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Ivory Annie

Bosals

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This came up the other day with a friend talking about starting a horse, I told her she could use my bosal if she wanted, she thought I was crazy....I've always started youngsters out in one, but to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure why I do, I don't remember when I started using one or why.....I have taken many young colts down the trail in one without fear of not being able to stop them if they take off and to be honest I've had some horses on the hack line my friends run that I prefer to ride in a bosal versus a bit bc they seem more relaxed...

What are your opinions on them and why do you use them and am I the only one who uses them on young horses?

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Curious myself. Do you use them before a bit?

My horses have mostly been mostly trained by the time I got them.

When I've asked about Bosals, I haven't gotten any real answers.

Maybe its this area?

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I have Gunner and Molly started in a Bosal, no bit has been in their mouths as of yet.

This is Gunner with his first wearing of the Bosal!

Gunner008-3.jpg

Also, what is proper placement of the bosal?

Edited by Flying Stars

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the only exp. I have with bosals is from showing in the Arabian horse world. Jr western Arabs are often shown in bosals, it's a pretty look, and I love it. Once they are not Jr horses anymore, they have to be in a bit, if I recall correctly. They are like any and every other training device, as harsh or as soft as the person using it!

One argument for not starting a young horse in a bit is because of tooth formation and growth - it changes a LOT in the first 5 years of their lives, and so some people think it is more humane to start them sans bit.

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My trainer when I was riding pleasure horses would start all his in a side pull, then get them accepting and working in a snaffle bit, then go to a bosal, then to the leverage bit.

I wouldn't do it any other way. IMO a bosal is to a leverage bit what a sidepull is to a snaffle bit. I like to get them use to direct pressure using their face, in a sidepull, I think it makes the transition to having something in their mouth easier and they have a better understanding of giving pressure. And the same to the bosal, introduce them to leverage while keeping the mouth out of it - trainer produced very soft responsive horses with that method, horses always seemed to pick it up real fast once you got them out of the side pulls.

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I've always been a fan of riding in hacks so maybe thats why I love my bosal so much. I guess I've found young horses seem to "worry" to much over the bit in there mouth and have a harder time concentrating on me so I opt for the bosal, but I also like to "break" young horses on the trail versus an arena (bc I've never really had one to use) I will pony them all tacked up a few times down the trail then a ride them as they basically follow ther other horse getting them used to carrying my weight without much action on my part then as they get more sure of themselves I start steering more and guiding them away from other horse such as front horse goes left around a tree I guide the young horse right so it slowly learns on its own and I've found the bosal really gives me the control I need without being harsh and worrying the young one.....

Also the training bosal I have has a nice long lead on it so if I'm on a very un sure nervous horse ther person on the lead horse can pony the colt were me while I'm riding to give us all a sense of security

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We are talking of a true bosal, right?

When people start using the word 'hack', I'm often not sure whether they are referring to a mechanical hackamore (ie leverage), or as the word hackamore is used in show terms, meaning bosal.

I would start a horse in a sidepull, before a bosal, as the signal is clearer.

I then get the horse 's mouth educated to a snaffle

Then, I show that jr horse in either a snaffle of a bosal, alternating between the two, riding at home.

Most jr horses are shown on the rail in bosals-they look more 'broke'

I preferred to show them in snaffles in events like trail

I used to always start horses in a sidepull first, but have found it makes little difference if you go to the snaffle and skip the sidepull, so I admit I have not used a sidepull in years

Young horses do not get worried about their mouth, if bitted correctly and ridden correctly in a snaffle

I showed up at one western pl clinic in a bosal and the trainer told me to put my horse in a snaffle as "I would get more done" That has proven correct, as you can get so much more finesse . Once you get them going very well in a snaffle, it is very easy to just ride them in a bosal. The reverse is not true.

The reason so many horses seem to 'prefer' a bittless devise, is because they are never truly educated to a bit or ridden correctly in one (more legs than hands,and feel, with holding and release)

When you ride with abittless devise (non leverage),you are basically using the same pressure points that horse has learned to respond to since first being halter broke

Often,people then assume the horse should automatically know or feel comfortable responding to abit. This is not true, as you are using brand new pressure points that the horse has to learn to give to correctly

In the end, on a truly broke horse, it is not what is in their mouth that matters, far as control, as that control is mental conditioning, same as that conditioning that convinces them an ordinary halter and lead shank controls them.

