Why do you need 2 reins... and those weird bits...
I`m really just curious. I have never been to a dressage competition, but I do a lot of dressage movements in my ring riding (simple stuff like leg yield, flexes, bends, half passes, turns on haunches, etc). I have never ridden with anything other than a simple snaffle (even when riding western). Partially because I learned to ride with a snaffle, and I`ve just always used a snaffle. Really I dont know much about bits, except that some are harsher than others and some are made to fix specific problems etc. I guess I`ve never looked into it because I`ve never had a need to switch away from a snaffle. My question is though, what are the double bridles for. As far as I know you can either have 2 bits with 2 reins or a bit with two places for reins. Do each of the reins give different cues. Is it something that is neccesary to achieve more advanced moves. Do you half halt them all seperately..
Dressage requires very very fine communication on a very small scale. Getting a horse to perform advanced movements without looking like you're doing anything is a difficult task.
The idea behind a double bridle is that the horse is carrying 2 bits in its mouth - one snaffle, called a bradoon, and one curb bit, called a weymouth.
The horse SHOULD be ridden on the snaffle 90% of the time without the curb engaged.
The curb rein comes into play when you need that little extra "listen to me" finesse that comes with some of the more advanced moves.
The second bit you are referring to, the single bit with two places for reins, is called a Pelham, and is illegal to use in the dressage ring. The difficulty with a pelham is that they don't convey crystal clear signals because you are using one bit for both snaffle and curb reins, so you will always have a little of each even if you're just trying to engage one rein.
Regarding half-halting, sometimes you do need to half halt on both weymouth and snaffle reins, but as I stated earlier, a horse should be ridden on the snaffle rein for the majority of the ride.
That's really interesting. I always wondered the same thing. I have never ridden dressage, but I always wondered when I would see it on TV. It is a beautiful sport though and I love to watch!
Wikipedia has a wonderful description. :)
Double bridle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You don't half halt with the reins, sorry kids :P
Otherwise JDIs description was good. I would just like to add that most of the time, in a properly used double the snaffle and curb are going to have contact. It is considered a serious fault to be hanging on any rein, especially the curb, but letting the curb rein hang loose is also a fault. Really, the double bridle just seperates the aids and makes the front end more accessable with much less movement in the rider's hands.
anebel... how do you half halt. i was taught a half halt involves deepening your seat, sponging the rein. then again, i had a cheap 20$ an hour hunter coach who had taught me to stick my bum out while posting.
So essentially, could those advanced moves be performed without the double bridle, even if it meant the rider having to move. (I realise that this would be of no use in a competition). Not that I plan on stressing out my horse with more advanced moves, I`m just trying to understand the concept really.
You half halt with your body. It is really tough to explain the half halt over the internet, but basically you are rebalancing the horse, asking it to come onto it's haunches while becoming more active in the hindlegs. Because pulling on the reins nearly immediatly halts any hind end activity, by doing that during a half halt you are basically screwing yourself. If I ever get a video of me riding I'll find a half half and post it.
Yes, in fact there is a controversy over that whole thing in the FEI right now. Double Bridles are currently mandatory at most FEI levels (Juniors, Young Riders, PSG, I1, I2 and GP) and this restricts some horses from competition who can't handle a double bridle. Because we are breeding horses more sensitive, many of them don't need the double, or go completely screwy with it on.
Still, even in the snaffle, the rider should not have to drastically change position to get a different aid.
Very good article Spyder!
Sorry, was talking about rein contact, but you are correct, you half halt with your body.
Stupid mistake on my part.
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