I used to ride in a riding club called The Eh-Capa Bareback Riders.
We were a pecision drill team, ages 8-18. We wore costumes that looked like we were Native Americans,(Eh-Capa is Apache spelled backwards) rode with no saddles, bridles, and did a complex drill routine set to music.
We jumped 2'9 verticles in pairs, then four, then eight and then sixteen of us abreast, arms outstretched, with just a tack rein around our horses necks.
Eight of us would then ride to the center of the arena, remove our tack reins, and do circles at walk, trot and canter, serpentine to the center of the circle and back, all in unison.
Stop and back, figure eights with lead changes, all done on leg and voice command.
I rode in this club from the time I was old enough until I was too old, and I am proud to say I was the First second generation rider of the club. My mom (Tuppysmom here on COTH) also rode in Eh-Capa.
It taught me more about riding and jumping than most any other instructor other than my dad. I learned to have no fear over jumps, which made the transition to jumping with a saddle very simple.
I learned how to get to a distance-- since I had a mare that was famous for chipping clear to the base, frog leaping over the jump, then bucking when she hit the ground.
She bucked me off in front of 17,000 people once--VERY embarrassing!!
She was very special to me, and the only reason I didn't keep her forever was that I wanted to pony racehorses at the track, and trainers didn't like the fact she was a mare, so I sold her to some nice people who 20 years later, still have her.
Some of my favorite memories are those of the time I spent in Eh-Capa, travelling all over the Northwest and West, performing at Professional Rodeos, and the Reno Drill Team competition.
The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
Member of the COTH Enabler Clique
Well, the only reason that women weren't required to take their hat or helmet off at X in a salute to the judge was because someone was kind enough to know that we didn't want to mess up our hair. The men have to salute by removing their hat or helmet (or at least they used to). Of course I'm sure that someone could fire off a rocket launcher into the air just as the rider saluted and we could have a causuality at X.
I always thought it was out of respect for the crowd and the entire event that the winner often 'salutes' by removing their hat.
Clyde Kennedy, who could train a horse to do anything, used to do demos on a QH without a bridle. There's a good film of him jumping and doing trail obstacles but it's not online. More about him:
One of Clyde's most memorable horses was Tucson Bar, who not only won the world in AQHA jumping, but also did demonstrations where he would jump over just about every obstacle he could think of - including full-size automobiles - often hands-free and bridleless. Even in his later years, Clyde and Tucson Bar continued to thrill crowds with demonstrations - all bridleless.
There was also a showjumper in Europe who competed at grand prix without a bridle on one of his horses (late 80s or early 90s). Can't find any photos but IIRC, he said that horse was the only one he'd do it with.
In 1985 at the NFR, 15 year-old barrel racer Charmayne James and her horse Scamper found themselves without a bridle after emerging from the chute. They won the round anyway. Video is worth watching.
At least they do have their helmets on, although they may not meet proper regs of today.
See, that's what I have an issue with. There's more than enough data to show that wearing those types of "helmets" (which, in effect, they are not) do zilch in terms of protection... but yet ULRs will assert that they do! I could care less of what they wear on their head, it's their decision -- hell, if they want to ride around with a stuffed chicken perched atop their melon, fine with me -- but don't try and claim a hunt cap is going to provide any decent amount of protection if they do fall off and hit their head.
People grew up thinking those types of hard hats provide protection, and until the ASTM standards were put in place, they were. Now there's solid scientific evidence that wearing an approved helmet DOES make a difference and those old-style hunt caps are basically worthless in comparison... so whenever I see a trainer say, "Let me put on my helmet" when they get on a greenie and then stick a faded, 20 year old hunt cap on their noggin makes me go , because they obviously haven't gotten the message. They're seriously misled in their beliefs that those old caps are actually going to protect them as well as an approved helmet.
And for ULRs to go and purposely switch back to the "stylish" hunt caps for the victory gallop... don't even get me started there.
Bridleless Riding - Love IT!!!!! Linda Tellington-Jones has been teaching it for about 30 years or so.
Helmets - Most of the horse riding public NEVER wears helmets. The majority don't even own helmets. I ride w/a helmet every ride.....but for the first 20 years or so I was riding I never rode with one.
And I could honestly careless if people don't wear them. Except if your on my property then don't even think of mounting up without a helmet.
I'm pretty sure this video was taken during 2002, I attended it.. It was the start of the Parelli O'Connor alliance and it took place during Rolex 2002 (the last time I was at Rolex *sniffle sniffle*) so it wasn't eons ago so I don't really think the "they didn't have approved helmets back then" excuse flies.. still though the hunt cap is a little bit better then Pat and Linda Parelli riding without helmets period.
But the video was taken before he took an administrative role.. but still it would have been nice to see them lead by example.
I do love the video though.. the adjustability of those horses without bridles is amazing.. I think they did a demo later that night the above vid was taken about shortening and lengthening strides bridleless on a line, and they also jumped one barrel standing upright with out bridles.. it definatly shows they can put their horses exactly where they want them
They haven't parted ways. The O'Connors still use Parelli techniques with their rides and in their training camps. They have for quite a long time. They simply have no business alliance with the Parelli camp anymore. The whole partnership was done to capitalize on two things: The success of David O'Connor at the 2000 Olympics and the Parelli name which was less of a knock-knock joke back then. I guess the idea was to bring more western people and traditional horsefolk into the fold of the USAE (later USEF) by showing that they really did have a lot in common at the basic levels of horsemanship.