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TrailPixie1

Best Bitless Bridle For Training?

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My 8 yr. old (he's new to me) was started when he was 6, then sat for 2 years after only 2 months of professional training. He's light on the ground in a rope halter.Bends well, gives to pressure, etc. However, in the saddle, he fidgets, chews the bit & tosses his head so badly that we don't make much progress riding. (His teeth are fine & the sweet iron snaffle fits well...thinking he's still getting used to it?!?!?)

Is there a bitless bridle that is best for training? The nylon sidepull I used to have would twist & ride up on the horses' face. I don't like the cross-over or cross-under styles, since they don't release fast enough or all the way. Any other options?

I'd like to get some more saddle time on him and move forward with his training before trying the bit again.

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My first Peruvian horse didn't like *any* bit I tried with her, she would sling her head and gap her mouth at the slightest touch - which of course meant she wasn't listening to any of my other cues. The first time I hopped on her bareback with a halter and rope to ride her from the garage back to the corral, I experienced an epiphany. I had just applied the slightest pressure on her nose while leaning back and saying "easy" .... and instead of slinging her head and taking 10-15' to stop, she stopped quietly in 2 strides.

I bought a Paso Fino "jaquima" that week and rode her exclusively in that. All you'd need to buy would be a noseband and chin piece (called a curb). You can buckle your headstall to the rings of the noseband and the curb buckles to the noseband rings and swings free to 'bump and release' the under jaw for cues. The curb also has 2 lower rings for attaching the reins so direct reining doesn't twist the bridle around the face. You can also attach your reins to the rings on the noseband and use it as a side pull.

The tack for the Paso Fino breed offers many different styles and I preferred the widest, smoothest and softest leather with no knobs, rawhide or braiding.

Check out the website at KudaStore for their 3/4" black leather curb and 1" black leather noseband. Other Paso Fino tack sites are CasaDosa, TRPasos and SycamoreCreek.

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My first Peruvian horse didn't like *any* bit I tried with her, she would sling her head and gap her mouth at the slightest touch - which of course meant she wasn't listening to any of my other cues. The first time I hopped on her bareback with a halter and rope to ride her from the garage back to the corral, I experienced an epiphany. I had just applied the slightest pressure on her nose while leaning back and saying "easy" .... and instead of slinging her head and taking 10-15' to stop, she stopped quietly in 2 strides.

EXACTLY! I rode my guy in a rope halter in the round pen & we were actually able to concentrate on learning...however, I would like to leave the round pen someday! I will definitely look into the jaquima. Thank you so much!

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In the meantime, have you thought about leaving him bitted for a while (tied to his halter) to let him get used to the feel while not being worked?

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I've groomed him & lead him around the farm with his bridle over his halter to get him used to it. He frets for quite a while, but eventually quiets down. Every time I put the bit in his mouth, however, it's like the first time he's ever felt it and we're back to square one. We've accomplished a lot when I work him without the bit. I've even tried the same bit he was supposedly broke in, but he responds worse to that than the sweet iron snaffle I have for him now....and I've tried several bits with him...all getting the same reaction.

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While I believe that a horse should ride with anything, I also like a horse responsive to a bit, if I really ride him out on tough trails, where we might run into bears, elk or cougars

Yes, I know it is the training and not the bit that controls a horse, still, if I get into a situation where the horse might panic, I know that I have a much better chance of taking his head away and dis engaging the hips, with a bit. My horse just packs the bit on a loose rein, with a quiet and relaxed mouth, so it is kinda like having brakes, just in case, JMO!

Many horses declared not to like bits, having a too sensitive mouth, in fact just have an un educated mouth

Personally , I would take him back to square one, and gradually bit him up with a snaffle, while lunging, over time

You can still ride him bittless, and I also have shown horses with bosals, started them in side pulls etc, ride them out cross the fields with halters, but I also like all of my horses to be educated to a bit. Maybe that is in part, because I show, thus all of my senior horses had to ride one handed in a curb, thus for me it is just a natural routine process to bring a horse along from the snaffle/bosal stage to a bridle horse

When my horse is going down that trail, on totally loose rein, with happy and closed mouth, relaxed in his entire body, that bit is a non issue

Others feel different, and that is perfectly fine, as we all have our own comfort level.

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Smilie, I'm with you on the "uneducated mouth". I do think that's his problem. I will eventually get him used to the snaffle, but feel like we're losing a lot of time & not making progress riding while he's trying to figure it out. I'd like to get some more "basics" down with him (like steering) first, then go back and introduce the bit once he's passed kindergarten, (and builds some confidence), so to speak.

I could ride my mustang in a rope halter, bosal, even bridle-less (in the ring only!), but I usually rode him in a snaffle on the trail. We put in A LOT of miles together. I forgot what it's like to start all over.

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Yup...his teeth are fine. I do think it's a matter of him not knowing how to handle the bit yet. I've ordered a sidepull type attachment for his bridle. Hoping that gives me time to do some 'serious' work with him.

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I like this one, but it's kind of expensive. I don't buy into the "got to use a bit to be really trained" thing. My mare will go either way, but I LIKE a bitless rig. So does she. I just use a side pull, because I didn't like the cross under either (I didn't want just different severe pressure, I wanted a new way to communicate) But if I could afford it I would buy this one, as it doesn't twist and avoids the eyes. My sidepull is okay, but not ideal. I had to reteach her to give me her face, it was a different thing for her, but it's the same as anything else, I use timing and release, and she's pretty quick to learn. Stick to your guns and ride like you want. Bit or no bit.

http://shop.dressagenaturally.net/Dressage-Naturally-Bitless-Bridle-p/dnbb.htm

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