So, if my horse is going down that trail with slack in the reins, closed , relaxed mouth, just packing that bit, what's the difference whether he has a bit or a bosal on?

I do know I'm better with a snaffle than a bosal, should 'push come to shove', and I need to disengage those hips , get shoulder control, etc, should the un expected happen, and a bear appears on the trail, or a herd of BIghorn sheep, like last fall, jump off of the bank ahead of my horse.

Don't know how good I would be doubling a horse, like old hackamore reinsman did, when a horse tried to bolt in a bosal

In fact, those old hackmore reinsman all taught their horses to double, to convince them they could be controlled. You left slack in both reins, and at a gallop, suddenly took hold of one rein and turned that horse around dead in his tracks

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I both show and ride my horses, thus my idea of riding a horse out differs from that of Ivory Anne

I don't ride ahorse out before I have that horse going very well in an arena,/ pasture

When I first ride that horse out, I ride him out alone. Right from the start, I want my horse listening to me and getting his security from me, and not from other horses

Once that horse is riding out fine alone, I ride with other horses,, and my horse right from the beginning is not trying to follow another horse, or gets worried, should i ride a little differnt route

In my mind, this creates a better trail horse, and I have more confidence that should something un expected happen, my horse is not going to just 'feed' off of the other horses.

Even in the beginning, I never want to be just a 'passenger', so never have anyone pony me off of a horse. The first time my horses see a mountain trail, is when I ride them there. Only horse that ever gets ponied, is a pack horse

Just a differnt view, why I do things that way

I have several good examples, but will just post one..

When Smilie was two, and I was getting her ready for a fall futurity, I would haul her to different areas and ride. I don't usually ride two year olds out on trail rides, but this one friend has his land backing onto forestry, so after we rode in his arena for a short while, he suggested a short trial ride, Smilie's first ever.

He and his wife were in the lead, Smilie following them, and my friend bringing up the rear. Suddenly Smilie started to get very up set and humped up. My friend yelled 'hornets'! Seems the front riders stirred up a ground nest, crossing a log.

Because I had alot of face on Smilie and other basics,I was able to check her head around, after saying 'whoa' and step off, even though hornets were covering her. Had I just been following that other horse, I don't think I could have avoided being piled hard!

Edited by Smilie

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I guess my ways always worked simply bc we had no other place to ride/train and we have a very strict rule, no one rides alone....now I do agree that I don't want my horse to only follow, throughout ther rides we will.switch back and forth and stop and let the other horse move ahead out of site or turn around and head the other direction a few minutes....but my goal was only ever a good trail horse not a show horse....I was more concerned on basics bc as they ran a hack line if the horse has too many buttons the green horn customer would be pushing them without knowing, we found a happy medium with training ther horses for basic control bc the well trained super push button horses didn't do well for what we needed.

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As I said, whatever works for you.

I ride my horses out alone all the time, so to me, having a horse that will ride without other horses is very important

There have been times on pack trips where I had to ride a horse by himself, trying to find the two that quit camp during the night!

I am glad that you do make your horses ride invarious positions. I have seen former dude riding trail horses that would ride anywhere, long as another horse was close by.

Some of these horses were bought then by people that ;fell in love' with them. My one friend has such a horse. Rode around the Banff park area as a trail riding string.

They then try to ride that horse out alone, and have wreak

Once in awhile, I just load Smilie up and haul out to the forestry anf ride by myself. The bigest fear I have, is a Wilde stud getting too interested in my mare, esp since I don't pack a gun!

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Lots of info.thanks . I'll ride her in a snaffle until I'm happy with her responses.

I have a roundpen, so I'll ride there till she's comfortable in a bosal, then hit the trail.

I've always ridden alone, The horse does have to pay attention to you much more.

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I ride out alone a lot as well, and I think it is the best way to create a true partnership (just be sure to have a cell phone on your body). All of mine will ride in a bit, but we ride them all bitless. It's easier for me - no need to have bridle and halter on every horse, no need to change things up when we stop for a break. Mine are all extremely responsive in a riding halter, but that comes from miles and miles and miles and hours and practice. I think that whatever works for you and your individual horse is absolutely fine.

