused though, this type of bosal/hackamore (it's refered to by both names, not sure exactly what the "technical name" is...) puts pressure on the left side of her face when I pull the right rein to go right and the right side to go left.

I ended up getting off and flexing her neck both directions a few times to help her figure out what I want and she seemed to be getting it. She did really well with stopping and backing in it and we even jogged (!!!!!) on a loose rein (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) with no issues.

Basically, how do I get her supple and nice (she's awesome at neck reining in it) direct reining in it? I think I may just be taking for granted the suppleness most horses I've ridden have becuase I have no idea how to create it... Just more circles and serpentines and stuff? Neck flexing?

Here's a picture of the noseband part (you attach the noseband where you'd attach the bit but it sits higher on the face):

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 08:55 PM
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I have a hackamore aswell. but it looks quite different

its alot easier to ride in i think. my mare and i even jump 2'9"/90cm in it now.. but the only downside is that we have to go back to her snaffle because i want to compete in show jumping in november.

if you were to find a hackamore like this i would strongly recommend it because the left is the left and the right is the right.. its real basic not like your one sounds lol.

your hackamore looks really confusing i dont see how you mean it puts pressure on the left when you pull on the right etc.

the good thing about the hackamore I use... well lets just say my horse isn't exactly the smartest of the bunch :( and she does absolutely exceptionally in it. i had her ex-owners come out and take a look at us in it considering the difficulties we had been having some few weeks before and the ladys jaw could have been on the ground. she was amazed :L

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-11-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I considered getting a hackamore like the one you posted but Lacey is already afraid enough of pressure and of anything that resembles punishment I'm pretty sure that kind of hackamore would really make her terrified. =/

Here's another picture of one on a horse, maybe that'll make more sense. lol It's like a figure eight without the bottom of the eight... It appears to have similar action to a Dr. Cooks Bitless Bridle, only with rope...with a bosal nose...

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-12-2009, 01:37 PM
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If it works then use it. It looks like a gimmick to me. There doesn't seem to be any way for you to really reward your horse with a release of pressure. The rope isn't going to slide real well. When I use a snaffle I can put slack in the reins and the horse immediately feels the relief. Horses learn from the release of pressure not the application of pressure. I don't like mechanical hackamores or the Dr Cook gimmick but to each thier own and good luck.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-12-2009, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Actually it does release the pressure pretty well (I was also skeptical) and Lacey is the type to go completely overboard about cues (if it didn't release the pressure all the way she'd have backed all the way across the arena) but she was fine. I also tested it before I rode, pulling it tighter on her face then letting go and it didn't get super droopy loose but it got looser, which is all you basically need.

Any ideas how to make the transition easy?

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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