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  1. #1
    thatsaload Guest

    Default driving open bridled?

    wondering if anyone drives open bridled? i want to drive recreationally, and i think this could be an option for my horse. any ideas?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
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    Is there a reason you wouldn't want to use blinders?

    My understanding is they keep the horse from being distracted by the movements of the vehicle and the movement of the whip.

    It doesn't take much to get a horse used to blinders. Even my old dressage horse I just led her around the ring a few times with the blinders on, and for the first 50 feet she was a little hesitant (she wouldn't take the first step until I went out in front and she could see me!), then got the hang of it and had no problems.



  3. #3
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    I think all horses should be started in an open bridle. I want the horse to know what is going on around them. I want them to see the world. That said I am convinced that most horses eventually need a blinder to keep their mind on the business at hand and not gawking off. I have one horse that in open blinders he can't go straight and with them he will walk a line. LF



  4. #4
    thatsaload Guest

    Default

    I like that idea, of starting open, then eventually going to blinders. we have been dabbling a bit in driving and my horse was much more comfortable open.. i was just wondering if it would be ok to keep driving open, as I wouldn't be showing or anything. we tried straight up starting in blinders, and it was a gong show. but i think he'd much prefer starting open, and then gradually adding halter fuzzies, and then blinders. what would you recommend for an open driving bridle?



  5. #5
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    Dec. 20, 2009
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    My first driving horse was trained w/ blinders on; she was doing great, going through the park, etc. One day I got lazy or something, and stuck a regular bridle on her, drove her in a ring. She FREAKED OUT at the view behind, bolted and basically ruined a schooling cart. Fortunately she was fine and I was fine, but that was end of her driving career. She didn't even want to see other horse/carriage combos after that...
    My second horse also started in blinders, she never seemed to care. And after the above, this time I never drove w/out them!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2002
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    Driving in open bridle should be part of every horse;s training.

    That said, this is perhaps the most beat to death conversation among drivers open vs blinders.

    Horses are not put in blinders to keep them from seeing the cart, hasn;t you horse ever turned his face around and looked at you in the cart? They are put in blinders to keep their mind on their job.

    I have driven both ways and I find it really depends upon the horse. First horse I ever trained to drive went much better in an open bridle. He hated the blinders. But he was the most solid horse I ever drove. Nothing spooked this old gelding.

    My two Arabians don;t do well in open bridle. I don;t feel comfortable with them without blinders.

    It is really preference of driver and the mind of the horse.

    There used to be a gal on here who went by War Admiral. She drove an old OTTB in an open bridle all the time, even when she showed him.



  7. #7
    thatsaload Guest

    Default

    it is comforting to hear that it really is up to the horse... I hear that they must wear blinders... so it's rather confusing sometimes. but my gelding rarely spooks (as in meaning bolts or bucks because of environmental surroundings) and I've driven him open and with blinders, and it went much more smoothly without blinders, so I may stay that way. we'll see how his progress goes before i make any decisions though. I must read him and see how he is reacting/not reacting.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
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    If you read the FAQ's there's a lot there about the matter.

    Please note though that the decision to use a driving bridle with blinkers is nothing to do with whether or not your horse spooks rarely or frequently.
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Sep. 1, 2010 at 06:33 AM.



  9. #9
    thatsaload Guest

    Default

    Yes, that is true. I'll look at the faq.. i tried searching but only one thread came up. i'll do a search and the faq again, thank you!



  10. #10
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    Mar. 6, 2009
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    I do not drive with an open bridle ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thatsaload View Post
    it is comforting to hear that it really is up to the horse... I hear that they must wear blinders... so it's rather confusing sometimes. but my gelding rarely spooks (as in meaning bolts or bucks because of environmental surroundings) and I've driven him open and with blinders, and it went much more smoothly without blinders, so I may stay that way. we'll see how his progress goes before i make any decisions though. I must read him and see how he is reacting/not reacting.
    It is not so much up to the horse as it is the mental state of the horse and the experience of the driver.

    My expereince was an old gelding (well in his late 20) whom I trusted with my life. It is a rare horse who drives better without than with.

    I personally will never drive without blinders again.

    As I said earlier--this is one of the most controversial topics in driving. The only other that even comes close is using a bit or not.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cartfall View Post
    It is not so much up to the horse as it is the mental state of the horse and the experience of the driver.

    My expereince was an old gelding (well in his late 20) whom I trusted with my life. It is a rare horse who drives better without than with.

    I personally will never drive without blinders again.

    As I said earlier--this is one of the most controversial topics in driving. The only other that even comes close is using a bit or not.
    I sort of agreed with you: It's not something I'd do either but hey ho it takes all sorts.

    But I find myself ardently disagreeing with you that it's one of the most controversial topics in driving.

    Heck look at the thread developing on showing draft horses!

    Or else the one on meeting old friends and feeding them!

    And how can you forget those ones on "longreining" the pony "rescued" from a 6 foot pile of manure or the one on the show driving runaway, or the parade bolting horses and the insurance claim.

    It seems to me that driving no different to riding is becoming a multi-opinionated activity.

    It also seems to me that the increase in disparate opinions is directly proportional to the increase in owners.

    In my opinion ever since the number of horse owners out stripped the number of real horsemen/women, the knowledge level, let alone the skills level has been in a constant and often precipitous, decline.

    Controversial opinion topic level though has been on a rapid proportional rise.
    Last edited by Thomas_1; Sep. 2, 2010 at 06:18 AM.



