Why even use a bit? - Page 12 - The Horse Forum

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post #111 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, let me go back and read them.
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post #112 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PunksTank View Post
KSL, I still want to know why you think a rope halter is so kind or such an advanced piece of tack. I could easily walk downstairs and ride my horse in a rope halter. It would result in a great deal of head tossing and a face-sore horse.
What makes you think a rope halter is any more gentle or takes any more skill than a bitted bridle? The knots on the pressure points on the face of a horse are equal to if not worse than any mild-moderate bits. And assuming you're not using the very well designed one that BSMS showed, I'm assuming you're using the sort most people use as halters - those are improperly designed for riding in. The amount of shifting and pressure on those halters when reins are attached and pulled on cause rubs and pinching and pressure on soft pressure points. Honestly I don't see a rope halter as a kind tool, it's a tool for training horses in, not an ultimate goal.
Riding in a flat halter or bridle-less takes a responsive horse and a horse and rider who have solid body communication more than hand communication. This is an OK goal to shoot for, but not a competitive one. It should be every riders goal to communicate clearly with your horse using the mildest tools you and your horse are safe using. Riding without a bit or without a halter as strong as a rope halter can be dangerous, as response time isn't as immediate and there is no 'emergency brakes'. I don't think I'll ever see rope halters to be milder than average bits, so I don't see why you seem to think it's so much better to ride them in a rope halter?
1. Never said it was advanced piece of tack. I use rope halters without pressure point knots, and I try to find a wider/softer rope. I also don't ride with side reins. I just clip reins to the bottom. I also make my own halters that are nice for riding out of a softer cotton rope, plus the measurements are exact to each of my horses and they fit perfectly.. I don't like nylon because of the metal parts.

2. I don't need emergency breaks with my horses because I work with them 2-4 hours a day every day and they know what I want when I want it. We have solid communication and I don't need a bit to improve that. I don't care if other people use a bit, the point is to have solid communication so you don't use the bit as a crutch. I don't look down on people who use a bit. I've competed in bits a few times, competed in rope halters a few times. Whatever. I just enjoy riding with a rope halter. My horses response time is equal in a bit and rope halter.

Here's my point: I do not care if you use a bit ALL THE TIME but you SHOULD be able to control your horse without a bit at any given time. If you cannot, you and your horse do not have clear communication. If you rely on a bit to be able to ride, you shouldn't be riding.
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post #113 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by KSL View Post
...I do not care if you use a bit ALL THE TIME but you SHOULD be able to control your horse without a bit at any given time. If you cannot, you and your horse do not have clear communication. If you rely on a bit to be able to ride, you shouldn't be riding...I work with them 2-4 hours a day every day...
And the point of the majority of responders is that bits allow more precise communication because of their design, and that it is physically impossible to be as precise with rein cues using a bitless bridle.

If clear communication is your goal, then bits are superior.

And BTW - few riders have the option of riding their horses 2-4 hours each day. Some have lives outside of riding. And that life often pays the bills for the horse...no $$, no hay!

"There goes Earl!"
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post #114 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
And the point of the majority of responders is that bits allow more precise communication because of their design, and that it is physically impossible to be as precise with rein cues using a bitless bridle.

If clear communication is your goal, then bits are superior.

And BTW - few riders have the option of riding their horses 2-4 hours each day. Some have lives outside of riding. And that life often pays the bills for the horse...no $$, no hay!
It is possible. I do it daily.

My job needs horses, so same difference. Everyone can make time though to work with their horse at least an hour a day. It makes a difference.
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post #115 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 10:57 PM
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If you rely on a bit to be able to ride, you shouldn't be riding.
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So are you saying that if a rider is still learning and rely on the bit that they shouldn't ride just because they have not learned yet? That if they have yet to be perfect that they should just stop riding??? I don't mean to sound rude but that is what you just said.
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post #116 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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So are you saying that if a rider is still learning and rely on the bit that they shouldn't ride just because they have not learned yet? That if they have yet to be perfect that they should just stop riding??? I don't mean to sound rude but that is what you just said.
If you rely or hang on the bit, stop riding. Go back to ground work and work with your horse on sensitivity and feel. If that horse NEEDS that bit for you to ride him, stop. You've got holes in your training and are probably hurting the horse.
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post #117 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by KSL View Post
If you rely or hang on the bit, stop riding. Go back to ground work and work with your horse on sensitivity and feel. If that horse NEEDS that bit for you to ride him, stop. You've got holes in your training and are probably hurting the horse.
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Sorry but sometimes it's not the rider who needs the bit but the horse? I mean, you ever tried riding a racehorse in a halter? A bucker? Bolter? Rearer? So we're just supposed to give up on problem horses because they require a bit to be ridden in? Or horses that prefer bits (like mine, he doesn't like face pressure but enjoys the secure, clear communication afforded by a gentle french-link snaffle)?

Seriously...
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post #118 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 11:21 PM
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What if this rider has not learned to ride with their seat yet just because they have not been riding long enough, would you not want the rider to keep riding and to learn to ride properly or to stop just because they have not learned yet?
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post #119 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by KSL View Post
If you rely or hang on the bit, stop riding. Go back to ground work and work with your horse on sensitivity and feel. If that horse NEEDS that bit for you to ride him, stop. You've got holes in your training and are probably hurting the horse.
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Ok, you have a flawed way of seeing this. I ride a reining horse, I hardly ever have to touch his face, he works in a correction bit ( horror) he responds well to my seat and legs......HOWEVER, when I am in an arena with a group of other riders and I'm loping a circle and some kid is riding into my circle looking down at her horse and not where she is going and I need to stop hard and fast to prevent a wreck, then YES I rely on my voice, seat, bracing my legs and MY BIT!
So does that make me much less of a rider? My horse is a finished Reiner, purchased from a world class reining trainer.....he stops just with my thinking it practically....but I rely on my bit, it's my back up plan when things go sideways.....does that make me less of a rider.....should I send him back to his trainer and say 'hey, can you ride him in just a halter for a while, because I think you've left holes in his training because I use a bit on him just like you do and it's probably hurting him' ....yikes, I'd be laughed out the door and down the road.....

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post #120 of 157 Old 10-10-2012, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KSL View Post
Never said I was against them. Ever.
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Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSL View Post
If something is better, healthier, more natural and less painful for the horse, why not use that? I'd go out and actually say that users of a harsh bit to gain control of their horses are selfish and don't care about the horse.
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Originally Posted by KSL View Post
I disagree that any horse "loves" any bit. You wouldn't "love" a metal bar stuck in your mouth. Tolerate it well, maybe.
Sure sounded that way to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSL View Post
It is possible. I do it daily.

My job needs horses, so same difference. Everyone can make time though to work with their horse at least an hour a day. It makes a difference.
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Gee, you are just going out of your way to insult people, aren't you?

How is a job that needs horses the "same difference" as a job that doesn't?

I can't exactly ride my horse into the office... I can't cram him in the elevator and ride up 15 floors. But... I suppose I should have him trained better so I can do that, right?

Don't assume you know everyone's lives and schedules and don't judge those of us who don't have an hour every single day to work our horses.

Don't assume that all of our horses actually need/benefit from an hour's work every single day. People generally get a couple days off per week... why shouldn't horses?

In fact, isn't it cruel and unnecessary to overwork a horse, just so you can boast that you can ride in a rope halter?
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