Double Bridles? Thoughts, experience & opinions :)
Hi Guys :wave:
I would love to hear everyones experiences, thoughts & opinions on the use of double bridles.
I have some dressage homework to do :)
A fabulous tool that has subtlety and finesse. That said, when I am schooling upper level horses I have competed, at home, I often do it in a snaffle.
What information were you looking for?
Hi, just in general, what you like about them what you don't like about them. Also pros & cons maybe? from the horse & riders point of view.
any input is welcomed & appreciated
What I like - exactly as Allison put it, they're subtlety and finesse. They are not the horror bits that people with no experience in their use make them out to be. If a horse and rider is ready for the introduction of a double bridle, it gives an extra level of communication in the partnership under saddle.
As for what I don't like - pulling a double bridle apart to clean it is a real pain, so many bits of leather to clean and put back :P
Oh and the price, lordy they are expensive!
But, every time I rode him I would clean all of the tack. So that involved me taking apart the bridle and putting it back together. That has to be one of the most painstaking processes of all time :lol:.
A horse should technically be able to do all levels in a snaffle, which is why the FEI recently allowed it an option to ride in a snaffle in the Prix St. George through the Grand Prix levels.
Some riders will only ride in a weymouth bridle in the show ring to ensure that the horse sits down properly when it should, a little extra 'oomph' to the rider, if you will, since odds are the horse (presumably and more often than not, the horse is a large, athletic warmblood) is a little distracted by all the sights and sounds and there's a lot of investing (money and time-wise) done in competitions. It is also used occasionally at home to 'sharpen' up the horse a little, but a good rider will never use it more than occasionally and for this reason, It should also only be used by experienced, sensitive riders who know precisely when to apply the curb.
It's a fine, effective, forgiving and kind tool when used by the right rider.
Unfortunately it can be abused and it's effectiveness taken advantage of, as well. I have met my fair shair of upper level horses that have had two bits shoved in their mouth met at the end by hard, unforgiving hands. This, in return, makes the horse unsensitive and hard in the mouth. The opposite of what you want/an unpleasureable ride. Not the horse's fault, of course. Just too bad.
I just bought a horse that was trained in a double bridle. I'm riding him in a snaffle and not having any problems. Should I occasionally ride him in the double bridle? Or just forget about it until he's training in the higher levels?
No. Not if you don't know how to use a doublem and if the horse isn't at the level of training where a double can be used.
Most Grand Prix dressage horses still school in a snaffle, and only wear the double in preparation for a competition where the double is complusary (though this rule is starting to change at FEI competitions with the snaffle being considered in competition). You should be able to do everything in a snaffle bridle. The double is only there for the reasons stated above - to add that last little 'fine tuning' aspect to your training.
I have one pet peeve where a double bridle is concerned. That is people who put one on a green horse because it looks cool and advanced. I saw someone with a smallish QH in a double with a large weymouth and fat bridoon. All of this in a horse with a very shallow palate. Needless to say the poor fellow couldn't even close his mouth. Horrible!:-x
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