  13. #13
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    Unfortunately, my experience has been that the number of "horse owners" has always been geometrically greater than the number of "real" horse people.

    Too often the horse is a status symbol and little else. (End of rant)

    I have always driven with blinkers ... and always started my horses in open bridles. That being said I have one horse that may actually be better in an open bridle. I'm still working her to see what happens and will be introducing her to blinkers next week. I'll know for sure within a couple of weeks. Since I no longer compete, its what the horse likes that's the most important to me. But, for the horse's sake I want them to be as flexible as possible. In the case of driving this means they should all go in blinkers.
    The other female in my husband's life has four legs



  14. #14
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    Flame suit on...and a little tongue in cheek.

    The topic is only controversial among novice and newbie drivers.* Almost anyone who is an experienced driver and who has driven more than one horse knows the value of blinkers and why 98% of all horses do better with them on. Particularly, out on roads and in public.

    * These novice drivers are often also NH/Parelli people (who for some reason often have it planted in their brains that blinkers are an implement of torture).
    Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IZPHDzgX3s



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by horsegeeks View Post
    ... But, for the horse's sake I want them to be as flexible as possible. In the case of driving this means they should all go in blinkers.
    This is actually a relevant consideration, OP, that I hadn't thought of. If you teach a horse something it is helpful *to the horse* to learn the standard, common ways of doing it to maximize his success should he ever need to be sold or go to another home (even if he's a keeper, life can take unexpected turns). So I would suggest making sure he can drive safely and comfortably with blinkers as well, but then if you prefer you could drive without them yourself.



  16. #16
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    Okay, Thomas I will play. You find definitely seriously one sided opinions on that --so that is what I meant by controversial!!!

    That whole driving accident thing --I see no purpose for even going there.

    So let me re-phrase-- this is the most beat to death topic in driving horsedom--IMHO!!! Whether it is newbie or experienced, everyone has an opinion on it and that is their story and they are sticking to it!!!!

    How's that!!!



  17. #17
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    Default

    Topic is kind of funny, because I remember an OLD book of my mom's that I read as a kid. Beautiful Joe was the title. It was kind of on the order of Black Beauty except about a dog, set early in the 1890's-1900's. Probably written then too. Written expressly to gain sympathy for animals, before the Humane Society had been formed.

    I remember book covered tail and ear docking and somehow use of blinders on horses was part of the "cruelty" the children were so unhappy about. They spent a lot of time talking to drivers about removal of blinkers on their driving horses. They all danced with glee when someone listened to them and allowed the boy to "cut the blinkers off the bridle, so that Old Whitey could SEE and his BEAUTIFUL eyes were exposed to light!!" It was a pretty sappy book, but did impress me that blinkers were cruel. And that led me to NOT use blinkers on my first driving pony and wreck badly!!

    Pony and I HAD gone along for quite a while, no issues. She was an experienced riding and driving animal by then, not spooky, had been in many odd situations with no issues. She just went quite stupid one day for no good reason we ever discovered, ran away until I steered her into a tree to stop!! During the run she pretty well trashed the carriage and harness.

    I am now firmly in the NEED for blinkers on every driving horse side of discussion. I believe they are needed to reduce his area of vision to things he might see or partially see, causing a reaction response.

    So the blinker option has been controversial for a REALLY LONG TIME with the driving folks, as noted in this old book. Over a hundred years. I do think a lot of the whole blinker deal is people putting themselves in the horse's place, with people reactions of vision restriction, overthinking stuff.

    Those are not horse reactions, horses don't think things out like people do, then decide to react. Many people quit trying if horse acts "different" when any new tack is introduced, not even just driving tack. I am more likely to give horse more time to get used to new tack, than quit using it when he appears tenative the first few uses.

    Cartfall is right. Blinker use is a never ending, driving horse topic, comes around like spring and fall.



  18. #18
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    There is a bit about blinkers in Black Beauty too. In that there was a lot about blinkers pressed hard against the eye so they hurt the horse and made it blink and stopped it seeing at all out of the side.

    The book also concluded that when driving a horse at night in the dark that blinkers could likely cause accidents because it meant that neither the driver nor the horse could see where they were going! The writer concluded that horses can see better than men in the night and it would be preferable if one of the combination could actually see where they were going.

    I'm fussy about blinkers on a bridle and how they're used. I won't have them rubbing or closing down the field of vision too much. I want them merely to help the horse focus forward. I have to have them so they can adjust. I always cup my hand round the horses eye between the blinker and ensure it isn't too close or that there's anything (such as hair) to rub on the eye.

    I never drive in the dark... modern traffic and road rage doesn't permit it

    (Well not quite true because when I worked on the Dracula film that was all driving up to spooky castles and graveyards in the dark.... with floodlights!)



  19. #19
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    Feb. 28, 2010
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    England
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    I have animals that I drive both with and without. By preference I drive with, ever since I came home with the leather torn off a blinker and a huge dent in the metal plate inside - due to a car throwing up a stone as it passed. That animal would have lost his eye that day and he was normally driven without!



  20. #20
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    Aug. 2, 2008
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    Default Ot- Dracula film

    Not sure if I need to make a new thread here but Thomas, I'd love to hear about your experience with the Dracula
    film! I'm assuming the Gary oldman version? I Love that scene where they're thundering up to the castle!
    Real Horses. Real Riders. Real Results! www.wvhorsetrainer.com



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