A Sudden Realization! (Bareback and Bridleless) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 99 Old 06-13-2013, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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A Sudden Realization! (Bareback and Bridleless)

I had a sudden realization tonight. Saddles and bridles get in the way of the communication between a horse and rider. Over the past 3 days, me and Toofine haven't had anything between us, other than a neck rope to guide him. He has picked up on how to walk, trot, canter, collect, sidepass, back and trot diagonally quicker than he did with a saddle and bridle. We have had terrible problems with rushing jumps and getting the right canter leads, but all of that was fixed when the saddle and bridle was removed. He did FLYING LEAD CHANGES with ease when it is usually a fight. He calmly jumped, slow and collected. Even when I went to get on him, he trotted up to me, which is a first in all the years I've owned him. This. Is. Amazing. I have FINALLY found an effective way to communicate with him!
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post #2 of 99 Old 06-13-2013, 09:04 PM
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Good for you both! I too always find that the more naked my horse is, the better our communication! If I have a problem working Western, I go English for a few days. If I'm having a problem working English, I go bareback and sometimes bridleless. Isn't it neat how minimizing your "tools" for communicating actually makes you work harder to understand eachother?
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post #3 of 99 Old 06-13-2013, 09:08 PM
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You do realize it's very logical. More matter between you and the horse, therefore less of a feel.

But without control of your seat and soft giving release.. you will run into the same problems, or they may get worse due to the "exposed" back.

Training is training is training.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 99 Old 06-13-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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I think I pay more attention to my body position without any tack, and my aides for that matter. Everything is more refined. He is so much calmer, and naturally lowers his head and relaxes. (He is a half arab, so he has some fire). I've had many people tell me I ride the best bareback. I'm just so happy that I'm finding something that works! My new goal is to work on bridleless and bareback dressage (hopefully higher level stuff eventually) and jumping. I am re-motivated on my riding and progression in training. I love this feeling!
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post #5 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 07:36 AM
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And when you want to do one thing and he wants to do something different, what is your plan for that? That time WILL come and you are not going to be in a very good position to effect the outcome.
Just asking???
Cherie
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post #6 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 08:12 AM
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I'm glad this is working for you. As for the saddle, if your saddle is an economy model it can be the hindrance. From experience a well made saddle can make a huge difference as the tree is superior.
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post #7 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
And when you want to do one thing and he wants to do something different, what is your plan for that? That time WILL come and you are not going to be in a very good position to effect the outcome.
Just asking???
Cherie
I guess I will hope for the best! Probably keep changing the way I'm asking him to the slightest difference until he gets it, and until I learn the correct cue.

At least i'm not scared of the ground!
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post #8 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
I'm glad this is working for you. As for the saddle, if your saddle is an economy model it can be the hindrance. From experience a well made saddle can make a huge difference as the tree is superior.
It is really odd. I used to use a $500 saddle by flexrider, but then I switched to a $40 tack sale, worn out saddle and he did tons better. And now he's in a brand new Collegiate Senior Event saddle, and we still have a problem with some of the riding stuff.
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post #9 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 09:23 AM
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If removing the saddle makes a big & immediate improvement in the horse, then there was something wrong with the saddle. If using a neck rope gives a big & immediate improvement over using a bit, then there was either something wrong with the bit, or with how the bit was being used. Saddles and bits have been used for a long time because they HELP, not because they hinder. But if they don't fit, or are used wrong, then they can hurt and cause problems.

"People can teach us the rules, but only horses can teach us the art of riding."
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post #10 of 99 Old 06-14-2013, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
If removing the saddle makes a big & immediate improvement in the horse, then there was something wrong with the saddle. If using a neck rope gives a big & immediate improvement over using a bit, then there was either something wrong with the bit, or with how the bit was being used. Saddles and bits have been used for a long time because they HELP, not because they hinder. But if they don't fit, or are used wrong, then they can hurt and cause problems.
The saddle was bought on a trainers recommendation. It is a nice saddle. The bridle was also bought on a trainers recommendation, as was the bit. It is a simple O-ring, for dressage.

He is so much more tuned into me without tack. The slighest movement directs him. He always would pull and pull against the bit, and now he doesn't since he doesn't work in a bridle anymore. It makes him so much calmer. I used to have hards hands but I have gotten over that problem.

My plan is to get the basics down bareback and bridleless, and then slowly add the saddle and bridle back. By then, I'm pretty sure he will be operating purely off of my body, where the bit wouldn't really be used at all.
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