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Tank Tries on His Harness

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  • Tank Tries on His Harness

    I finally got my harness back from my trainer and I was able to try it on Tank and see if it will work. I think it will! Not that we are anywhere near being to the point of driving.

    First of all, I know his halter is too big, his other one is snug. I need another halter. I am not sure if I should get a cob? Or small horse? The one he is wearing if full horse.

    So I know that I don't have everything adjusted perfectly, but if there are any glaring errors please let me know. I just wanted to share because I was so happy that it fit.

    I was so proud of him. He was not bothered by the crupper at all. I also put the bridle on him and walked him around a bit. It didn't have a bit attached, so I just slipped it on over his halter. He was not all that phased by the blinkers.

    Although call me crazy, I would like to drive him bitless and blinkerless. I don't want to use a bit on him right now because we are dealing with some dental issues. He has periodontal disease, although crossing fingers that his teeth will be better in 6 mos.
    https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Looks like a decent fit. As for training, blinkerless should not be a problem as long as each step in the training is solid. I actually had one that went better in an open bridle.

    Bit less I'm not sure about, but you could try just make sure there are no holes in the steps leading up to hooking.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the breastcollar and breeching are both a bit low. Does the surcingle/saddle have a tree and offer clearance over his spine?

      I do all my base work in an open bridle and then see how they do all the same things with blinders. some horses do seem to go better open and others go better in the closed bridle. There are good reasons for both ways and it falls to how the horse works best. I will note that any equine that is sensitive to seeing the whip being moved around and anticipates where it will touch is not a good candidate for an open bridle.

      Bitless is another matter. There are people who do it and it is no problem. The miniature donkey I am working with is both open and bitless, but she is a mini. I'm debating about continuing bitless with my own filly (she will eventually also go bitted as it is required for competition) as a 1200+lbs horse is a lot different than a mini under 300lbs. She does pull the tire and all that bitless with no issues. Ironically the mild issue I had with an exuberant trot depart was while she was wearing the bit.

      So far as the bitless options go I probably would avoid a straight sidepull as it only gives you one option. It is also the easiest for the horse to push through and ignore should things get hairy. The wheel hacks are probably closest to a driving bit as they have multiple options (Orbitless, LG Zaum, flower, Star Wheel) from a sidepull to slight to moderate leverage. I'm getting our Belgian yearling's long lining done in the Star Wheel.

      I personally like the continuous rein cross-unders. My favorite being by Moss Rock Endurance http://www.mossrockendurance.com as it also has a gullet strap, can be used as a cross-under or a sidepull, and you can throw a bit on it. Dr Cooks and Nurtural both offer closed driving bridles, but I find the Dr Cook's to be unclear in its release and while the Nurtural improves the design with its circle-x as a counter weight the rings the reins attach to can still tap the jaw (had this issue with a gaited horse) and to me still feels odd as you pick up the rein and have to lift the weight of the ring before you can connect to the horse's face. The people at Moss Rock made me long lines and driving reins too.

      LightRider is also an option. I haven't worked with a scawbrig design yet, but some people find success with them and you can just buy the noseband and fit it to your current bridle, open or closed.

      Attached are pictures of our Belgian yearling in his Star Wheel and our filly (HaflingerxBelgian) working in her Evolutiom bridle both riding and dragging the tire.
      Last edited by CERT; Jun. 3, 2018, 01:14 PM. Reason: Picture commentary and typos

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by CERT View Post
        I think the breastcollar and breeching are both a bit low. Does the surcingle/saddle have a tree and offer clearance over his spine?
        I know the breastcollar looks low, it was also high up on his neck, but "stand" was not in our vocab at that moment. Normally he is much better and I am going to work on that some more. I was wondering about the breeching. I thought another hole up looked too high. Thankfully he is not on the top or bottom hole of anything so there is room for adjustment. The surcingle does have clearance over his spine. Which is good because I am still trying to get weight on his skinny ass and his spine is sticking up right now.