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See the state park we ride is known for not being able to get a cell signal, so if you ride alone, and something happens chances are your cell won't have a signal anyway, its rough in some spots and just not safe to ride alone, yeah people do it but we've just decided to not risk it......

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I'd ride in a group,.. but no-one else around here trailrides.

Some people, think their Fresians and barrel racers can't negotiate a trail. :confused0024:

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we must be lazy. our trainer's philosophy is that it's a heck of a lot easier to let a young horse learn from horses who have *been there and done that*. foals learn to tie and pony at 6 months from other horses. same goes for crossing bridges, water, streets, not to be bothered by oncoming or dense traffic, traversing all kinds of terrain, including swampy conditions or snow and ice. load, stand for the vet and farrier, chasing cows is all learned behavior from other horses. WAY easier if you have this option (which i know not everyone does). and since none of this is a big deal from the beginning--they can do all it just fine on their own. she starts them all with a sidepull and goes to a double broken snaffle after 6 months of hacking out (alone), arena flat and cow work.

and i'll bounce back and forth between a bit, hackamore or nothing at all on the horse's head to get some feedback on how my seat and leg aids and weight distribution are doing. accurate, inaccurate, or plain out crap! for those who depend on a bit for control--good luck. hope they've got good health insurance lol.

ETA: it's amazing (and alarming) how many people don't know (or don't care) that horses need regular dental check-ups and maintenance--speaking of mouth related issues.

Edited by nick

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I agree that horses can learn to some degree from other horses, but just always riding out with other horses does not make a solid horse.

If training were thst easy, one could just tie them up in the arena and have them learn by watching other horses being ridden!

What riding with other horses does, is give that green horse that 'herd' security, which I rather have them get from me

First time our horses go through bog, cross fast flowing rivers, is when They go there on their first 'real' trail ride, being ridden, not ponyed

We also have zero cell phone reception in the mountains, and I'm not advocating of riding out there by yourself, just in case the un expected happens

But, you don't need to ride out in remote areas to get ahorse used to riding out by themselves-you do that from home, just riding down the road or across the fields when the crops are off., Before taking them out in the mountains or other remote areas.

Lots of horses will stand tied, long as they don't feel a sudden '.need' to not stand there.

I would not buy a horse that will not ride out alone-and that can be just riding across some local fields.

I teach foals to tie, once they are weaned. They get tied in a safe place, with a body rope, and I'll trim their feet that way also. Doesn't take long until you can tie them with just an ordinary lead shank

Serious trying lessons occur when they are started under saddle. The horse is tied in the barn, after work, by himself, They soon learn to stand quietly and relaxed, waiting for you to turn them out again. Sometimes I leave them tied only a short while and sometimes for an hour or more.

The horse learns that coming home or finishing a work session does not mean automatic turn out with buddies. They learn to accept standing tied, by them selves.

If ahorse truly leads, he loads-no other horse needed. First time many of our horses are loaded, is when they first go to a show, are sold or go to the mountains.

All my horses stand for a farrier, and I used to just leave them in the corral when I worked, and the farrier would just get them, tie them and shoe them

Since I trim all my own horses from birth, they are very good with their feet, even the very first time they are shod, and have had farriers comment on that fact

Different training concepts and use what works for you!

Sure, a foal will stand tied, beside his mother or another horse, but that does not mean he is truly broke to standing tied. Many of these horses will first 'test' that tying when their flight mode kicks in, or they just don't feel like standing tied up anywhere without a companion.

I see this all the time at local shows where one must tie to the trailer. I see horses standing fine, until their buddy is taken away to be shown, and then they throw a fit.

My horse stand-period. I used to always show a jr and senior horse, so one or the other stood at the trailer while I showed or warmed the other one up

I have seen dude horses riding through anything, as long as they could just follow the horses in front. Take them even around a group tree in another direction, or ask them to stay at a walk, even with the horse ahead is trotting, and you have a jigging, prancing horse, until that horse can once more be allowed to almost ride up the rear of a horse in front of him

Maybe ahorse that is allowed to just 'learn' from another horse, will eventually transfer that trust to his rider, but I just rather have that from the beginning

Edited by Smilie

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Me too. I have found it much easier with no destractions.

