Transition bit to bitless - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 11:55 AM
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My (then) 28 yr Arabian/Paint cross gelding (RIP Spirit Dreamer) in the side pull bridle
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 12:27 PM
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You can also look into a Jaquima bridle, which is the noseband bridle used on a traditional trained Paso Fino.
Now that needs minute pressure to convey your message and it can also be accompanied with a bit, but doesn't have to be.
I've ridden my friends Paso in one and never felt "out of control" nor like I had to do grand gestures and exaggerated hand actions to get a response accurate.
Something like this...

The one I had experience with is a thick noseband with what feels like a stiffening piece of metal, chain or cable well covered in leather. Then along the back it had a adjustable strap to close the band with a buckle. Along the side were small d-rings that the reins attached to. It was in appearance a bridle you looked at it just did not have bit nor cheeck-pieces to attach that to.
Now on the Paso Fino sale prospect I rode, the horse had the Jaquima noseband and he also wore the bit with carrier it is called I think...
The strap the bit is held by but it is separate from the noseband part and both Jaquima and bit had their own separate reins for direction was how this horse was set-up for me.
I rode with the bit and then rode just by the Jaquima...and felt safe and in full communication with a fiery, want to go Paso and was not concerned about control at all and this was on trails not in any ring just using the Jaquima.
As this is the bit the horse carried, I did not want communication this way fearing my hands would be far to rough and hurt the mouth...this was a finely trained Paso, a true delight to ride and I had a great time astride.

Just wanted to bring an idea to you that is common tack on other breeds but could definitely be used for your horse...
I think you could use any bit you wanted with that bit carrier strap or not use it at all.
The part that I thought might interest you is it looks like a English bridle, just no bit.

The one thing you must try first though is if the horse will respect and work with a bitless style bridle.
Not every horse will, not every horse will allow that kind of pressure exerted to their facial bones and not freak out either...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #13 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 12:58 PM
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Personally not a fan of the Dr. Cook's. Much prefer the sidepull or short-shank English mechanical, depending on the horse.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 01:35 PM
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@horseloving guy, if I am not mistaken the bridle on the chestnut is a Dr. Cook's

@Richie , not sure what options of bitless bridles you have in Switzerland available, trying to ride your horse in a halter would give you a good idea if it is possible or not... If she is already used to seat and leg cues, the transition should be fairly easy...

Any chance for a picture of your beauty? I love Freiberger
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post #15 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 02:23 PM
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I wanna say I ride mine bitless in the arena half the time just for a playtime ride (no chance bitless outside by any roads for me!). I wanna say what really helps is working on verbal cues as well. I do this because I don't wanna be to "handsy" on her sensitive nose as it rubs easily. Something snug with good steering, so the noseband doesn't see-saw across the bridge.

Sidepulls are a fancy headcollar
Cross-unders literally have a cross strap under the chin that tights when you pull on the reins
Chin-strap bitless bridles have a plain strap under the chin that works like the cross-under but.. isn't crossed

You get different types of hackamores too. One @Acadianartist recommended to me and I bought it, the "flower hackamore". You can have a range of settings on it to create more pressure or less depending on your needs. I will say though if your horse needs some convincing to steer left and right that this doesn't really do the job. I otherwise really like it and am sad it didn't work out for me!

flower hackamore.jpg

My horse needs a ton of "help" with steering -.- so I need something with good pull on the sides that wont ruin her nose. These days I can just gently pick up the reins with finger and thumb and she will respond! Took time though! Cross-unders or chin straps make absolutely zero difference to her stop. I can 100% guarantee without trying it if she wants to tank off, a chin strap aint stopping her. So sidepull it is! Maybe a mechanical hackamore of some sort with better lateral assistance.... if I can find one.

Anyway six million bridles later... you got some great advice on here. Good luck with your baby!

ps. if you have access to good land were a bolt wont result in a serious collision absolutely work on that hacking out, after some healing and arena practice ofc! I don't advise it (plus illegal in uk at least) to go on roads or public ways without at least a hackamore. Not having access to private land and big fields is all that stops me from working on bitless hacking (she says hah!).
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post #16 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post

@horseloving guy, if I am not mistaken the bridle on the chestnut is a Dr. Cook's

It very well could be a Dr. Cooks by how the "rings" for the rein attachment are so long and far back from the jaw area.
I did a search for Jaquima bridles and that was one given...guess the search engine didn't follow directions.
Good catch and thank you for pointing it out.
If "looks" make a difference in what is used, I don't want to mislead anyone.

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #17 of 28 Old 06-28-2019, 07:50 PM
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I've usually had good luck with a Dr Cook's:

I've also used him in a "jumping cavesson":

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #18 of 28 Old 06-30-2019, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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@AnitaAnne : Thanks for the suggestion for using the normal headpiece and attaching rings. I tried this yesterday, and it kind of works! I used her normal headpiece and it seems okay heightwise. It is a bit makeshift as I didn't stitch the leather into the correct length, so the rings will slide along the noseband, but I'll see if I can revise that.

@horselovinguy : thank you for the suggestion, I'll look into the Jaquima. I'll definitely start slow and see how Beauty responds.

@SwissMiss : I think the halter or the adjusted bridle AnitaAnne suggested will be our first try. From what I've found I can get a lot of variations here, but the 'Glücksrad' (Farris wheel), which is very similar to what @Kalraii posted, is a very popular version. :) of course! Are you from switzerland or?

@Kalraii : thanks for sharing your experience. The flower hackamore you posted is popular here. I am looking for something I can also hack out in, so I'll see if I need more than a halter for that :)

So a sidepull /is/ really just a halter right?
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post #19 of 28 Old 06-30-2019, 03:31 AM
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A side pull in its most basic form is very much like a halter, but the placement of the rings does make a difference. Have ridden in regular halters and the aids are not as precise in a halter.

The pressure from a side pull is more on the nose.

Great to hear you were able to make a headpiece that works, could you post a picture? Would love to see it (and Beauty!)

PS - @SwissMiss is a very good friend of mine, and definitely all Swiss, just living in the southern US!
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post #20 of 28 Old 06-30-2019, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Beauty during her surgery recovery eating soaked hay cubes 😉
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