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Would you ever ride in just a bradoon?

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  • Would you ever ride in just a bradoon?

    I recently saw a trainer ride a horse at the indoor (where one of my horses is stabled for the winter), in a bit that looked like a copper twisted wire bradoon. The story around the barn is the horse is being put back into work after a year off, but has previously been successfully competed at 3rd and 4th level by its last owner.
    I am only asking because I have never seen this before, and am curious. I am not an upper level rider. The horse seemed very fussy and behind the leg. I have no intentions of talking to the trainer or owner about it, since it is none of my business. Just wondering what other dressage trainers think of this, and if it is common.
    Holland Brook Sporthorses

  • #2
    I used a bradoon with my mare. Loved the bit.


    • #3
      Absolutely. I used one on a petite faced Arab I retrained, and with some riders i have used it to reduce their dependence on reins for steering.

      But I would never EVER use a twisted bit. 'Shutter'
      chaque pas est fait ensemble


      • #4
        I've always heard you should never ride in just a bridoon, just as you should never ride in just a weymouth. I think the reason with the bridoon is the small rings that could be pulled into the horse's mouth. There may also be an issue with the mouthpiece--do bridoons have thinner mouthpieces than regular snaffles? (Yes, I know different snaffles have different mouthpieces, some thinner than others.)

        Are you sure it was a bridoon and not a copper twisted wire snaffle?

        Anyone who rides in a twisted wire bit of any type is so ignorant (or uncaring) that they probably don't know (or care) that a twisted wire bit should never be used, any more than a bridoon should be used alone.

        I'm assuming the person you saw riding is not a dressage rider. I can't imagine a dressage person bringing a horse back into work by using a twisted wire bit.

        I'm not a dressage trainer. (I have, however, stayed at more than one Holiday Inn Express.)

        I agree that it is none of your business. But if one sees cruelty being done it is sometimes necessary to make it one's business.
        Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
        People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
        "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique


        • #5
          A copper twisted wire bradoon is just a small ring on a #$(&$ agressive bit. Imho little reason accept to be strong. What should we think of that? Not much.

          When riding in a double bridle there are times where the rider might drop the curb rein to loose, and ask with the snaffle that the horse takes a more half halt to be up/open/longer/extending the neck, or drop the snaffle and work with just the merely touches on the curb (esp in/for piaffe).
          I.D.E.A. yoda


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for the responces. It was definitly a twisted wire bradoon, because I saw the trainer tack up and ride the horse. The only thing I'm not sure about was the copper, because I was several feet away. The trainer is a local freelance dressage trainer with an eventing background. The possibility of the small rings being pulled through the mouth is a good point.
            Holland Brook Sporthorses


            • #7
              The lesson to be learned here is to never hire (or be associated with) said "trainer"
              chaque pas est fait ensemble


              • #8
                Originally posted by kealea31 View Post
                The possibility of the small rings being pulled through the mouth is a good point.
                If the horse at one point was well schooled the likelihood of a decent rider cranking the horse with one rein enough to pull a bit cheek into the mouth is pretty slim.

                I have had a few horses with fat tongues and low pallets that truly preferred a thin bradoon as the primary schooling bit. If your horse works off the outside rein you just are not going to have that become an issue.

                A twisted wire bit doesn't jive with my idea of dressage though.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BumbleBee View Post
                  If the horse at one point was well schooled the likelihood of a decent rider cranking the horse with one rein enough to pull a bit cheek into the mouth is pretty slim.

                  I have had a few horses with fat tongues and low pallets that truly preferred a thin bradoon as the primary schooling bit. If your horse works off the outside rein you just are not going to have that become an issue.

                  A twisted wire bit doesn't jive with my idea of dressage though.
                  Just a few thoughts... I know a couple of horses with fat palates, low tongues, tiny muzzles etc. who go in a bradoon. Ditto for ponies. As long as the mouthpiece matches one of the USEF allowed ones, and is thick enough, it's permitted. I tried it with my mare who has all of the above. It didn't help her, but a standard KK snaffle, which is what she seems to like most, is fairly thin for a regular snaffle.

                  As for copper twisted wire... if the horse was ridden at 3rd or 4th he probably worked in a double all the time... and without the curb he may get a bit strong, hence the twisted wire. Not saying this is the right thing to do but I can see how it would happen. I leased a horse for a while; she came with a double twisted wire full cheek bit and I of course switched her to something milder (single jointed Baucher, if I recall correctly)... and very quickly discovered that on the trail, I could get run away with at the walk, if you know what I mean! In the arena, the milder bit was fine.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                  • #10
                    I ride my pony in a plain french link bradoon as her only bit because she's a little pony and looks ridiculous in real horse bit rings. And because she's got a tiny little pony mouth.

                    I wouldn't ride in twisted wire, mostly because my pony would murder me in my sleep.
                    Last edited by cnm161; Feb. 1, 2013, 11:22 PM. Reason: spelling ain't easy, folks


                    • #11
                      Yes, you can ride in a bradoon alone. My gelding's "snaffle" is actually a bradoon. It's a slightly thinner French link mouthpiece that he likes, and the smaller ring looks good on his narrow Thoroughbred-ish face. The bradoon he wears on his double bridle is wider because it sits higher in his mouth above the curb. The two bits are not interchangable.

                      Riding a horse in a double should NOT make it insensitive to the snaffle alone, so why the twisted snaffle? Ignorant "trainer".

                      A twisted wire or a slow twist was never, and will never be, a dressage legal bit.


                      • #12
                        the only difference from a regular bit is that the rings are smaller,so if it looks better on a smaller horse why not.the mouthpiece can be the same as a "regular" bit.


                        • #13
                          Another Bradoon User

                          I ride my 16'2 hand dutch mare in a Stubben double jointed bradoon. She has a barely 5" mouth that is short and a low palate. I tried numerous bits and this is what she told me she likes. I use a drop noseband with it. That is the combination that I find works for her. Don't know what I'll do for a curb when that time comes...


                          • #14
                            I ride my very big 17.2 h wb in a HS bradoon and have for years. He has a big tongue and a low palate, and is much happier in a small diameter bit. A friend lent me the bit as she wasn't using her double, and it was a success. I am an eventer, and have at times run cross country in this bit. I have used it for years. I cannot IMAGINE a circumstance in which the ring would end up in his mouth.
                            The big man -- my lost prince

                            The little brother, now my main man


                            • #15
                              I rode my gelding in his KK bradoon for a couple years. Only recently did I put him in a regular double-jointed snaffle and only because I thought his bradoon was a little too wide for him. His low palate makes a thinner bit more comfortable for him.


                              • #16
                                The only difference between a bradoon and a snaffle is the diameter of the rings. You can get thick and thin mouthpieces in both, just as you can get single and double jointed in both.

                                No, unless you are starting a baby where there is a real risk of pulling the bit through the mouth, there is no reason you can't use a bradoon as a snaffle bit. Lots of pony people do as it more proportionate. Also, certain brands (like Sprenger) make a certain mouthpiece in every other size as a snaffle, and the in between sizes as a bradoon. If your horse loves a particular mouthpiece, but needs the in-between size, its common to go to the bradoon.

                                So, no, bradoon not a problem. Dressage horse in a double twisted anything-
                                MAJOR problem.