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tim 04-06-2008 09:54 PM

Bridleless Training for Show
This is a duplicate post from my other topic in the Members Journals forum. You can read that here.

My ultimate goal is to finish my 4-H showing career by completing a working western pattern bridleless at the Va. State 4-H Horse Show in September of this year.

I don't even know if they will allow me to do it (4-H is annoying that way) or if it will disqualify me, but I think regardless of any roadblock the wonderful and pompous Virginia 4-H horse program manages to put in my way at the moment of truth, this will prove valuable to myself and my horse in general.

I pray that anyone with considerable western riding experience feel free to comment here. If you've ever shown bridleless, I would love to know how you went about it. As it is right now, I don't even know the correct protocol for performing bridleless. I'm trying to figure all this out as I go along.


So to reiterate (as this forum gets more traffic than member journals), if theres anyone here that can offer some insight into the sorts of things I should expect when showing bridleless, and what I sould actually do with regards to protocol, I would be very happy to read your suggestions.

.Delete. 04-07-2008 08:46 AM

People people people people. Oh i can hear it now "Thats cheating, my horse can't do that so he shouldn't be allowed". "Just because his horse can do it doesn't mean others can". "He will get extra points thats not fair". Oh the people will be annoying :?

horsestar8100 04-09-2008 04:44 PM

That would be sooooo cool. I once saw on youtube (I think) about a reiner doing a pattern with out a bridle (know for a fact) or rope (I think). Yea, see .Delete.'s point. People can be so obnoxious about not taking the time to practice, practice, practice, and than they throw a fit because someone had an 'advantage' over them :roll: , or because someone did something different and got a very cooperative mount (legal and humane means), mean while their horse is flipping out over something stupid....... Gotta love society :roll: . Also agree with .Delete. again, depending on the type of horse and how well the rider know the horse, some people just can't.

kchfuller 04-09-2008 05:23 PM

start out with using as little pressure on your reigns as possible and as much leg and seat direction as you can ... after you think you have mastered that, you can go to using a rope around the neck or even a piece of bailing twine in the mouth so that you have a little control and then go to the rope or twine around the neck ...
hope this helps :)

I Love Lane 04-16-2008 07:18 PM

Tim - does your horse spur stop??? If he does then you should be able to take the bridle off today and ride him with a neck strap (that is required under APHA rules for bridleless anyway not sure about 4H). If he isn't trained to spur stop - but from previous posts i believe that he is - then it will involve complete retraining and not sure that you would have him going super by the state champs so i would pass for this year and try for next.

Not sure about 4-H rules though Timmy - you may very well get a DQ. You certainly can not enter the pen in a paint show without a bridle unless it is a bridless class so i imagine that this rule would be farily universal in all the western clubs :)

tim 04-17-2008 05:55 PM

Lane, yes he spur stops.

Also, I think you might be right. There is nothing in the rules that addresses it though, so I think if I talk to the show staff I can find out for sure. 4H has always been a little different, and thats what I'm relying on, but they're also strict as well, so it may not work out at all.

I actually wouldn't mind getting DQ'd if I was at least allowed to do the pattern. I just want to do something different (show off or whatever... :wink: ) because no one has ever tried it and I think people would really enjoy it.

We'll see how it goes and I'll report on what the officials say.

boonesar 05-30-2008 12:32 PM

I would search anything Stacy Westfall. She does it on beautifully. She showed us all on the Elen Show. Big Fan. I think she has a video on how to do it. On Ellen I think she said she had practiced 800 hours before she did it for the show. 4 hours a day 6 days a week. I think the Ellen show is on too. If you haven't seen it is worth the visit. It and the Clinton Anderson video are my favorites.

Wow, you have courage! Congratulations

kickshaw 05-30-2008 12:38 PM

if they won't allow it in a regular class, you could persuede them to add one :D

I watched a bridleless class at the Big A Quarter Horse show down here a few years could tell the ones that were really trained and knew their stuff...and you could also tell the ones who didn't (girls horse took off with her in the a jog - she had to get off and lead him out :lol: )

JustDressageIt 05-30-2008 07:51 PM

Please keep us updated Tim!

Ps.. you're going to kill me.... I pulled Maia's mane...

mlkarel2010 06-02-2008 09:30 PM

My 4-H says that in the reining class "The bridle may be dropped at the judge's discretion"

I'm not sure if that helps..... VA may be different, do you have a show and judging guide?

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