        I do all my base work in an open bridle and then see how they do all the same things with blinders. some horses do seem to go better open and others go better in the closed bridle. There are good reasons for both ways and it falls to how the horse works best. I will note that any equine that is sensitive to seeing the whip being moved around and anticipates where it will touch is not a good candidate for an open bridle.[/QUOTE]

        He is not whip shy at all ... little bugger. He can be a little lazy.
        Originally posted by CERT View Post
        Bitless is another matter. There are people who do it and it is no problem. The miniature donkey I am working with is both open and bitless, but she is a mini. I'm debating about continuing bitless with my own filly (she will eventually also go bitted as it is required for competition) as a 1200+lbs horse is a lot different than a mini under 300lbs. She does pull the tire and all that bitless with no issues. Ironically the mild issue I had with an exuberant trot depart was while she was wearing the bit.

        So far as the bitless options go I probably would avoid a straight sidepull as it only gives you one option. It is also the easiest for the horse to push through and ignore should things get hairy. The wheel hacks are probably closest to a driving bit as they have multiple options (Orbitless, LG Zaum, flower, Star Wheel) from a sidepull to slight to moderate leverage. I'm getting our Belgian yearling's long lining done in the Star Wheel.
        He does like to push through things ... like halters, but is getting much better about that. I was looking into this bit, which is what I think you referring to.
        Originally posted by CERT View Post
        I personally like the continuous rein cross-unders. My favorite being by Moss Rock Endurance http://www.mossrockendurance.com as it also has a gullet strap, can be used as a cross-under or a sidepull, and you can throw a bit on it. Dr Cooks and Nurtural both offer closed driving bridles, but I find the Dr Cook's to be unclear in its release and while the Nurtural improves the design with its circle-x as a counter weight the rings the reins attach to can still tap the jaw (had this issue with a gaited horse) and to me still feels odd as you pick up the rein and have to lift the weight of the ring before you can connect to the horse's face. The people at Moss Rock made me long lines and driving reins too.

        LightRider is also an option. I haven't worked with a scawbrig design yet, but some people find success with them and you can just buy the noseband and fit it to your current bridle, open or closed.
        I really appreciate at the leads and insight into different types of bitless bridles for driving. I never really like the Dr. Cook's and never really heard anyone who uses one to like it. I am unfamiliar with the other ones but look forward to exploring thoses.
        Originally posted by CERT View Post
        Attached are pictures of our Belgian yearling in his Star Wheel and our filly (HaflingerxBelgian) working in her Evolutiom bridle both riding and dragging the tire.
        Beautiful babies! Thanks for sharing.

        I did contact someone about taking some lessons again. I mentioned that my boy was 12 and that I wanted to go bitless and in an open bridle. He thought I was nuts.

        https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Good that the harness has room to adjust as well as spinal clearance. A trick for the breeching is get a piece of twine and measure from dock to hock. Fold it in half and measure from the dock down, that should be aboit where the breeching should sit. A little high is better than too low as you don't want the breeching cutting his legs out from under him!

          Yes, the one you linked to is a variant of the flower hack that Zilco and Markus Holst Tack Shop makes. I would be cautious about going too cheap as the leather straps may fail due to lack of quality. If I had to do over I would have gone with the Orbitless. They have eight slots instead of six, which gives you a couple more options, and you can save a little by just purchasing the wheels (less than $40 with shipping) and making or using your own straps.

          I really appreciate at the leads and insight into different types of bitless bridles for driving. I never really like the Dr. Cook's and never really heard anyone who uses one to like it. I am unfamiliar with the other ones but look forward to exploring thoses.
          You're welcome! All the things I wish I had known coming into it! There are people who do like the Dr. Cooks and their horses don't seem to mind, but the ones I've switched over to the continuous rein design go even better than they did in the Dr. Cooks and related (I mentioned the gaited horse was in a Nurtural I think).

          You may get some "you're crazy" responses about driving bitless in general!

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