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Halter/Combo bridles and response

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  • Halter/Combo bridles and response

    For those who ride in some form of combination halter and English bridle (you use it as a halter when you're trailering or tied up, and then attach the bit when you want a bit), does your horse respond any differently to the combination than it does to a traditional English bridle (assuming the same bit is used with each bridle)? I can't imagine why the horse would respond differently; just thought I'd ask.


    P.S. I'm asking about the systems where you use a traditional English bit and reins. Horse hates poll pressure, so we're staying away from systems that squeeze the head. :-)

  • #2
    I use this about 80% of the time.


    I don't notice any difference between it and my standard bridle.
    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
    <>< I.I.


    • #3
      I own a halter-bridle but have not used it in years because I don't care for the way the cheekpieces attach to the main headstall, and it's a headache to change bits. You practically have to take the entire cheekpiece apart.

      There are some halter-bridles on the market where the bit attaches to a single strap of leather/biothane material, which snaps into the headstall/halter in one or two places. I think Brenda Imus' halter/bridle works that way, though I've had bad experiences with one of her other products and found her customer service to be very lacking, so she has completely lost me as a customer now and in the future. There are other halter-bridles around. . .I think windrider has a similar style made out of biothane and I've considered ordering one.

      For the moment, I ride in a leather English-style bridle and either pack along one of those wide nylon horse-collars with a lead rope, or he wears a rope halter under the bridle. The other TWH I've been riding goes in an English bridle as well, with a cavesson, and a rope halter beneath it. It all depends on how much of a ride I plan on doing. If it's only 3-4 hours, I "go light" and may not even bring a halter or head-collar to tie the horse.
      Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.


      • #4
        I have a halter-bridle combo that I bought for my old warmblood, but I don't like the way my arab goes in it. It's all-leather with lots of brass fittings, and I feel like it weighs down his head a lot. So we're sticking with the regular bridle for now. The next combo I get is going to be much lighter in weight, I think...
        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


        • #5
          I have the halter/bridle combo from Hought http://www.hought.com/ and I love it. I don't think he goes any differently in it than his regular bridle. Of course I don't ride with a flash noseband so the halter isn't that much different. I think it is very handy for trail riding and I love it.



          • #6
            Most halter-bridle combinations I've seen are less than optimal. I use a reproduction M1904 halter and an M1909 head stall. Just put the headstall on over the halter. I'm not competely happy with the arrangement but it seems to work well enough.

            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


            • #7
              I own one and HATE it. It's a good one, too top of the line. I doubt I'll ever use it again.

              The cheek pieces have hardware that bangs on the rings of the halter - my sensitive TWH can't abide that 'noise' on his head at a regular walk, much less a bigger flat walk. Plus it's a lot of weight and strapping=hot.

              Seriously, I won't buy another. I have seen an Amish made combo that I liked because there's less hardware on the noseband of the halter...it's just stitched together there...and the halter fits better, so the cheekpieces are a little longer, not in a wad with the nose band.


              • #8
                Sharon, did you get my response to the PM you sent?

                I regularly switch between my "work" bridle (a regular english leather bridle with flash noseband) and my "conditioning" bridle (a blue biothane halter/bridle combo without a brow band) and do not see a difference in the way my horse responds in either bridle. I use an o-ring french link snaffle.

                My horse doesn't seem bothered by the metal snaps clanking on metal loops, but I have heard of some horses that don't like the noise. I really like my halter/bridle fits my horse, although at first I wasn't sure if I would like it. My least favorite part of the bridle is that switching bits is not easy since there are no snaps on the bit end of the cheek piece. If I get to the point where I use different bits for different parts of an endurance ride, I'll likely buy extra bit straps and just switch those at the vet checks.


                • #9
                  I have this one from Running Bear and really like it. http://store.runningbear.com/catalog...&cat=8&scat=49

                  It's lightweight, biothane, and easy to attach/detach the bit with the snaps on the cheekpieces. What I really like about it is that I can put the halter on, trailer out, then just attach the bit when we get there.

                  Definitely have not seen a difference in response with this v. a regular bridle. I suppose some horses might be bothered by the clips, but they don't move much, and my guys have never had an issue.


