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White Foot 07-01-2009 09:38 PM

Riding without a bridle.
I'm curious to know how many people can and have taught their horse to ride without bridles, how you taught them and how long it took.

I would love day to someday ride without a bridle with my horse Gunther, he's still 4 so I have a long way to go. I ride him 4 times a week so he gets lots of training. Where do I start, what does he need to know extra...


Jillyann 07-01-2009 09:45 PM

ive never taught a horse to ride without a bridle personally, but im sure it takes LOTS and LOTS of patience and a good good bond between you and your horse! and getting worked 4 days a week, you shouldnt have a problem if he/she is willing to learn

White Foot 07-01-2009 09:49 PM

Either have I. Gunther is really, really responsive with my leg cues already. He's been in training when he was 3 and the trainers said he could go home two weeks early because he was more advanced than the other horses in training. He really is a fast learner, I would be willing to try it bridle less in a few months if I had a riding ring..

Jillyann 07-01-2009 09:59 PM

yeah, i would definitely try it for the first time somewhere where he couldnt run away or get one of you hurt (NOT saying he will, just for safety!) Maybe even for the first time, have someone walk next to you if you really arent sure of how he will react, or have a lead rope around his neck.?

wild_spot 07-01-2009 10:24 PM

I ride my horse bridle-less.

With us though, it just sort of happened... I saw an ASH demo at world MG, the guy took his bridle off and did a working pattern (stops, rollbacks, haunch turns, fats circles, flying changes) with no bridel. I just decided I wanted to do it...

I started by dropping my reins and using my breastplate to stop. Turns out my horse stops better without the bit, lol! So I started experiementing in the sheep yards. I use a rope around his neck to help with steering and stopping, but he is really good and I can get dead stops, slow spins, back up, roll backs, as well as wtc.

White Foot 07-01-2009 10:54 PM

My horse doesn't neck rein or anything. I think I will have to try this someday.

TroubledTB 07-01-2009 11:07 PM

I can't say I can ride my horse bridleless, but I can get on without any tack. I just started doing it and she was fine. I will say she can be a maniac in the turnout, bucking, rearing, galloping, and I can stop her in the middle of it, get on, and she won't do anything. Kinda literally, she won't move much. She will walk around, and sort of mosey, but won't act like the demon she was minutes before. Then I get off, and the banshee is back. I like that she knows better than to get me off when I am vulnerable. I did get her to do a cross rail once because it was all the way up against the fence. I just kicked and kicked and kinda pulled her hair, and I know exactly what her thought process was, "ok, I'll do it, but you better not fall off." And she started toward it, cantered a step, jumped and immediately slowed into a trot/walk. Then I got off and put her away, I had promised that, and gave her lots of carrots. No repeats of that preformance, but I'm glad she would give it to me! I've had her since birth so I think that helps, but I would love to learn exactly how to train her to do it, because I'm sure she would be good. Looking forward to lots of great tips!

White Foot 07-02-2009 12:53 AM

Ditto =)

BuckOff41570 07-02-2009 11:17 AM

I taught my gelding how to go bridless a few years back.
Basically, I just taught him to move off the leg and whoa. Slowly weaning away contact, the reins, then bridle.
Here's an oober old video of it.

Yes, my hands are in my pockets, and was very cold that day.

Piper182 07-02-2009 12:17 PM

For me, I've found that it really depends on how good the horse is moving off leg and how easily they turn with a bit. I've taught horses to go in a halter or to go with nothing, but I make sure I know the horse first. Generally horses that like to go and you have to half halt a lot arent too good at it, but there's always exceptions.

Best test for me to know if a horse can handle no bit: can you ride the horse around on the buckle? Neck reining helps but isnt necessary. vocal training is also helpful but not necessary.

Stacey Westfall is the best example. She does freestyle reining bareback with nothing on the horses head. It's amazing. Westfall Horsemanship.

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