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Using your halter as a bridle?

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  • #21
    I have ridden in a halter on one particular horse I owned.

    I will never do that again with any of my horses.......on principle.

    Don't get me wrong - my mare behaved perfectly.

    But in our trail riding club - there are a fair number of OTHER riders - who ALSO ride in a halter - I think because they like to puff themselves up with feelings of "oh my my - we are so clever my horse and I - we can ride in a halter"

    And yet a portion of them have a death grip on whatever they are using for reins, and they are constantly fighting to slow the horse down....or turn him - or whatever. Meanwhile OTHER people on the trail are getting bumped into or otherwise bothered by the ineptitude.

    Forgetaboutit !

    We are always sure that the person I've just described is "not me"

    But it might be..............so..........

    Remember that your choices may in fact be affecting other people.

    Ride in a bridle - have control - and stay off the horse's face.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by snydere02 View Post
      I'm not too sure about the chin strap on what your talking about. It looks like all the pressure goes to the chin, which I find Athena is not a huge fan of. I apply my reins to the ring under her chin so all of my rein pressure is at the top of her nose.
      I'm thinking about investing in a bosal. That kind of gives the same affect of pressure that I am applying when I put her halter on. Have any of you used a bosal? What's your thoughts? I'm thinking one like this.
      bosal= jaw pressure.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #23
        I completly agree with your statment. If my horse was taking off, I would ever need the death grip, and I was interrupting other riders, riding in a halter would be a long time away from that day. Those 3 things tells me there is a major training issue and I need to go back to the basics.

        How I ride is using my legs and body mainly. I only use my hands to place their head where I want and to collect, not to control their speed or movements.
        This particular mare every once in a great whilce gets funky in a bit. I am not sure what her deal is but she has always been that way. I am hardly ever in her mouth (except light contact) if anything I am always teaching her to respond better to my body language.

        I'm not about trying to impress anyone, but simply trying to make my horse confortable. I want her to enjoy her job. Running away from my cues and making her own decisions is not what I am aiming for. I would have put her bridle right back on if that happened. Instead she had better responses to my cues and I was able to ride on a long loose rein, when normally she likes light contact.

        Another note- I trail ride alone, therefore the only person I will be affecting when I ride in a halter is myself and my horse.

        Comment


        • #24
          Stubben makes a combination bridle/halter. We have one of them. Although our owner is too chicken to ride us minus the bit.

          You can start out with or without the bit, and add it or take it off depending on how your horse acts on the trails. Or buy one of those bitless pressure bridles. I forget the name of the one that a friend has. Or buy a hackamore. Lots of options besides a bit.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by snydere02 View Post
            My question is...How many of you have ever used your halter as a bridle? Do you use a bridless bride? If you do how do you like it? Would you use your halter as a bridle out on trails?
            What worries me is that a halter was not made to be used as a bridle. With so many scary objects while trail riding, is this going to be safe? What would you do?
            I ride bareback with a halter all the time for much the same reason you do relaxed horse, helps my balance, and I have rationalized to myself that since they have four legs and I only have two it is only half as far for the horse to walk as it is for me*.
            However if you want much the same effect a non leverage english jumping hackamore gives much the same effect but looks nicer.

            O prefer tory because the y are made in the USA from USA leather.
            http://www.ebay.com/itm/TORY-LEATHER...item43b682fa2c


            *Not really However, I am the one paying the bills and none of the horses have come up with a decent rebuttal I think they are stumped at what half is - fractions are not one of my horses strong points.
            A pussycat of a horse with a chewed off tail won the triple crown, The Cubs won the world series and Trump won the Presidency.
            Don't tell me 'It can't be done.'

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Lindsey-Rider View Post
              I have ridden in a halter on one particular horse I owned.

              I will never do that again with any of my horses.......on principle.

              Don't get me wrong - my mare behaved perfectly.

              But in our trail riding club - there are a fair number of OTHER riders - who ALSO ride in a halter - I think because they like to puff themselves up with feelings of "oh my my - we are so clever my horse and I - we can ride in a halter"

              And yet a portion of them have a death grip on whatever they are using for reins, and they are constantly fighting to slow the horse down....or turn him - or whatever. Meanwhile OTHER people on the trail are getting bumped into or otherwise bothered by the ineptitude.

