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whitetrashwarmblood 11-04-2008 10:50 PM

Riding Liberty Style
I don't know if there's another name for it, but over here we call riding without a saddle and bridle, liberty style. I've slowly been teaching my mare how to do it. I started to once I realized that she already knows everything I want/need her to know, we don't show almost at all, and that she must be really bored. lol
I started to do it with a rope halter w/ lead on in the arena.
I just hold the lead rope on one side of her to aid (if needed) with the turning and stopping.
She knows how to turn pretty well with my legs, and will stop when I squeeze with my knees while walking or trotting but she pretends like I'm not even on her anymore when I ask her to canter and goes where ever she feels like. Talk about being a brat. >.>
I was wondering if anyone rides like this, and if you do how far have you gotten and what did you have to do to get there?

kickshaw 11-04-2008 11:03 PM

I used to do that with Justin all of the time. Practice and groundwork were the biggest things.

I'd walk up to him in the 100 acre field he was in and just hop on...I'd ride that horse flat out, over water, through woods, anything you could think of. (miss those days!)

SonnyWimps 11-05-2008 12:11 AM

I do that with Sonny. First I taught him how to neckrein and listen to my seat cues cause I never used to use them.
The first time I did it, I was in a round pen so he couldn't get too carried away...but the second time I was in the arena with another horse and he listened fine.

loosie 11-05-2008 12:35 AM

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I rarely ride bareback any more, since having kids... Used to tho, as it's great exercise & practice for an independent seat.

Haven't ridden my own horses with a bit, and rarely 'with contact' for many years tho. With my last 2 horses I would happily jump on them without any gear most of the time - in company & out on the roads I would always have a string around their neck or a halter, for justin. I'm not up to that stage with my young boy tho & will only ride without a halter in an enclosed environment, such as an arena ATM.

It makes you realise how sad it is when people discuss the 'need' for 'stronger' bits, doesn't it??

Royal Freckles 11-05-2008 01:14 AM


Originally Posted by loosie (Post 181243)
It makes you realise how sad it is when people discuss the 'need' for 'stronger' bits, doesn't it??

:-( Very much so. I am working on my horses at riding with no headstall of any kind. We try to train our horses as if we were going to ride them with no bit, even if that never comes to be. We always explain to our customers, if they respond with no bit, imagine how responsive they will be with a bit.

If the horse knows the seat and leg cues, work on getting them to where you do not have to correct with the halter or string. When they are to that point, you are ready to expand the area they are in, reassuring that they are listening to seat and leg, until you work up to being out of an arena or cinfined space.

whitetrashwarmblood 11-05-2008 01:26 AM


Originally Posted by loosie (Post 181243)
It makes you realise how sad it is when people discuss the 'need' for 'stronger' bits, doesn't it??

Oh yes, I ride all of my horses in snaffles, and I feel that if all horses were trained well that snaffles are all they need.
There's a difference though for people who compete and who actually know and understand how to use harsh bits correctively, but for those who use them for fashion or to fit in are completely wrong.
I think it would be wonderful if I can teach Athena to be ridden anywhere without anything, saddle , bridle, halter, or rope. :)

Her biggest problem is being too smart for her own good.
I've tried riding her without anything at first, and she starts to crow-hop as soon as we go faster than a walk!
But even if I just put a halter on her she doesn't try anything.
It's almost like she knows I'm vulnerable without anything but her mane to hang on to.
She's out to get me. lol >.<'
I think that I'll have her to where she's perfect with the rope halter in and out of the arena before trying nothing at all.

SonnyWimps 11-05-2008 10:31 AM

I agree with everyone
If I absolutely need a bit, then I'll just use my eggbutt snaffle with no contact to the bit. For shows I have a shank bit but it's a simple mouthpiece that looks the same as the eggbutt snaffle.

But normally I ride in a Parelli Hackamore (which really is just a rope halter and lead rope tied as reins) and my horse listens to that better than the bit.

I always juse a rope if I don't have a bridle on. It's mainly if I need to stop Sonny extremely quick, I have that that can help stop him sooner. I trust Sonny to stop, but I think it's just safer to have the rope for control (or a handle.....since Sonny has like no mane lol) just in case.

Easiest thing about going put a halter on and reins, but don't touch them. Just place them somewhwere where they won't fall and just use your body to control her. Then slowly start removing it.

kickshaw 11-05-2008 10:57 AM

heck, i didn't even have a halter or lead with me most of the time when I'd take Justin out (read: I was young and stupid) :lol:

to this day, unless showing, my guys are in halters or hackamores :-)

ivyschex 11-05-2008 11:33 AM


I am working on riding my horse bridleless also. Here are a couple of videos:

To view another video, click here: Jackson bridleless - Videos - ivyschex's Xanga Site

You might also be interested in this website.


SonnyWimps 11-05-2008 12:14 PM

I'll steal Ivy's idea and post videos of me and Sonny doing it also so you can see

(Yes we need to work on stopping...we are slowly getting better)

And again, I'll copy Ivy's idea :wink: (I'm such a thief ain't I lol) and I'll post the link of the NH I has taught me alot and has changed my horse completely - HomePage :-)

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