Why even use a bit? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 11:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I don't know horse colors. She is 'reddish brown' to me. We were waiting for the others behind us to catch up. The picture was taken with a zoom from about 150 yards away.

As she gains in confidence, she is getting more impatient with other horses. Lately, I've had to turn her back to the other horse because she doesn't like standing around waiting. We just started working on going out alone, and I think she is going to like it as long as I build her confidence slowly. But 11 months ago, the trainer I hired to work with her problems said, after 4 sessions, that some horses have fears that can't be trained out of them. It was the next session where she concluded the horse I had ridden for 3 years actually had never been broken to ride at all. It has been a long slog up, but the progress has been huge since that day!

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."

Last edited by bsms; 10-09-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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post #42 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
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I can ride both my mare and gelding with a halter at a walk and trot, but I am hesitant to ask for a canter, though i have done so before. My horses know the difference between a bridle and a halter, and know that a bridle means work, but a halter means we're just playing around.

The horse I've sold can be ridden at all gaits with just a halter and he's a four year old gelding who was gelded only six weeks ago. Even when he was a stallion, I rode him at all gaits around mares, with just a halter... he's never responded as well to a bit as he does with a halter.

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding), Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding) & Harlow (9 y/o APHA mare)
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post #43 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 12:23 PM
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You would be doing your horse more good by developing your hands and seat, then by riding it in a rope halter. The rope halter does not allow you the proper communication you need to create a clear precise signal. Riding horses is all about communication between you and a horse, when communication isn't clear a horse can become frustrated or disgruntled. Spend your money on a quality bit, designed and engineered to the horses mouth. Not just engineered to provide tongue relief, a bit geared towards tongue relief often only moves the pressure to the bars and creates the horse to brace with it's tongue. This all leads to an uncomfortable horse, but in all reality the proper hands can work well with most bits. You should be more proud of the hands and seat you have developed than the fact that you can ride your horse without a bit in its mouth. But that is just one man's opinion...

When you are sitting a top a horse, you are that much closer to God.
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post #44 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: South East Texas
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
Obviously, some horses will not do well in any bit. However, without trying every bit, you don't know that your horse doesn't like any bit. Some horses have low palettes and are harder to bit, some have neglected teeth, some have injuries, etc etc.

If I just wanted a horse that would go easily on a trail/pleasure ride, I would keep my little one in a halter. However, we will eventually get into dressage. I cannot, ever, train her to piaffe in a flat nylon halter with broad, imprecise cues. Once she learns how, sure, but not to train it.

OP, what is it you DO with your horses, exactly?

ETA: Well said Punks!
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We live on a working ranch so I do a little of everything. Cutting, working calves, trail riding, packing... Really just anything I need them for that day. I compete lightly in local cutting and penning competitions when I have time.
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post #45 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 08:12 PM
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Since we just trail ride we have the luxury of putting the horse in whatever they work best in vs. shows/disciplines that require certain bits. We have one that rides bitless, one that just left who rode in a short-shanked curb, and a new one I'm trying in various bits to see what he likes best. Horses are living creatures and they do have preferences - some prefer the contact of a snaffle while others prefer neck reining and don't like direct contact. Some do well bitless while others have sensitive noses and don't like the nose pressure.

With that said - I don't think them carrying a bit (with kind hands) is a big horrible issue when we care for them and provide their nice safe homes for them.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #46 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
yes you can use visual cues to help with dyslexia, whilst some struggle with the concept of left and right, dyslexia itself does not affect coordination, dyslexia is however often found in conjunction with dyspraxia but they are 2 distinct conditions with different symptoms and different coping mechanisms

I personaly paint the nails on my left hand a different colour to those on my right (currently cream on the right, blue on the left). I also have an addiction to coloured pens, this is a classic sign of dyslexia as it is a coping mechanism, different colours help enormously!
Faye, I have only met one other dyslexic individual.....and I worked for him. It took me a while to realize he was dyslexic, one of the staff where we worked finally told me after he was screaming and pointing at a gate saying 'stand at this gate!!!!' and then no more than ten seconds later he was screaming 'no no no, I said stand at THAT gate!!!!' completely pointing in the opposite direction!
After a while I made a note of double checking with him about, where and how and when! He was a good guy! He just laughed when I told him what he'd done (we had over 200 head of sheep to take through some gates!)
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post #47 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I do object to people who haven't met my horses telling me bitless is better.
Can I love this????
Riding a horse in a halter is not a final goal. I start my colts in a halter, not end up in one.

Sure I can ride all of mine in a halter and rope off of them, just like SH said, if need be.
I own four horses now, all of them are different on bit or headgear choices and how it is adjusted. When I used to have 10 horses in my string, I had a bridle for each one. I don't get rid of bits unless I have duplicates because it is trial and error finding a bit that a horse likes and works well in, it is up to us to figure it out.
A halter is not a "one size fits all" solution....that is an uneducated assumption.


Last edited by COWCHICK77; 10-09-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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post #48 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
A halter is not a "one size fits all" solution....that is an uneducated assumption.

natisha, boots and Horsealot like this.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #49 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 11:08 PM
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It would seem to me that whatever you use should be what is best and appropriate for the sum of what the horse and rider need for optimum communication. Some horses do do better with a bit, some better with a halter. Some riders also are the same. There are horrific bits out there and some that are just enough to do the job. Halters are the same. I've seen ones knotted in such a way as to practicly rub a hole in a horse and others that were so badly missized that they could become a noose.

The one thing I have noticed is it seems that people on both sides of this issue think their way is superior for whatever reason. In my eyes, those people are limited by their prejudice and I have less faith in them to be open minded enough to recognize that sometimes, their way is just wrong when trying to solve a problem with a horse.

I've seen people who have trained horses their whole life do things with a halter or even a neck rope that bit people claim can only be obtained with a bit. I can't count how many times I've seen horses that were genuinely confused because the halter wasn't working for them or their owner. Neither is superior, only different, and ultimately only effective when used where it's needed by a horseperson who is actually taking the time to see what is actually needed for that horse and that person, in that circumstance.

Hopefully, all of us will pay attention enough to what is going on with the horse and rider that we won't have the ultimate goal of going halter only, bit only, or whatever, but what is correct for that combination.
bsms, Sandi B and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
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post #50 of 157 Old 10-09-2012, 11:09 PM
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oops sorry

Last edited by old97fan; 10-09-2012 at 11:11 PM. Reason: double post
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