LG Bitless Bridle? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-08-2010, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well he does everything else completely fine, but since he is just a few years off the track he still sometimes reverts to the racetrack mentality. More good advice though thanks.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-08-2010, 10:24 PM
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Brilliant post, DressagexLee. I do agree with kevinshorses, even though he can come across differently.
In my eyes, a lot people go to bitless for the wrong reasons; they see that the horse reacts adversely to a bit, so they search for a solution that might not be in the best interest of the horse. Especially for an OTTB, I first ask clients if they've done the following: had teeth floated by an equine dentist, had chiropractic work done, had the saddle professionally fitted, and try a different kind of bit.
For example, my OTTB was very quiet under saddle, but he would not flex his jaw properly, therefore could not properly bend through his entire body - or rather, could not. I had an equine dentist out, who floated his teeth (I was informed that his back molars weren't even touching!) and adjusted his jaw, which was all but locked. Those two things alone made all the difference in the world.
Then let me bring up the TYPE of bit you're using. My guy HATES single jointed bits; he will toss his head, and act very uncomfortable. Put him in a double joint and he's a quiet horse that's willing to work.
There are many factors that I encourage you to check out before you absolutely write off bits.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-08-2010, 11:00 PM
 
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The LG does for sure have a bit of leverage if you attach it that way - its kind of like a comparison to the Kimberwicke - a little bit of leverage without going to a full blown curb or pelham.

Bitlesses are comparable to bits somewhat in effect - aside from pressure on the mouth.

Sidepull, nurtural/Dr.cook style bridle = snaffle
LG (just the round, no shank), Floatation, standard bosal = Kimberwicke
Hackamore (west or eng, anything with a shank really) = Curb, pelham, gag

A rider with bad hands will do damage whether they are riding in a shanked bit or a shanked hackamore. A horse who doesn't listen to the snaffle may or may not listen in a sidepull either, its all horse and training specific (and that is a whole other ball of wax!) Bitless fanatics who feel a bit is cruel do need to be careful, because a hackamore with a long shank can do terrible damage to a horse, just in a different way than bad hands on even the mildest of snaffles.

My suggestion would be that if your horse is strong in the Nurtural, you can certainly try something like the LG, but you may still have the same problem. If so, yeah, probably a training issue.

Certainly I don't think trying stuff like this is a "gimmick" - if that's the case, surely a saddle and bridle are gimmicks in the first place. I like to see a horse going in whatever makes him feel comfortable and the rider in safety and control. I don't, however, appreciate seeing horses with flashes, gag bits, tie downs, martingales, etc - That's overkill in my opinion - but hey, the olympians do it, so what do I know?

I want my horse to be completely obedient in every situation, in my perfect world he will be snaffle or sidepull soft in every aspect - but hey, I get excited for XC, why shouldn't he? :) For those days, I'll appreciate having the little bit extra a mild leverage hack has in store for me.

Yikes - sorry that got long - too much caffeine for me today!
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-08-2010, 11:39 PM
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The offending posts have been removed/edited. Please maintain the flow the thread now presents in a polite, helpful manner.

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post #15 of 17 Old 01-08-2010, 11:58 PM
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Track mentality: from my experience, pulling/leaning means go.
I ride a 17.2 hh jumper retrained OTTB. I weigh ninety pounds soaking wet, with a body like a twig. How do I work so well with Freddy, and how have I turned him into a decent dressage horse? Softness and feel, with good use of seat, leg, and hand in that order (though, it's taken both of us so much to get to this point, and I still have much to learn from him and he from me). The days that I get flustered, tense, or pulley are the days that he locks up his jaw, pushes me out of his mind, ignores all of my other aids (except leg, of course...), and goes. I've ridden other OTTBs (or horses in general) that share the same or similar reactions.

On another note, in-hand flexion has really helped Freddy understand the hand aids, and learn to give more. It's also teaching me how my bit (pelham) functions, and how much is too much. I do in-hand flexions on a daily basis, as it's helped me also find places where the muscles are tight, where bones may be out of alignment, or even just what he's feeling like on that particular day. For example, "He's tight on the left side of his neck, we'll do some stretches first and then work on a loose rein for the rest of today and see if it releases by tomorrow."
I learned about in-hand flexions from Phillip Karl's Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage. I asked my trainers for their views, did lots of research, and picked up different books (I especially liked Gillian Higgens' How Your Horse Moves) and it's really helped us. It's also really gotten me into studying the equine body thoroughly, which I used to think was boring! ~

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post #16 of 17 Old 01-09-2010, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Brilliant post, DressagexLee. I do agree with kevinshorses, even though he can come across differently.
In my eyes, a lot people go to bitless for the wrong reasons; they see that the horse reacts adversely to a bit, so they search for a solution that might not be in the best interest of the horse. Especially for an OTTB, I first ask clients if they've done the following: had teeth floated by an equine dentist, had chiropractic work done, had the saddle professionally fitted, and try a different kind of bit.
For example, my OTTB was very quiet under saddle, but he would not flex his jaw properly, therefore could not properly bend through his entire body - or rather, could not. I had an equine dentist out, who floated his teeth (I was informed that his back molars weren't even touching!) and adjusted his jaw, which was all but locked. Those two things alone made all the difference in the world.
Then let me bring up the TYPE of bit you're using. My guy HATES single jointed bits; he will toss his head, and act very uncomfortable. Put him in a double joint and he's a quiet horse that's willing to work.
There are many factors that I encourage you to check out before you absolutely write off bits.
He has his teeth floated every year and the vet also checks him out every year as well. Everything is all gooood. And the bits I have tried are a french snaffle, plain snaffle, copper snaffle, waterford, happy mouth, solid rubber. Also, noone else seems to be able to ride him but myself (except at a walk). Oh! And he never has any problem turning at any pace, also I do have very soft hands.
After reading everything people have said, I think I'm going to just completely rewind and get my old dressage teacher to help us get balanced as a start.
Thanks soo much guys.
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-12-2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
How is this for constructive? My advice, and you are welcome to ignore it, is to find someone with more experience to help you get him to ride in a snaffle. Then spend some time getting him soft in the face and felxing vertically and laterally. Also disengage the front and hindquarters and perhaps do some one rein stops. Backing will also help with stopping. Going to a different bridle is not the ideal solution for the long term. Any horse can learn to handle in a snaffle. Try a french link if you like. Blowing through the bridle is indicitive of a horse that has quit trying to find your feel and is taking charge himself. Work on getting with him at slower gates and then work your way back up. It may seem like I'm offering the same advice over and over but the lack of feel and flexion is normally the cause of many problems people have with thier horses.
This is really good advice. I recently had a thread about something similar, and so far this is the best I've seen.
Although, I do like bitless bridles. They have their place. I personally rotate back and forth between a loose ring french link snaffle and a bitless.

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