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About riding bitless...

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  • What is wrong with riding bitless?
  • Video of riding bitless

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    10-14-2012, 05:09 AM
  #11
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickie    
Bitless works on their pressure points so their not nicer than bites, some bites can be cruel, but if you don't gerk, and sore their mouth with them its fine, I have nothing against either, only some cruel bites.
I agree with you, but the sad truth is that many people use bits in a very very cruel way. So the overall impression of using bits is rather bad.
     
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    10-14-2012, 10:11 AM
  #12
Trained
Pain isn't always bad. If your horse is afraid (bolting) or very excited, then it may require pain to break thru the horse's emotional high and convey information. If you've ever been on a bolting horse who is headed toward a barbed wire fence or concealed drop, then you know what I mean. Better some pain on the face (or in it) than severe injury or death to the horse and rider.

It is nice for folks to talk about how every horse should be trained to a level where bits aren't needed, but I don't live in that world. Most horses do not either. Most recreational riders don't have their own arena, and most don't have time to work with their horse daily. And while I've spent a LOT of time on Mia, she is a fairly intense horse. I'm thrilled so many people have horses who always listen to their rider's farts, but mine does not. She will when calm, but in my world at least, horses aren't always calm.

If I see someone riding with a harsh bit & slack in the reins, that doesn't make him a bad rider. If they ride with a harsh bit AND are pulling on it all the time or for balance, THEN he is a bad rider. Someone who thrashes the reins around because they are mad is a bad rider. Someone who pulls hard because of a barbed wire fence ahead, or a highway, is doing the horse a favor.

IMHO.
     
    10-14-2012, 08:58 PM
  #13
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
One, more thing...
COWCHICK, WHERE did you get that new Avatar picture?!?! TOTALLY ROFL!!!!
Someone (cant remember who!) posted it in one of the infamous Rick Gore threads I think....loved it, Googled "good job" images and it popped up..had to have it!


I agree with your original post.
It really is about who is using the equipment whether it be bit or bitless. If you do not know how to use that equipment it can be just as useless as tits on a boar. But in the right hands that equipment can communicate and get results without installing fear or pain.
I have said I start colts in a halter, when I mean start, I mean about three rides, not 30-90. I simply use the halter as a transition from the little ground work I do in it- to me on their back and transition them packing a snaffle to me using the snaffle. After that I evaluate and experiment with what snaffle they seem to like to pack. But that short time in the halter seems to make an impression because in a pinch(jumping a horse out of the trailer and ride in a halter to gather a pair or rope a yearling) I can go back to it and they respond.
What that tells me is that I am not "upping" into to bits to gain control.

I have already said this in the previous threads on the subject, so I am beating the dead horse but....

Usually the thoughts about bits being cruel comes from folks that don't understand how they work when used correctly. They think they are doing their horses a big favor "naturally" by riding in a halter when in fact what I have witnessed in some situations they can't manage well, let a lone a bit.

I also use a hackamore(a bosal setup, not mechanical). I grew up with the understanding that a hackamore(again a bosal setup) was a temporary training step, not a final goal. The hackamore was to keep out of a young horses mouth while his mouth was changing, maturing and to prepare him for the bridle. I have worked for a guy that would not hire you or fire you if you stepped out of the saddle barn with a hackamore hanging on a horses head. Most(and I include myself) can't ride well enough to keep a horse truly soft and responsive in a high stress situation outside with a hackamore. Last time I checked there are very few that won cowhorse shows with a hackamore against folks with a bit.
A horse can tolerate a lot more in his mouth than he can on his nose...look at all the people who can't even lead their horses or control them on the ground with a halter. You can deaden a nose faster than a mouth.

Don't get me wrong, If you want to ride in nothing but a halter and you can, go for it...but don't tell me I am an abuser because I don't.

Okay..I think I am really done with the subject ;)
     
    12-30-2012, 05:04 PM
  #14
Foal
ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG!!!!! ANY HORSE CAN BE RIDDEN BITTLESS!!!!!! As a matter of fact, I ride bareback and bittless everyday! How would you like it if some human shoved metal into your mouth and started yanking you around with it! At least look at how a horse is controlled with a bit ... when a horse feels pressure, they move off of pressure. You r not pulling the horse to the side, you r putting pressure on one side of the mouth and the horse is moving off of that pressure. When you put a bit into a horses mouth, you are not only creating pressure but also pain in some cases. And don't think that you can't cause pain in a snaffle because to can cause pain in any bit.. if you use a rope halter, you cause not pain and only pressure!
     
    12-30-2012, 05:45 PM
  #15
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACowgirlThing778    
ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG!!!!! ANY HORSE CAN BE RIDDEN BITTLESS!!!!!!
I think you need to rethink what you know and do not know. TO say all and never when it comes to horses just shows you lack of knowlage and under standing.

as a matter of fact, I ride bareback and bittless everyday!
Ya and this proves what exactly?

