Make Bitless Bridles Legal - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 03-22-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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You need to take it up with a show committee as the term bitless will need to be defined so that everyone is on a level playing field. The term covers, bosals, steel hackamores, Indian rope hackamores, scissor action bridles and neck ropes and halters. It may prove more fruitful if you asked if a new open class (all ages) could be introduced once the definition of bitless is decided upon.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-23-2014, 07:02 AM
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I really want bitless bridles to be legal in dressage! Here in the UK, we are getting somewhere with it. So maybe in a few years some bitless bridles will be legal in low level dressage. I can't see the problem with it!
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-24-2014, 09:37 AM
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In few weeks in my city there are competitiins in riding without bridle at all. I am so anxious to see it. But it is for the first time.
Ialso want bitless bridle be allowed in sport. Maybe I will do some sport then...?
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-24-2014, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
It may prove more fruitful if you asked if a new open class (all ages) could be introduced once the definition of bitless is decided upon.
That's the can of worms...the definition.
Some breeds have Western Pleasure hackamore (bosal) classes for young horses. Are English (short shanked mechanical) hackamores allowed for jumpers? Not sure.
I suppose if you get a large enough group asking for something, well, who knows.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-24-2014, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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In sporting events where you are against the clock, usually anything goes. It's the saddle classes that bow to certain protocol.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-24-2014, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dustbunny View Post
That's the can of worms...the definition.
Some breeds have Western Pleasure hackamore (bosal) classes for young horses. Are English (short shanked mechanical) hackamores allowed for jumpers? Not sure.
I suppose if you get a large enough group asking for something, well, who knows.
We don't really have the big separate classes over here like you do in the US, like Hunter/Jumpers etc., unless you're showing in a working hunter class, but it's generally just "show jumping", and pretty much anything goes. Huge bits, bitless, combination bridles (becoming more popular), gag bits, no bridle at all... I worked at Horse of the Year Show last year, and saw a HUGE variety in bits/bitless combinations. Most bitless bridles were mechanical hacks though.





I've noticed in the show jumping world, people seem to be moving to what the horse prefers, rather than what they think it should have, and I think they are seeing better results. I understand why many use bits/bridles with so much leverage, as they are really flying round in the speed classes/jump offs, but I've also seen a rise in the number of people using snaffles too.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-27-2014, 03:50 AM
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That last one she is using a war bridle. Its leather that goes through the horses mouth so in a way it is a bit. Works though.
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 04:10 AM
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I put out some feelers to the competition world (USEF, letters to the editors of horse magazines, etc) and the responses were utterly incongruous. Some said "your horse won't respond as well and you will have an unfair disadvantage" while others said, "You will have an unfair advantage." The reasoning doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I'm hopeful that people will come around! People have performed beautiful dressage hitless. It's practice and training, not the equipment.
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post #9 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 04:31 AM
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I'd be curious to see a video of someone doing really top class dressage bit less.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-30-2014, 04:41 AM
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I'd be curious to see a video of someone doing really top class dressage bit less.
You won't find a video of it in competition, given that they're outlawed. And, granted, I'm not much of a judge of dressage. But I have seen horses balanced bitless just as well as I've seen horses balanced in a bit at the dressage barn I'm at. I truly think it can be done. A horse can stretch down into its bridle even without a bit, and certain bitless bridles provide a good amount of control if you want to get them rounder.

But you're right, I haven't looked extensively beyond the few images I've seen on bitless bridle pages. I'll look sometime! Anyone else have thoughts?
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