At least, in the beginning.

I try to expose them to as much as possible.

Scheduling makes it hard for group rides, and I"m just not gonna wait.

I have just enough reception to ride the neighborhood trails. 2 or 3 miles worth.

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Well the area we live in you can stand in the front yard and not have signal, so its not just the trails, and we don't have fields to ride in, its just right into the state park.....but as I said when we are done the horse will ride alone just as well as with others.....same.result.different way to get there :-D

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My horse stand-period.

Maybe ahorse that is allowed to just 'learn' from another horse, will eventually transfer that trust to his rider, but I just rather have that from the beginning

all of our horses tie for extended periods of time alone OR in a group. don't want a kicking match started just because somebody is bored. they also stand NOT tied (not ground-tied) when told to--alone or in the group. they learn that from the other horses too.

they trust the rider because the horse(s) that taught them to pony trusted their rider. they soak that in TOO. these foals (andalusians and lusitano and paso iberano) get sold from our podunk village to places as far abroad as dubai BECAUSE of the way our trainer raises them. you can be confident you're getting a well behaved and confident horse on the ground or riding.

i have a lusitano gelding born and raised in brazil, flown to florida for auction, purchased by me and flown to germany. i don't know what the heck they did with him, but this is the most obedient, pleasant, confident, atheletic and versatile horse i have ever encountered, and i had NOTHING to do with training him--he's teaching me about the more complex dressage movements, lateral work (and chasing cows), and how to be less crude and rude. these horses are by nature, but holy cow (literally) this is the most fun (and educational) time i've ever had with a horse.

so i agree--whatever works, but i'm lazy and want to make my life as simple as possible. if i've got some nice, well-mannered horses at my disposal that can be an excellent influence on my young one i am going to take advantage of it, and let them do most of the work. it comes natural to them anyway. there's one scenario i will never forget--one day old foal got really pushy going for his mama's teat, and she pinned her hears and lifted her hock. message was crystal clear.

back to the bosal question--our trainer starts with a side pull because she wants the young horses from the beginning listening to her seat, weight and leg. when they're ready for more information she goes on an individual basis to a bit. makes sense to me.

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i agree that whatever works to get that obedient horse in the end, is the correct approach and there are more than one method to achieve this

I still keep in touch with some of the people that bought horses in Europe from us also, and they seem happy with them.

Other customers in Canada that bought horses from us have become freinds (those that live close by ) and those further away keep in touch

When I fiited up yearling halter horses, I did pony them for miles in the ditch, along abusy highway

I must can't be bothered to haul an unbroke horse to the mounatins and pony him-heck, I don't even care for leading a pack horse that much-takes a bit away from the ride!

Like I mentioned, I used to start horses in a sidepull, as the signal is more clear than with a bosal. I found it made littel differnce if you went to the snaffle right from the start and skipped the sidepull.Once they are riding well with a snaffle, I will ride them once inawhile with a bosal, as that is the way I show them in jr westrn pl-at least until their 4 year old year, when most are ready to be shown ina curb

Here is Smilie in a bosal

Smiliebosal.jpg

Love to see some of your pics, Nick

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gawd i LOVE that horse!! (smilie i mean!) and you look cute TOO.

i will try to learn to post pictures. i am such a dumb-arse when it comes to internet technology.

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Hey Nick, you charmer, calling an old gal cute!

I do agree concerning Smilie!

My internet skills are limited. I have yet to learn how to post videos, nor do I have a smart phone like most people, who send pictures directly to the internet or e-mail them

truth be told, I post pictures the hard way. I take my digital camera card to Walmart and print the pictures I want. My son taught me how to scan pictures to Photo shop and size them and save them.

Next, I copy the pictures to a free photo hosting site (photo bucket) and from there, finally post that picture

I know there are much easier ways of doing it, but what do they say about teaching old dogs new tricks!

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Gunner in his Bosal just a few days ago!

He looks cute!

Just trying to figure out what else you have under that bosal. It almost looks like a thin type bosal., or is it some kind of NH halter?

In any case, because of how a bosal works, I don't leave anything on under it, like I might at times, riding with a bit

Your horse looks happy, so call me curious!

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