How would you like it if some human shoved metal into your mouth and started yanking you around with it! At least look at how a horse is controlled with a bit ... when a horse feels pressure, they move off of pressure. You r not pulling the horse to the side, you r putting pressure on one side of the mouth and the horse is moving off of that pressure. When you put a bit into a horses mouth, you are not only creating pressure but also pain in some cases. And don't think that you can't cause pain in a snaffle because to can cause pain in any bit.. if you use a rope halter, you cause not pain and only pressure!
A bitless bridle can cause just as much if not more pain then a bit in the wrong hands vs the right hands. A bit is no better or worse then a halter or a rope halter. I can do just as much damage with a rope halter as I can with a bit. What I can not do with a rope halter that I can do with a bit is give the very subtle cues needed for what I do. I want to be able to have draped reins and be able to cue my horse with only having to move my hand less then a inch. This causes no pain and really no pressure. Is is a pre cue and when added in with seat and leg cues you can get a horse to do just about anthing.
     
    12-30-2012, 05:47 PM
  #16
Banned
*sighs* This means I'm a meanie poopie head barn witch doesn't it.
     
    12-30-2012, 06:00 PM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACowgirlThing778    
ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG!!!!! ANY HORSE CAN BE RIDDEN BITTLESS!!!!!! As a matter of fact, I ride bareback and bittless everyday...if you use a rope halter, you cause not pain and only pressure!
Well, I've used a rope halter on Mia when she was too wound up to quit, and she ended up missing a ring of hair around her face. I doubt that was a pain-free ride for Mia.

Can a bit hurt? Yep. But if you have good hands, the bit will only hurt if the horse is choosing to do something dangerous by ignoring its rider. And in that case, the pain may save the horse's life.

But if you think any horse can be ridden bitless, you haven't ridden very many horses. If you think all horses WANT to be ridden bitless, you are wrong. Our gelding Trooper can be ridden bitless, and has been many times. I'd trust him with my daughter bitless without hesitation. So why does he have a bit? It is because he relaxes more with a bit in his mouth. Shocking but true - he likes to obey his rider, and he feels more confident he knows what his rider wants when he has a bit, so he relaxes more when ridden with a bit.

Bitless works well for some horses. But the bitless fanatics need to stop watching YouTube videos and try riding more horses in more situations. And I'm writing that as someone who rode for 3 years before trying bits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrhareiner    
...What I can not do with a rope halter that I can do with a bit is give the very subtle cues needed for what I do...
This! When Mia is nervous, I can calm her with a bit. Bitless, she just continues to spin up until she melts down and panics. If I insist on riding bitless with her, I'm putting my pride ahead of her needs while endangering both of us.

The picture below was taken about 30 seconds into my first ever attempt at cantering. Notice Trooper was bitless. It was his first time cantering in over a year as well, but I didn't want to take a chance on pulling on his mouth and I trusted him to be sensible. But Trooper isn't every horse...he sure as heck isn't like Mia!

HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
     
    12-30-2012, 06:03 PM
  #18
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBCrone    
*sighs* This means I'm a meanie poopie head barn witch doesn't it.
Yes you are......actually you're a meanie doodie poopie head barn witch!
BBBCrone and HorseCrazyTeen like this.
     
    12-30-2012, 06:07 PM
  #19
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACowgirlThing778    
ALL OF YOU ARE WRONG!!!!! ANY HORSE CAN BE RIDDEN BITTLESS!!!!!! As a matter of fact, I ride bareback and bittless everyday! How would you like it if some human shoved metal into your mouth and started yanking you around with it! At least look at how a horse is controlled with a bit ... when a horse feels pressure, they move off of pressure. You r not pulling the horse to the side, you r putting pressure on one side of the mouth and the horse is moving off of that pressure. When you put a bit into a horses mouth, you are not only creating pressure but also pain in some cases. And don't think that you can't cause pain in a snaffle because to can cause pain in any bit.. if you use a rope halter, you cause not pain and only pressure!
Yup you're right, any horse can be ridden bitless.....but not any horse can be trained and refined into a good broke pleasure to ride horse in a halter or bit less bridle. I prefer my horses to be broke and sensitive, not coddled and hardened.

With these kinds of thread I sometimes wonder if the people who respond that bits are painful and cruel have ever ridden a real broke snappy cow horse or reining horse before? Or if they just live in Unicornia with the butterfly farts and all the horses poop glitter and sparkles......sigh
     
    12-30-2012, 06:08 PM
  #20
Foal
Hippy was originally ridden in just a snaffle, but he didnt go well in a bit so we switched to bitless and he's so much happier! Its kinda reassuring that he can be ridden in a bit but at the moment im happy to ride him in whatever he is most comfy in :) I guess all horses are different :)
HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
     

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