Foraging on trail rides: to bit or not to bit? - Page 2

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Foraging on trail rides: to bit or not to bit?

This is a discussion on Foraging on trail rides: to bit or not to bit? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        01-14-2011, 05:29 PM
    I think I'm less concerned about the hourly stops on day rides--even long day rides--although they DO make good breaks for both rider and horse.

    I'm thinking more in terms of going horse camping where we're out for a couple days riding--or a week, or whatever. Seems like letting them forage a bit more during the day makes more sense on longer trips. I suppose one reason for thinking that is the critters will probably have more trouble eating well in AM and PM when foraging around camp than they do at home where we toss 'em hay or put 'em in a lush pasture to feed.

    But then, maybe somedays we'll get lucky and have really good forage in the evening and morning so getting snacks during the day will be less crucial. Maybe.
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        01-14-2011, 07:36 PM
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    When you let them forage with the bit in, isn't there danger of them stepping on their reins? I know you can tuck them up, but sure as shootin' they'll come untucked.
        01-14-2011, 08:03 PM
    I always have some small carabiners attached to the D rings on my saddle. I figure on securing the reins there. No way they can come untucked. Gotta make sure the reins are long enough when secure without being too long, however.
        01-15-2011, 12:41 AM
    If I stop and let them graze, I take the bridle off, Coil the reins and headstall over the horn. If they are eating with a bit in their mouth, I'm probably still sitting in the saddle or at the very least. Holding the reins in my hands if I've dismounted.

    Now my daughters are a little more careless.

    But eating or drinking, I usually watch and hang on to the reins
        01-15-2011, 10:25 AM
    Me, too - either the bridle is off or the reins are in my hand. It's too easy for a horse to their head down and rub, jor take a step while their nose is on the ground, put a foot through the reins, pull their head up, and the rodeo begins.
        01-16-2011, 11:56 AM
    We don't have a big pasture so I let my mare eat a lot on the trail, she has a snaffle and has no trouble eating with it.
    I have tried a bitless bridle but she is too fast and not as under control as with a bit.
    She also gets a lot of hand grazing by the road or in a field.

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