Training to ride without a bridle
Does anyone know how to train a horse to ride without having to rely on the bridle and to respond only to leg movement? I try to practice using only leg movement with the her, but she's not catching on that great and I would really love to train her to ride without a bridle. Any tips?
Try training her to ride bitless first. Then go from there. It takes lots of time and trust in order to ride without a bridal.
Okay thank you. Also, how do you halt a horse without using a bridle?
I would use my seat and say "Whoaa". That's my guess lol.
lol, my horse doesn't respond very well to "whoa"
I guess that's something I need to work on before I try riding without a bridle.
Would she respond if I used her mane?
For a halt ask with seat first, so seat deep in the saddle and slow your movement with your horse, say whoa and then pull back on reins, dont yank, your hands should move like 5cm.
Bridle less would take time, do groundwork with your horse, teach it to move away from pressure and then relate that back to when your riding.
It will take time
Okay, thanks for the advice (:
Hum... I don't think it is something easy and unsignificant to train a horse to ride it bitless or bridle-less... I wanted to do that, because my horse has always had a small problem with bites - he never feels at ease or comfortable with them. So what I did was to do all the work as if he was a foal... Lots of hours on foot, teaching him how to respond to my voice, posture, gestures, to give in to the halter, to a rope that comes against his head, neck, legs, hips and so on, in fact I tried to teach him that when I seem to ask something, he must rely on me, follow the sensations of my body or of objects on his body, and think, not flee. Tried to make a "reasonable" horse that takes part in education in a word.
Then, once he was perfectly cooperative on foot and knew the words and responded to a mere halter without questioning me, I began to mount and dismount, just training him to stay quiet while I mount, dismount, without having to hold him. I wanted him to be responsible and self-sufficient, he knows the rules, I want him to follow them by himself, on the basis of a kind of contract: you do things right, it's comfortable, I'm happy with you, there are treats, massages, strokes etc, you do not do things as you are expected to, I intervene to put you back onto the right path, without losing my nerves but I say "no" and act.
Once I could mount/dismount easily, I asked him to give his head while I was on his back, still. To the right, to the left, same ideas: think, follow me, be calm, relaxed. Then I saw I could have his hinder legs moving sideways, which combined to the head can help stop him if he really does not answer the "aaaoooo stop". As for his front legs I still can't really get them to move independentally on foot so I do not try on his back. Then I began to walk with the known orders, "au pas", "tourne" etc, using first my voice, then my seat/back/shoulders (the softest aids after the voice I think) then my legs, then the reins on the halter.
For a few months we only walked because I felt unsure if we would be safe trotting. Then once I could turn and stop easily we began to trot, and so on.
What I mean is, it is not an easy or quick thing! It is like "breaking in" a horse. Moreover, I don't think it quite good to intend to use your legs only: there are so many things to ask from a horse, do you really think that only the place your legs are acting or the way they move/press, will be enough for all the orders to give? You'll need to use your seat, the way you put your shoulders, your pelvis, where your eyes look... many, many things (even the wa
wooops I clicked on the wrong thing sorry...
even the way you breathe can help!!! Now I can ask my horse to go for a trot only by breathing in a special way and "rising my energy", and stop him also by breathing more deeply and calmly and relaxing, or directing my ernegy upward instead of forward.
Don't know if this will help you but just please take care, it's pretty serious a thing to train a horse, you need to go slowly, to pay attention to every detail, otherwise there may be accidents that could be very serious... That is no game, that is work so take it as work, have fun, enjoy yourself but always think that you and your horse must be in safety, don't take risks.
I'm not trying to talk you out of that idea, of course, I did it myself and I do not regret at all it is my best idea I think, but I'm just saying the dream can turn into a nightmare if we aren't careful enough...
So enjoy yourself and take care!
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