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post #11 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 04:09 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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So how far can or will you try to take it? Like Alec in The Black Stallion with no tack of any kind when he rides on the beach? (my favorite movie by the way)

But I don't ever expect to ride bridleless on the trail, if for no other reason than he will stop to eat grass where ever he wants, or take off for home whenever he wants.

If you can do it, great, but that is not everyone's holy grail. My holy grail is the perfect trail horse, but he need not be bitless or bridleless.

My old Arabian I could ride with just a rope around his neck. And if a horse neck reins, that is actually pretty easy to aspire to. But I have never even tried it on my current trail horses. I just don't have the desire to do it. Maybe if I had an arena it would be something to play with, but I would never actually go anywhere without at least a halter on my horse.

Even a dog needs a leash to be safe. Sure he should come and heel at your side, but all it takes is once for him to get killed out in traffic. A 1000 lb. horse that doesn't listen to you, even just once, has the potential to do a lot more damage if it gets loose than a dog. If you don't fear for your own safety, at least consider what might happen to your horse if he gets loose. Unless you just always plan to ride in an enclosed space, in which case I guess there won't be much risk to the horse. But I want to ride where there are no fences.

One time I rode my old Paint gelding over to a neighbor's house in just a halter. I was just being lazy, but they were all impressed. I honestly don't know why, because basically any horse you should be able to ride in a halter, right? Just not with as much finesse and control as a bit or other bridle arrangement. But I really don't think riding a horse in a halter is a big deal.

And riding a horse without any kind of head gear, outside an arena anyway, is well, kind of naive? Let us know how that works out, because I would be really impressed if it did!
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 12:54 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I think with todays advances with training, understanding horses, and so many option to learn other training methods, then why must we use bits? If your horse will not respond to you with out the use of a "tool" then maybe you need to do more work with it?
trailhorserider summed it up pretty much. Horses are still prey animals. Their instinct is to run. Any dead broke horse is still a horse, they will do unpredictable things and spook. A horse is a horse, not a car hehe.

If you can ride on the trail with a neck rope great! But again like trailhorserider said.... horses are still horses . It is unsafe no matter how broke a horse is.

Kinda off topic but here is another example of what I think happens to horses when no bits are applied. This is a very extreme side of what becomes of your horse's attitude sorta thing...

There is a dude over in Russia named Alexander Nevorov. Here is his website.

He has a 'school' by the name of Nevzorov Haute Ecole. About four years ago it was focused on riding high school elements with no bit or saddle.
Here is a video showing where he was at that point.

Don't get me wrong. Hey Alexander thats great! But I can see some attitude problems in your horses a bit in your clips.

He focuses not only on riding without tack. But he souly believes the horse is the teacher. But this dude is a little extreme. He goes all the way to the point of not laying a hand on a horse or punishing of any kind when they bite out or kick. He believes that if they do such then you are in the wrong.... unsafe? yep think so. Horses are herd animals.... they will give you lots of body language and attitude if you don't tell them what you need of them... and Alexander doesn’t tell. He 'asks'. To the point of when its time to 'ask' a horse to pick up his hoof, it may take a week of 'asking' until the horse decided to give it to you (he also has another rule that you shouldn't ask for one thing more then three times in one day)..... now if you were me thats pretty dang long to be asking for something so simple I can teach in one day hehe.

There is a video out on youtube (can't find it right now) that has a clip of his stallion doing one of his rearing up exercises, then lunging his head down and literally almost nabs Alexander in the head with his teeth. Yeah.... dunno what to think about this dude lol.

The whole bitless thing I think got to far into Alexander’s head. First it was going bitless because that was just plain abusive... then no saddles because it hurts the horse's back no matter how well fit they are... then not even riding more then fifteen minutes every two days because even riding bareback is harmful.... then this year he announce riding all together is harmful and he has not ridden in over a year because of it. So hes doing everything from the ground. He claims its respect he is giving his horses... I think there is more to it. I think his horses have become too dangerous for him to mount them lol.

If you look at other people who ride 'bitless' such as....

Stacy Westfall

Trevor Brazile

David O'Connor

They all didn't get to where they are with their horses without the use of bits and bridles. They go back and refresh a horse's mind if needed with one. Its all about communication. Alexander claims he has taught his horses all the moves they know now without anything in the mouth. He was proven wrong. He bought all his horses from backgrounds of them having bits and most of them were dressage horses who already knew the high school elements.

Sorry for going wayyyy off topic lol. But hey wanted to share some info I know lol.

If you can achieve going bitless all the way with a horse. I highly respect the fact. Its a grand achievement.

Last edited by Fluffy Pony; 05-06-2010 at 12:57 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-06-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Hey, OP here.
Did I EVER say that bitless was the only way to go? No. I posted it as an informatory video, maybe making people reconsider checking their horses in the mouth, simply because of where the bit lays if nothing else.
Did the video say the Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle was the only bitless bridle to use? NO. Check the OP if you're unsure.
Just a quick fact- there is more than one type of bitless headgear on the market. My personal favourite is a type of noseband with rings on the side- basically like riding with a halter, but more finesse. Here is a picture: Is there any poll pressure on that bridle? No. Please do NOT assume because I said bitless that I meant a cross-under bitless.
And here is my two cents on bits- riding in a snaffle is great, preferable a double jointed one but single joints works for some horses two. But if you ride your horse in a curb, unless the horse is a fully, properly finished and properly ridden bridle horse, I am NOT impressed.
And the finesse everyone speaks about having with bits, your horse could just be acting submissive to pain. If your horse retaliates, what is he considered? Unmanageable? A "rogue"? That horse is simply not wanting the pain, however mild, in his mouth. The mouth is an extremely sensitive oral cavity.
It just bothers me that people are so resistant to even the idea of trying bitless. One of the excuses I commonly hear is that the rider doesn't think they would be "in control." However, if you are not in control of your horse without a bit, there are deeper training issues to address. will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
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