What are your views on double bridles???
I am learning about double bridles and just wanted to see what everybody's views are on them.....
Only use them under a trainer, until you develop your skills. They can be very subtle and open great lines of communication or, in untrained hands, can be extremely severe.
They are great tools, when you are ready for it. You really dont need them unless you are competing in upper levels.
I perfer mine plain full cheek, its just more simple. And of course, I dont think my mare will ever get to the point she needs one. She is just my little pleasure mount.
do you like double bridles or not? why?
I like them at Prix St. Georges and above, that's about it.
Double bridles are used optionally at Third and Fourth Level, and are a requirement for the levels above.
The purpose of them is to give the rider lighter, refined aids when they use their hands, and it gives more control over the placing of the horse's head (this does not mean holding his head in place!).
A rider who is using a double bridle should have an independent seat, leg, and hand. They should know how give and take at the right time (feel), and have very, very soft and elastic hands.
Overuse of the curb causes the horse to draw back his tongue (sometimes getting it stuck in between the two bits), and this is why some riders, especially the rollkur users, will put crank or other "trapping" nosebands on their bridles. It appalls me to no end to see the highest level riders pulling and yanking their horses around in the warm-up to pull them into hyperflexion. They end up, really, drowning the horse in pain and confusion.
That being said, their are many riders who do use the double bridle correctly. In the hands of a soft and empathetic rider, it's a great bridle!
On a side note, I ride Freddy in a pelham. It's an honest disaster to try a ride him in a snaffle, but I can't ride him in a double bridle (he will never be soft enough to go in one). I wish they hadn't made the pelham illegal in dressage competition, because it really get riders used to the double reins and teaches them some of the mechanics of a double bridle. The funny thing is that the pelham was originally created for dressage as a transition bit for horse and rider!
When I rode Saddlebreds, we always showed in them (in the non-academy classes). We would ride in a snaffle at home, ride in the double bridle once before the show, and then use it at the show. It's just to make the horse more responsive at the show so you can use less obvious cues and make it look effortless. My trainer always said that the snaffle was to lift their head up and the curb was to tuck their nose in.
We are just in the process of starting to use a db. I am getting mine for christmas. I have to learn how to use one as my young horse will hopefully do fei.
My horse now is just working on level 3 and so he will be the horse that I learn everythng on while my colt grows up.
But my usage of the db will be completely under my trainer's direct supervision. We will have to figure out what bits to use and I am really excited about learning this.
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