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This is a discussion on Bosal? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Ride in a bosal only
  • Western bosal

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    09-05-2011, 12:59 PM

I have had my 7 yr old paint gelding for about a year and a half now. I won't go into his past in great detail but just to make a long story short- he basicly was started by a novice rider who put him into a correction bit to start him, he learned to suck up bethind the verticle which lead to teach him to run backwards and rear. "Trainer" left him out to pasture for 2 yrs and then gave him to me as a showmanship horse because she said he was unridable due to his rearing issue.

Well I got him past all the resistant issues he learned from improper riding, other than the issue of him going behind the verticle. I've had several trainers help him get him past this issue but with no success...

Sometimes at home I simply just ride him in a halter, at this point I basicly do anything to avoid him sucking back. He is much calmer and relaxed with out a bit, keeps his head at a nice level and natural position and listens a lot better.

So I am thinking of getting a bosal to ride him in. My question is- can you show a 7yr old in a bosal in WP?
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    09-05-2011, 03:10 PM
Some places may have different rules, but I'm pretty sure, that's only allowed for the younger horses. Like the two and three year olds or something like that, then snaffes up to five, and then a curb any older than five.

But if it's a schooling show, I don't think it would matter all that much. Check with the organization of where you're showing. What bit do you use, when you ride with a bridle?
    09-06-2011, 08:45 AM
I kinda figured. At home I use a half cheek but in shows I use an argentine snaffle.
    09-06-2011, 09:13 AM
Ok so here are some pictures showing what he does-

Just so you know I am riding him in an argentine snaffle here with two hands. These pictures were taken after he had an 8mon break due to bad weather and he was really feeling his oats. He does this though regardless of any bit/hand postion/ect. He also gets very tense and chews violantly at the bit. And I am not sure why my hands are so high, enless I was just being tense aswell cause he had a big motor that day.

So basicly when I ride him in a halter or side pull he immediatly turns into a different horse. Head goes into natural position, he totally loosens up, relaxes, and collects himelf.
    10-06-2011, 05:08 PM
I'm not an expert, nor have I ever road western pleasure, just for pleasure. But, we had a horse that would "worry" the bit to death. Bought a bit with a roller in the middle (and i'm sure it has a name that everyone else knows, but it's evading me), he could roll the little roller with his tongue, and he quit chewing the bit..... Don't know if it will help yours, but helped ours.
    10-06-2011, 05:24 PM
It may be your hands and body language (tenseness). In the first picture, your high hands can cause a lower head. In the second one, you have a lot of contact.
    10-06-2011, 06:19 PM
Answer to your first question, no, in almost every show, the only one's permitted in a bosal are under 5 years old.

How I would work on fixing the problem? Completely forget about his headset and training for WP for the forseeable future. Put him in a nice snaffle (get rid of the curb bit for now because I'll bet that the curb and poll pressure are a part of his problem) and then just go ride him. Take him out on trails, for miles, days, weeks, months. Don't ever work on putting his head anywhere. Only pick up on the reins when you want to cue him to do something like turn or stop. Let him relax out and be a horse and let him pack the bit and get used to it. Leave your reins ridiculously long so that he never feels the pressure on his face. Let him figure out for himself where to keep his head. Judging by his confo and the way he rides, he'll probably never have a high headset so you don't need to worry about that.

Give him a job, something to do that doesn't include going in countless circles with someone constantly nagging his mouth. Give him something interesting to do so that he has something to look up for and he'll start to carry his head the way a normal horse should.
    10-06-2011, 06:44 PM
Green Broke
You could also try a rubber coated snaffle, it will be less hard than just metal ones.
    10-12-2011, 03:31 PM
I agree with smrobs. You said he moves naturally in a halter or sidepull, so getting rid of the leverage and retraining is what I would do.
    11-01-2011, 06:39 PM
I hate to say this, but the problem could also be partially you. In the first picture your hands are up, WP riders do this to collect their horse up more. He knows that and is collecting behind. In the second picture you have way way way too much contact on the reins, forcing him behind the verticle. WP requires a super loose rein, no contact and very very subtle cues. I believe this horse could do that, if you give him the slack. Would love to see some pics with a slack rein.

Put him in a loose ring french link snaffle, get rid of everything to do with shanks and curbs for now, the leverage is going to put him behind at this point - no matter what. And learn to ride with your seat more, instead of the reins. Really work on just riding him around, nothing special, don't work on his frame/head/neck - go on trails, learn to jump, do something! But get out of the rut you are in.

Good luck, he is a beautiful horse.

Add: These types of bits are meant for neck reining on a loose rein, not split reining.
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