trail riding with no bit? - Page 3

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trail riding with no bit?

This is a discussion on trail riding with no bit? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        02-16-2013, 09:25 AM
    Originally Posted by phantomhorse13    
    Personally, our horses go in s-hacks on trail, but I have known horses I wouldn't have ridden that way if my life depended on it! So much just depends on the individual horse and the rider holding the reins.
    Does the s-hack have an advantage over a bit? If so, in what way?
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        02-16-2013, 09:55 AM
    Originally Posted by Sunny    
    ...Point being, if a horse isn't going to listen to you, it doesn't matter what is on their face or in their mouth. They will ignore you if they want...
    I disagree. You have better control of the nose with a bit than with most bitless bridles because of the mechanics of the design. That is certainly true of sidepull halters.

    See where the rope halter rides on the horse's face below? That gives poor control of the nose:

    Also, some bit designs apply a clear cue of poll pressure, which some horses understand better.

    Further, with my spooky mare, the subtle feel of a bit compared to any bitless design I've tried USUALLY helps me to calm her down BEFORE she bolts. I get regular practice with 'near-bolts' on her, and a bit makes it easier to tell her I'm there and that I know what to do.

    None of that makes bitless bad. It works very well for some horses. I would love to get Mia calm enough to go back to bitless with her, but I'm not certain that will be possible. OTOH, I'd have no problem with riding Trooper (pictured above) bitless in the desert.
        02-16-2013, 10:08 AM
    Originally Posted by Chevaux    
    ...There's a style I've been considering as I've got one mare that is particularly responsive (this one is also more comfortable without a bit as she has a low palate). It's designed by a lady in Australia and it's a direct pull type. I believe it's called a "Lightrider" bridle - she has a website and you can order there. You might want to check that out.
    Checked it out...she has a good summary of bitless styles here:

    Bitless Bridles - LightRider Bitless Bridles

    However, I do disagree with her quote from Dr Cook: "Every horse is physically handicapped, not to mention psychologically harmed by having a metal rod placed in its sensitive mouth, to which rod (or rods) a pair of straps are attached that enable highly focused pressures of 30 lbs and more to be applied to the soft and hard tissues of the mouth." That is an extreme overstatement. If a bit caused pain, my mare would be uncontrollable in one. I'm inclined to dislike anyone who is a fan of Dr Cook...

    I've also been tempted to try this:
        02-16-2013, 11:59 AM
    Green Broke
    BSMS, I do not ride in rope halters for that reason.

    We will agree to disagree.
    bsms likes this.
        02-16-2013, 12:12 PM
    Thanks everyone for all your help and advice.

    Jim and I went out last night to celebrate our retirement with Iridehorses and his wife. Bill rides with us all the time and he's loaned me the bosal he made to ride with his horse, Bonny.

    Since I have absolutely no experience with hackamores or bosals, I'm letting Bill be my guide. Blossom is 16, she has NEVER done anything but listen to me on the trail (admittedly there haven't been many trail rides given the constraints of time of year, work and weather --- she came t6o me in late October.) I'm hoping this will work. I'm very aware that if my hands arent' light, it can be painful to her. She listens to my leg so well, and it only takes the lightest, lightest touch on the reins, so I'm optimistic that this may be our solution.

    Since Friday was my last day at work (YAY!!!) I have lots of time to play around with this on the farm before we try it on the trails. I'll let y'all know how it goes!

    Thanks again,
        02-17-2013, 07:59 AM
    Green Broke
    Congratulations on your retirement. Happy Trails to you.
        02-17-2013, 09:14 AM
    If you can ride in one, then why not?

    Ride your horse in a outdoor arena or pasture and just see what you may possibly need to work on. Or even try a mini-trail. See how your horse reacts, see what you need to work on.
        02-17-2013, 03:22 PM
    Originally Posted by Celeste    
    Does the s-hack have an advantage over a bit? If so, in what way?
    For us, it allows the horses to eat and drink freely. Not to say that horses wearing bits can't drink or eat, but seems a lot less hassle to not have to chew around a bit (and certainly much better for my lazy self to not have a gross bit to clean after the ride).

    Also on days like today (very cold), not having to warm up a bit before asking the horse to take it is pretty convenient too.
    Celeste and Thunderspark like this.
        02-17-2013, 03:32 PM
    Green Broke
    I'll throw this caution out to the OP and those reading. For a well broke trail horse, go for it as you likely aren't using your bit much anyway.

    What I do highly recommend is not to hop onto your newly bought horse or one that is green on the trail with no bit. Why? Seen a lot of runaway out of control horses from idiots doing just that.
    Dustbunny likes this.
        02-17-2013, 06:32 PM
    Originally Posted by Darrin    
    I'll throw this caution out to the OP and those reading. For a well broke trail horse, go for it as you likely aren't using your bit much anyway.

    What I do highly recommend is not to hop onto your newly bought horse or one that is green on the trail with no bit. Why? Seen a lot of runaway out of control horses from idiots doing just that.
    I don't think I would refer to them as idiots......I quess in your eyes I was an idiot but I've never had my mare in 8yrs. Bolt/rear or buck out on the trail.....I did put alot of time working with her which I think makes a huge difference....

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