              Forgetaboutit !

              We are always sure that the person I've just described is "not me"

              But it might be..............so..........

              Remember that your choices may in fact be affecting other people.

              Ride in a bridle - have control - and stay off the horse's face.
              I've ridden with plenty of people who use bridles/bits/big shanks who have no control. I guess that means everyone should ride in just a halter, like I do, since I DO have control.

              Well trained horses generally behave. Adding gadgets to poorly trained horses carrying idiots accomplishes nothing.

              Comment


              • #27
                ...........and taking away a gadget - on a poorly trained horse - carrying an idiot...........hmm................I think I'd rather have the horse with the gadget.

                Even if it only made the horse three point seven percent more controlled.

                Or maybe just don't let the i-jeeots ride horses.........LOL

                * * * * * *

                Don't take it personal. I'm not talking about "you"

                I'm talking about some in the people in the trail riding club I belong to.

                There are people there........riding poorly trained horses...........in a halter...........that shouldn't be.

                Doing so puts themselves AND other riders and horses around them at risk because of their lack of control.

                Where do "you" or I and our horses fall on the scale of competancy? Let's just be honest in evaluating our abilities.

                Is a halter more "relaxing" for the horse than a snaffle or shanked bit?

                Phwwwt.

                The gadget is only as harsh or imposing as the hand wielding it.

                A horse that is *actually trained* will travel on a loose rein that (and I asked my horse tonight) is every bit as comfortable and unimposing as a halter.

                Comment


                • #28
                  You are blaming the halter, when the problem is the idiot on board. The issue is not the halter at all, but people riding beyond their abilities on horses who are not well trained enough to handle that situation. My horses have carried people on their first ever trail ride, wearing nothing but a halter, and they do not misbehave. Even if the rider on board is an idiot, the horse knows her job well enough to not do anything stupid. Our "extra" horse, Jula, has carried at least a half dozen newbies this year. In the worst possible case, (rider keeps trying to tell horse what to do, but rider is dead wrong) this amazing mare just stopped and waited for me to come "fix" the situation, which I did. Again, the problem is not with the equipment. Blame the idiots for their behavior and poor choices. Had you continued to ride your well behaved horse in a halter, you could have changed those misconceptions, and maybe encouraged the idiots to realize they could expect more from their own mounts.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Your reply is based on that you somehow read into it that I'm blaming the halter.

                    Not really.

                    Where do "you" or I and our horses fall on the scale of competancy? Let's just be honest in evaluating our abilities.
                    I try my best NOT to blame the horse or innanimate objects.

                    Yes - alas - the responsibility, misconceptions, lack of training, failure to accept responsibility and bad choices lie with the rider.
                    Last edited by Lindsey-Rider; Dec. 4, 2012, 12:03 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Well, when you say you won't ride in a halter, because you don't want to be associated with the idiots who ride in halters (my words and gross summary, not yours), the only commonality is the halter, right?

                      I say: your horse, your way. Don't assume that people who ride in halters are idiots with awful horses....OR that they are amazing and ride perfect horses. Evaluate each based on their own attributes/performance.

                      I'll admit that I do make assumptions based on bit usage. Bigger shanks and I probably like you less. That's my bias, lol.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Just because you can do something does not mean it's a good idea.

                        Riding in a halter is one of those things. A properly selected, fitted, and adjusted headstall and bit gives a very high level of effective communication (assuming that the rider, in fact, is capable of such communication with their hands). Use of other devices can work but the communication will be of a lower quality. A fair comparison would be a high quality, digital phone vs. two tin cans and a string.

                        And what works under highly controlled conditions might not work at all "in a state of nature."

                        Folks can ride as they wish, but I like effective communication even if I don't think I'll need it.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Oh that's not my own personal reason for NOT riding in a halter.

                          It's that I have had a few seasons now of looking at the disparity between the best and the worst on the trail.

                          The greenish riders that apparently sometimes view the ability (and that's not the most correct use of that word "ability") to ride in a halter without falling off or having the horse run away or buck with them: as a thing to hold in high esteem as a measurement of success.

