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Bits or No bits

This is a discussion on Bits or No bits within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        02-18-2014, 11:26 PM
      #281
    Yearling
    I only ride my mare in a rope halter. She was by no means a well broke horse when I got her at auction. She has bucked, bolted, reared in the past.
    She is MUCH more responsive in a rope halter than a bit. I tried a bit on her and she would just pull through it. I say to listen to what the horse is telling you.
    Mysti is now an awesome trail horse, starting arena work. I ride her up the mountain, along the beach, in the pasture in a halter.. At all gaits.
    The bit doesn't control the horse. I believe in being as light as possible :)
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        02-19-2014, 12:49 AM
      #282
    Started
    Agreed ^. Im bringing my mare back down to a snaffle. She is getting to the point that all I have to do is lightly "wiggle" the reins with my pinky and she will stop and back up, but I will still ride her on trails in a stronger bit on her "off" days. She is a mare and though she only gets "marish" one heat a year, she is barn sour. If she wants to, she will head home with out without me lol. I do trail rider her in both a rope halter (On a VERY good day), a snaffle (most days, now) and a tomb thumb, (my normal riding bit but its now reserved for the I'm-going-to-go-home-with-or-without-you-NOW days -_-'). The bit dose not "control" her per say, its more of how much pressure she is willing to ignore. My goal is to be able to ride her with NO bit contact. The only time I need it is stopping and backing at the moment but she is getting better :).
         
        02-19-2014, 07:23 AM
      #283
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heelsdownhairup    
    I personally prefer bitless/hackamore. But im fine with bits on other peoples horses, just not mine, id rather my horse respond out of politeness and manners instead of force. :)
    Oh....so peope who use bits don't have politeness and manners, but only use force to have their horse respond??? OK....LOLOLOL.
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        02-19-2014, 04:10 PM
      #284
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
    Oh....so peope who use bits don't have politeness and manners, but only use force to have their horse respond??? OK....LOLOLOL.
    Agree
    If your having to use force then there is some major holes in your training or riding skills,not the fact the horse is wearing a bit.
    smrobs and GotaDunQH like this.
         
        02-19-2014, 06:01 PM
      #285
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paintedpastures    
    Agree
    If your having to use force then there is some major holes in your training or riding skills,not the fact the horse is wearing a bit.
    This bears repeating.....especially the "major holes in your training or riding skills". Ding ding ding...we have a winner!
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        02-19-2014, 06:20 PM
      #286
    Trained
    Let me ask a question then - if you have major holes in your training if you ever use force, and thus should never use force, how do you get a horse, for example, to go faster at a light squeeze if you are never willing to do more than ask with a light squeeze?

    I was taught that you use a series in asking a horse to trot: kiss, light squeeze, firm squeeze, bump, kick, crop. At some point, the horse figures out that since it is going to end up trotting anyways, it might as well do so at the bump. It then figures out it might as well do it at a squeeze, and eventually (if that is your sequence) learns to trot at a kiss - which is where Mia is at right now.

    However, if you are not willing to escalate, and just rely on asking politely, then your horse will probably learn to ignore you.

    In teaching neck reining, the initial cue is the movement of the reins against the neck. If that is all you ever do, however, your horse will never learn to turn. So you follow up the neck rein with a more forceful cue, and go on up until the horse turns. Over time, if you are consistent, the horse will learn to turn from the neck rein alone.

    A finished horse will respond to polite cues, but the horse needs to be trained to respond to 'polite' cues - and that training may involve using enough force to convince the horse it would rather obey at "Please" than at "Darn it!"

    What am I missing? Because I do use force with Mia sometimes, and given her personality, I'm likely to always need that option. Those times might become less frequent, but I think there will always be days she will check to see if I'm serious. She is very willing and sweet, except for when she is not. And when she is not, politeness won't get me anywhere...
         
        02-19-2014, 06:41 PM
      #287
    Yearling
    ^The type of force I'm referring to is physical force, intimidation force, abuse force.....NOT standard "ask, show, receive" force. Does that make any sense? LOL.

    There is a difference between the two.
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        02-19-2014, 07:14 PM
      #288
    Trained
    Let me phrase it this way and see if you agree:

    If you are using a bit as a tool of force to intimidate your horse into obeying, you are badly screwed up. If you are using it as a training tool to encourage your horse to obey until your horse knows enough to obey willingly, then that is OK.

    In like manner, if you rely on using a crop all the time to get your horse to trot, you suck as a trainer. But you might use a crop as a training tool to teach the horse that life is better if you trot when asked politely.

    Mia has some big training holes caused by irrational fear of almost everything. So it is fair to use tools like bits, legs, and slightly scary situations to train her to not be afraid. But it would be wrong to rely on inflicting pain to control her. Not only would that not work, but it would be horribly unfair to the horse. Training holes should be filled, not papered over.

    Is that on track?
    smrobs likes this.
         
        02-19-2014, 08:41 PM
      #289
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    Let me phrase it this way and see if you agree:

    If you are using a bit as a tool of force to intimidate your horse into obeying, you are badly screwed up. If you are using it as a training tool to encourage your horse to obey until your horse knows enough to obey willingly, then that is OK.

    In like manner, if you rely on using a crop all the time to get your horse to trot, you suck as a trainer. But you might use a crop as a training tool to teach the horse that life is better if you trot when asked politely.

    Mia has some big training holes caused by irrational fear of almost everything. So it is fair to use tools like bits, legs, and slightly scary situations to train her to not be afraid. But it would be wrong to rely on inflicting pain to control her. Not only would that not work, but it would be horribly unfair to the horse. Training holes should be filled, not papered over.

    Is that on track?
    I think it depends on how you go about it. Training a horse, I guess is like teaching a person about a subject they know nothing about, except with the horse you have a completely different language and tool kit to use.

    When I walk into the yard with a horse that has never been touched, it has its preconceptions about what is going on, perhaps, "I'm about to become food for this predatory, eyeball on the front of the head having, thing". In my head is a different preconception, mainly "you have no idea what I am going to be saying to you so Ill break it down to bite sized pieces and give you time and room to digest them". I ask for response A, if I don't get it, I ask a bit louder, if I still don't get it I ask louder again till I get it. That's the basic principal that operates throughout the horse's training. And I think that's probably what you are getting at, so Id agree with that. There are a bunch of variables, as always that requires one to modify approach, technique etc., but the basic principal is the same.

    Where people are talking about bits and more force with training holes is, from the way I read it would be akin to : horse doesn't go in a, say snaffle, so whack a curb in its mouth and off you go without assessing what went wrong in the first place, where holes in the training might be, or holes in the handling, and do everything exactly the same as before. Then you will probably just be using increasing amounts of force and equipment that has a harder potential.

    Perhaps there are a lot of people who do it that way, when I was a kid and learning it all that was generally the way here, horse doesn't respond well, make it through any means necessary without actually having a think about what was going on, I have seen some pretty hard men on horses. The hardest I ever heard about was a guy who used to be a stockman for my uncle. I didn't see this, I just heard about it, apparently one of his horses wouldn't stop and kept running through the bit and he had no idea how to deal with it so he made a barbed wire nose band and connected it to the rings of the bit. Absolutely horrific stuff, but he has even had to shoot horses he has been training because he has injured them so bad.

    That's the kind of thing I think people mean when they talk about using force on training holes, maybe not that nasty, but along those lines- can't figure out how to fix it? Just bash away at it till it looks kinda fixed.
    smrobs, bsms, picup436 and 1 others like this.
         

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