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Does anyone use a bitless bridle?
24

Tickle · 15/01/2009 19:29

I have just got back into riding after, ooh, 15 years, and I have a lovely 4yo Fell pony.

I ride him in my old horse's tack, which fits well, but I have been reading tonight about 'kinder' treeless saddles - spanish style I suppose, and bitless bridles (natural horsemanship style).

He's pretty green, and I'm pretty rusty, so now would be a good time to start training from the ground up with a new technique if we are going to switch - so honest MN opinions desired please!!

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 19:34

I use a cherry roller with cheeks on my ex-racehorse as its soft and he relaxes in it. I broke my youngster in with a rubber d-ring snaffle so she could have a good chew. Alternative tack has its merits, but if you are gonna compete at all, you may be limited. I think the treeless saddles are allowed but not bitless bridles. Plus some are a lot harsher than a simple snaffle. if he is going nicely i would leave it myself

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BlueSapphire77 · 15/01/2009 19:44

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 19:47

Thanks alice

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 19:49

Hello bluesapphire, we seem to meet again. And yes western is a very good opinion but ..... (only joking)

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 19:50

blue I've always had the impression that a western saddle is just incredibly heavy! Used to do neck reining with my old horse tho, she was great at it

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 19:53

I think the new treeless saddles are kind of based on the western ones. Have you looked up the wow saddles? If i could have any saddle it would be a devercoux -amazing (also about £2500)

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 20:14

The wow saddles look good - much more hi-tech than in my day
Couldn't find devercoux though - do you have a link?

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 20:19

I probably haven't spelt it right It may be devacoux? Sorry, dont have a link, they are all made to measure

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 20:20

sorry its www.devoucoux.com

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 20:42

OMG they look fabulous - beautifully made. They make the treeless saddles look rather bulky!

But the bitless bridle does intrigue me still

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 20:47

What ones have you been looking at? have you got a link? i once went x-country schooling in a basic bitless bridle (little more than a headcollar) because my horse had cut his mouth in the field. Never again!!

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 21:06

I can only find one UK website at the mo here but there are a couple of danish ones I have been checking out... e.g. this one

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 21:08

I think these might have a bit more control built in than a headcollar

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 21:18

I hate to say that they look quite similar to the one i used

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 21:30

oh dear!

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 21:35

If your horse is happy and comfortable then i wouldn't change to be honest, why fix it if it aint broke is my motto

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Tickle · 15/01/2009 21:44

True true

I guess a lot has been developed in the years I have been away, and it's good to know what people think of all these things!

It's nice and nostalgic to use my old kit, too. Reminds me of some very happy times with the old girl

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 22:00

I have only recently moved into a slightly newer saddle, my old one was one of the old pony club approved with absolutely no padding whatsoever, fitted my mare a dream, but after having dd had to get one with more padding!

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Piffle · 15/01/2009 22:08

Talking 20yrs ago but I broke my Anglo Arab/ quarterhorse colt in using headcollar and neck rein.
He was bit broken in a rubber fulmer for competition but I used hackamore most of the time
I did find it required a lot more leg work on my part after switching- we competed a lot as it turned out.
The person who bought him when I finally had to sell my babes went straight into 3 day eventing and we was in double bridle and posh nosebands as quick as you like...
But there you go
Excuse my prob dated terminology!!!!

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BlueSapphire77 · 15/01/2009 22:08

AW

Seriously, now i haven't been shot down in flames i did both english and western with my baby, and i mean baby, i had to bottlefeed the little sod lol..

He never got confused betwwen the two and seemed to enjoy the change, also it was lovely to go for zillion mile rides with the western stuff on, made all the difference when he had the english tack on too, he was much lighter and more responsive to the bit, i have to say i used a vulcanite pelham from the word go and he LOVED it, no strops whatsoever.. used to see me coming with tack and everyone at the yard would laugh as their horses always scattered from the sight of theirs, mine came running

Nothing stopping you from trying different styles, i just had to restrain myself from buying all new fandanglies, like someone has said already, not broke, don't try to fix it !

Tempting though with all the words being bandied about like holistic this and that blah blah your horse will be happier if you dance the tango with him ect..

BTW i like it here even though haven't got a horse any more cos when i DID have one, i found that all the other owners frowned at me and were complete snobs. Nothing like that here thank god

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alicecrail · 15/01/2009 22:12

I'm sure there must be a post for the snobby ones somewhere, i just couldn't find it, so had to settle for this one instead

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mistlethrush · 15/01/2009 22:49

My friend had to rebreak the mare (1/2 arab, 1/2 welsh) that she rescued - she couldn't get near her to start with with standard tack as she had been badly mistreated - so just rode bareback with a headcollar. She was probably about 4 at the time. At 38 she was still happily cantering around her field (with her daughter) - she had been ridden in 'normal' tack for a long time by then.

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Eve · 17/01/2009 10:27

I ride mine in an English hackamore...but he's 8 was broken in it and its his favourite.

He will fight having a bit put in, but when he sees the hackamore he drops his head for me to put on.

Used a snaffle bit which he really hated, set his teeth aganist it and did all sorts to evade it. Switched to a myler which he's happier with, but hackamore is his favourite.

I would be cautious changing over an older horse to a bitless , if they are not used to the pressure on the poll and nose.. could cause issues.

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skankywitch · 05/02/2009 10:52

My dd 8yrs rides her demon shetland in a bitless bridle and he goes so much better in it, he is a very strong naughty pony but he actually listens and responds in his bitless. No way would I let her ride him off the lead rein with her normal bridle. My big problem now is she wants to do pony club and local shows and you can't ride in a bitless bridle. I really struggled with the bitless idea at first as I kept thinking no bit no brakes, but seeing how well he goes bitless I don't think it would be fair to make him wear a bit to compete. Will start looking for a bigger pony instead.

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