                          I'm talking about the riders that struggle having to pull and lean on the halters. Some of the horses becoming agitated, dancing around and tossing their heads which can become like an infection to whatever OTHER young animals may be in attendence.

                          Versus the seasoned riders, some older than dirt, that have taken lessons, compete with their horses, ridden for many many years on narrow mountain trails with all that it throws at you: loose rock, mountain sheep and bears. That ride in a bridle.

                          Was the mare I USED TO ride in a halter like the first horses I described? No she wasn't. She actually was light as a feather, quite well trained and pretty unflappable.

                          Can a bridled horse behave badly because of rough hands? Absolutely. Am I saying that all halter ridden horses are a piece of untrained crap and all bridle ridden horses a dream? Good grief. I think not.

                          But opinions being based on personal experience, and maybe I will be the only one here that carries this particular one BECUZ of this personal experience, I would rather aspire to People "B", do my training AT HOME, and know that I will have greater control with a bit.

                          Don't get me wrong. I'm am NOT John Lyons or Pat Parelli. Nor do I have the money, time or inclination to become them. I'm just Joe Average.

                          I do apologize for posting an unequivocable RIDE IN A BRIDLE.

                          What I MEANT to say is.

                          For me? My personal choice is a bridle.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Just because something is ineffective for you, doesn't mean it is so for everyone else.

                            Watch Buck ride bitless and tell me you can do better. I'd love to see you do it.

                            My horses are quieter and more responsive bitless than the vast majority of horses I see ridden with a bit, in a wide variety of settings/situations. It's possible that your horses are not, and that is fine for you and yours.


                            ...reply intended for G. - quote didn't work.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              If you are bonking your horse into others like bumper cars in them name of Whoa and steering...and calling it macaroni, then that's a problem.

                              I don't care what people put on their horse's heads. Just don't run over me and we'll be fine.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by katyb View Post
                                Just because something is ineffective for you, doesn't mean it is so for everyone else.

                                Watch Buck ride bitless and tell me you can do better. I'd love to see you do it.

                                My horses are quieter and more responsive bitless than the vast majority of horses I see ridden with a bit, in a wide variety of settings/situations. It's possible that your horses are not, and that is fine for you and yours.


                                ...reply intended for G. - quote didn't work.
                                What does Buck have to do with anything?

                                Buck is a showman who sells a lot of stuff. He does things that promote the sale of this stuff. In this sense he's no different than any pitchman you see on basic cable.

                                I don't sell anything but Marchadors.

                                Bits were invented because people who needed horses to survive needed them. They work. They are not , perhaps, the only way but they are the quick, efficient, and humane way.

                                G.
                                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Recommendation for the OP

                                  Originally posted by snydere02 View Post
                                  I normally train for dressage and hunters in my O-Ring French Snaffle. We have had excellent progress since I got this horse in February. We are bending, collecting, streching, and flexing. Every once in awhile I'll hop on bareback with just a halter and a lead rope, just to work on my balance. I've come to realize my horse has a 10000% better attitude when I ride with her halter. So I decided to get brave and ride out on the trails this weekend in my western saddle and a halter with clip on reins. We had one of the best trail rides ever! She was extreamly relaxed. I can tell you that I will not be putting her bridle on anytime soon.

                                  My question is...How many of you have ever used your halter as a bridle? Do you use a bridless bride? If you do how do you like it? Would you use your halter as a bridle out on trails?
                                  What worries me is that a halter was not made to be used as a bridle. With so many scary objects while trail riding, is this going to be safe? What would you do?
                                  Hi there, I'm glad you posted this.
                                  I'm not a professional horsewoman, but I absolutely believe there are definite benefits to natural horsemanship.
                                  I found this Etsy seller who produces quality bitless bridles so thought I would share it with you: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KnotJustRope
                                  I am also planning on learning how to make some with paracord - which would not only be useful in emergency situations, but would also make for a very sturdy set of gear, being that it is 550 lb rated.
                                  I also found this website with kits and such to help you make your own: http://www.ubraidit.com/supplies.php

                                  I hope this helps!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                    What does Buck have to do with anything?

