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  1. #1
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    May. 25, 2005
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    Default double bridle

    What made you make the leap to a double bridle when you hit 3rd/ 4th level?
    Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
    http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
    http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html



  2. #2
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    Feb. 24, 2011
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    Default

    My horses are all passing through 3rd/4th on their way to the FEI. There is no point in delaying the inevitable.


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  3. #3
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    Default

    Our "leap" is just acclimating the horse to the double and schooling in it a couple of times a week -- at most. I may continue to show him in the snaffle through 4th and maybe even PSG.

    He goes well in either bridle. Eventually, he may HAVE to show in the double, so why not get comfortable with it?


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  4. #4
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Default

    As ThreeFigs said - when I was still training I began introducing the double around 3rd level, to let the horse become familiar with it and find out what combination of bits is likely to work best. It's also a matter of ensuring that riders are fully versed in the use of the double, and once established I found that once a week in the double and the rest of the time in the snaffle was sufficient. (Of course my experience is from before the rule changes created more flexibility).
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.



  5. #5
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    Default

    It was not a leap at all for my horse.

    He was comfortable in it immediately. Probably because we competed in working western classes early on in his career so he thinks of a curb bit as FUN FUN FUN. Still does.

    I showed some in the snaffle at Third and Fourth. Some in the double. Experimented with rubber curb chain cover. No rubber curb chain cover. Different curb bits for competition to see what he likes best. For him less is more so we went with the shortest shank we could find and just enough port for his comfort.

    When showing I pretty much ride with the reins in the 'three in one" manner. Works best for both of us. He really only feels the weight of the curb rein that way.

    And I had little adjustment to make because I grew up showing saddle seat so a full bridle is second nature.



  6. #6
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    Default

    And I am not trying to make light of going from the snaffle to the full bridle.

    I know it can be a challenge. But we as dressage riders tend to overthink some things.

    Just remember there are a bunch of 11 year old and under kids riding high powered Saddlebreds at the World Championships with full bridles.

    I have to remind myself that if these little kids can do this with style and grace we as adults can too.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Because it is part of the game if you want to advance further in your horse's training.
    It starts at 3rd -4th level because it gives lots of time for the horse/rider to be ready for PSG and higher.
    Most people I know who ride at 3rd and higher still ride/school at shows/clinics a lot in snaffle and ride occasionnally with the double.

    I've just started with my mare and we are doing 1 session per week. It helped me with the changes. But I'm able to do 4s in the snaffle as well, not always as pretty but working towards it!



  8. #8
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjhco View Post
    And I am not trying to make light of going from the snaffle to the full bridle.

    I know it can be a challenge. But we as dressage riders tend to overthink some things.

    Just remember there are a bunch of 11 year old and under kids riding high powered Saddlebreds at the World Championships with full bridles.

    I have to remind myself that if these little kids can do this with style and grace we as adults can too.
    I agree with you that dressage folk can sometimes overthink things, but as I'm sure you know there is a vast world of difference in the use of the curb in dressage vs. saddleseat, and it requires far more refinement for upper level dressage IMO. Each horse is different regarding its exact use as well.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.



  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    I agree with you that dressage folk can sometimes overthink things, but as I'm sure you know there is a vast world of difference in the use of the curb in dressage vs. saddleseat, and it requires far more refinement for upper level dressage IMO. Each horse is different regarding its exact use as well.
    Agreed. But I sure have seen a lot of saddleseat kids show a great deal more refinement than a lot of adult 3rd level riders... Waterskiing off the curb is waterskiing off the curb. ;-)



  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mjhco View Post
    Agreed. But I sure have seen a lot of saddleseat kids show a great deal more refinement than a lot of adult 3rd level riders... Waterskiing off the curb is waterskiing off the curb. ;-)
    Indeed, I certainly agree there!
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.



  11. #11
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    Jun. 14, 2002
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    The double is required @ CDI's. IMO, if your horse is happy in a snaffle & you can do everything in a snaffle & you're not planning on doing CDI's, then there is no reason to go to a double....even @ FEI. So many people view the double & a top hat as a right of passage - it gives them a sense of accomplishment, I guess...

    Personally, I love watching good riders school in a snaffle - because they can & they're just that good!



  12. #12
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    Default

    It's a rarity these days to find an FEI rider who doesn't regularly school in a snaffle. I do wonder where these misconceptions come from.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


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  13. #13
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    It's a rarity these days to find an FEI rider who doesn't regularly school in a snaffle. I do wonder where these misconceptions come from.
    I see quite a few "FEI" amateurs who school in one of two things:
    either the double or a snaffle with accoutrements (draw reins, german martingale, whatever). Quite often riding horses whose resume (prior to their ownership) leaves NO DOUBT that that horse should be capable of schooling without all this extra "help".

    People seem to like the double because it is a "right of passage" and coincidentally covers up quite a few flaws in the contact. Other people see the double and think the rider must know what they are doing.

    So in my experience (admittely not in any sort of dressage mecca), it is a rarity to find an FEI rider who EVER schools in a snaffle. I am scared of becoming one of these people so I am refusing to use the double until I can post high scores at recognized shows on a horse I trained from scratch without it first.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 16, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    It's a rarity these days to find an FEI rider who doesn't regularly school in a snaffle. I do wonder where these misconceptions come from.
    I know, right? I school my guy in the snaffle a lot of the time because a) I'm lazy and I don't want to clean more tack than I have to, and b) he can get a little short in the neck when he hits the curb.

    OP: The introduction of the double to my guy was a non-event. I put the bridle on once or twice without riding just to get him used to the feeling, and then tacked up and rode as normal off the snaffle with a loose curb rein. Fairly easy.

    When I introduced the double, it was a mandatory piece of tack for FEI classes in USEF shows. And I appreciate that extra level of finesse when I'm in the show arena and need to rebalance. I know people who have introduced the double because their horse is heavy on the snaffle, but that's just asking for a tough retraining project later on.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Ha- meup and I posted at the same time with opposite reactions. Curious.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 16, 2006
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    Default

    I am an AA who works regularly with a great trainer. My horse showed 3rd for the first time last fall and will continue at 3rd this year and possibly take a shot at 4th by the end of the season. We put the double on my boy for the first time last summer (handful of rides with trainer, one with me), pretty much for the same reason stated above. My boy should go to at least PSG so why not. He took to it like a duck to water. My trainer said of all the horses she's introduced to the double, he was the easiest. Since then, we have put it away, as he goes so well in the snaffle. We're schooling most of 4th and starting the PSG movements and he has no trouble doing any of it in the snaffle. But, having tried the double, I know it's there if/when we need it and it shouldn't be any big deal when the time comes.



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