                  • #10
                    I don't own a halter/bridle combo nor will I. Reason is you are out enjoying a trailride
                    you take the bit off and use the halter to tie your horse up. Your horse spooks
                    breaks the halter and takes off, you now have a broken halter and no bridle to use.

                    Nope will never use one.


                    • #11
                      I personally never much liked the halter-bridle combos with the bit hangers that clip on to the cheekpieces. I know someone who got one for her harder-to-bridle horse, and it seemed like we needed three hands each to get the bit into the horse's mouth, hold up the bit hangers and clip them into place.

                      I've got one of those clip-on trail bridles that I've used with a rope halter in the past. Still have it, although I've got an english hackamore for the pony, and have that on a different headstall.


                      The thing I like about it is that it was easy to put on, and you just have to clip the browband around the halter. Easy to take off if you stop to have lunch or something.

                      You can find them in lots of places (Action Rider Tack, Mad Tack, Hought, etc.)
                      "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan


                      • #12
                        I had that problem with the bit clips at first too. Then I figured out that you snap on one side (I do the right), put the bit in, snap the other side. It's really easy this way, and doesn't take three hands


                        • #13
                          Easy &amp; Safe

                          When riding at home I use a regular, old fashioned, flat hunt bridle. When trailering out to ride I put on a lightweight rope halter. When we saddle up I just slip on a nylon bridle (Weaver) with a simple D-ring bit and leather reins and throw the lead rope in backpack. I don't have to worry about the rope halter breaking while on the trail and have the leadrope just in case something happens with the bridle. I like being able to wash the nylon bridle and you can get them in pretty colors, too! I haven't noticed any difference in way of going with my mare in either bridle.

                          My girlfriend had her bridle break a few weeks ago and didn't have a halter on underneath. After a scary run away, eventual stop, and a little cursing, she was able to fashion an emergency halter out of her reins but had to walk back to the trailers. I think a halter under the bridle is a necessity when riding out, especially if you ride in the woods or brush where things can grab your bridle.


                          • #14
                            I guess I'm in the minority. I have one and I love it. We often take breaks on the trail and I can remove Dancer's bit, attach a lead line and tie her to a tree or just let her graze while we rest or eat lunch.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dressagerose View Post
                              I have the halter/bridle combo from Hought http://www.hought.com/ and I love it. I don't think he goes any differently in it than his regular bridle. Of course I don't ride with a flash noseband so the halter isn't that much different. I think it is very handy for trail riding and I love it.

                              Thank you for this link! I am looking for a combo to use for mounted patrol stuff but do not like all the extra hardware, this is exactly what I was looking for and I can get it with the glow beta, awesome. Could not be more perfect for my needs! Yeah!


                              • #16
                                I've used the halter/bridle combo- never noticed the difference in reaction froma regular english bridle.

                                I like the halter /bridle combo, except I've run into the issue if your horse is difficult to bit, this bridle is a real pita to deal with, if you've taken the bit out to vet, and then have to get it done back up and in the horse's mouth. So I don't use them as much as I used to anymore.
                                Originally posted by ExJumper
                                Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.


                                • #17

                                  This is the one that I have. I absolutely love it. It is affordable, easy to use and good weight. I have used it in the rain and the reins were not slippery. It is easy to clean and very simple to use and adjust. I love the quality.

                                  I highly recommend it. Good Luck with whatever you choose.
                                  Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                                  Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rodeio View Post
                                    Thank you for this link! I am looking for a combo to use for mounted patrol stuff but do not like all the extra hardware, this is exactly what I was looking for and I can get it with the glow beta, awesome. Could not be more perfect for my needs! Yeah!

                                    Decide you want that in black, let me know. I hate mine LOL. My horse finds it noisy, but it IS well made!!


                                    • #19
                                      I bought the endurance lite from Running Bear and LOVE IT.
                                      My sister bought the smart bridle....I find it a bit heavy.

                                      <\ <\,,
                                      The delicate and exquisite horse is itself a work of art.


                                      • #20
                                        I have a Tory leather version that is OK quality but I am not impressed with how the cheek pieces hang. I have a more western styled Schultz Brothers that I love. If it is a shorter ride, I will use a regular bridle... have used the roper halter underneath too.

                                        Hope I can find a way to make the Tory work to my liking.