                                    Buck is a showman who sells a lot of stuff. He does things that promote the sale of this stuff. In this sense he's no different than any pitchman you see on basic cable.

                                    I don't sell anything but Marchadors.

                                    Bits were invented because people who needed horses to survive needed them. They work. They are not , perhaps, the only way but they are the quick, efficient, and humane way.

                                    G.
                                    I think Buck is an example of beautiful communication between rider and horse, with and without a bit. I don't think he sells a lot of stuff. The dvd business seems to be pretty good though.

                                    My point has been, all along, that bits are not the only effective means of communication. I have not said they are inherently bad, just that they are not the only means to the desired end.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I started my mare in a rope halter that was custom made for me with rein loops. She has always done great in it, although we do ride with a bit and bridle as well. I tried one day in her regular nylon web halter- she was doing fine, although I felt like I had less finesse than in her rope, until I noticed it seemed a bit loose and tried to tighten the crown piece from the saddle. What I actually did was remove the whole halter! Oops- luckily she is also trained to steer and stop with a rope around her neck, so after a bit of jigging, she stopped and stood while I hopped off and fixed it- so, no more riding in the buckle halter for me...
                                      ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
                                      ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
                                      ~Vet Tech Student
                                      Mom to : 1 Horse, 4 Dogs, 3 Cats

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        If you have effective communication with your horse and the gear is safe (i.e., not likely to break or come suddenly unattached - I have ridden in a rope halter with the leadrope tied back to the fiador knot - and also had it come untied!) then why not? By effective communication I am talking about the subtleties rather than just "brakes."

                                        I have an ancient "hunting hackamore" that has a rope noseband covered in leather that works great for my TB. It is much like the English Hackamore linked to, except that the sides extend down an inch or two to brass rings. It helped him get over his OTTB habit of bearing down on your hand, and we still use it now and again as a refresher. Because it has a browband and throatlatch, as well as adjustable cheek pieces, and is made of flat leather, so we can work in the arena without most people even noticing that he doesn't have a bit in his mouth. But, as my husband is fond of pointing out, the hackamore is not "kinder and gentler" by its nature -- and if someone gets nervous and clutchy, it can be even more claustrophobic for the horse than a bit. Still, my horse is established in his training, and the rein aids are well-installed cues at this point. I can ride him in a rope halter with a leadrope for reins, but to tell the truth, that is less comfortable for ME, and unless it is adlusted perfectly, the communication can be a little haphazard. With horses, consistency is the best training tool you have, and well-fitting tack is part of that.

                                        With a greener horse I spent last year riding a young horse on Limited Distance rides in the PNW. At the beginning of the ride, the bit in his mouth was a way to keep him engaged in exercises like shoulder-in when things were getting exciting around him, or when his buddy horse went off to the start line ahead of him. Since I haven't schooled him extensively in a hackamore or halter, I would not have wanted to be without the bit at those rides. It wasn't there to stop him, but to help redirect his energy into familiar exercises that took his mind off the environment around him. In the future, if we do longerrides I may try him out in different gear - wearing a bit for hours and hours has to be a stressor . Some endurance bridle/halter combos allow you to switch up at different stages of the ride. At the last ride I rode with a woman who started out in a hackamore so when her horse was feisty, so she wouldn't be hauling on his mouth, and then switched to a bit for the second loop, so she could help him engage his hind end when he got a bit draggy. The key was she had a strategy for what she was doing and a knowledge of her horse.

                                        There is "one true way" here - as long as you and your horse are confident and comfortable with the tack you use and that you are observant about how it is actually working.
                                        Publisher, http://www.endurance-101.com
                                        Blog: http://blog.seattlepi.com/horsebytes/

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Buck's not relevant. What would be relevant would be a group of riders on fresh horses cantering across a field. With a cool tail wind. A big field, one you can feel rolling by under your horse. A field that over time slopes down to a brush lined creek, then a small gap of grass, then a paved road.

                                          Someone kicks it up a notch with a grin, and now's the time for a good hand gallop. Everyone laughs and kicks on, and the group spread's out. Horses are eared up, fresh, eager, willing. Going.

                                          That's the better test.

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