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Stupid question - One ear bridles

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  • #21
    It's not the one-ear that makes me cringe on the trail: it's the one that is NO ear! JUST a piece of leather with a buckle attaching from one side of the bit to the other: no browband, no throatlatch. I'm thinking - WOW, all it would take is a hard bump on the head or a head toss into a tree to get that sucker off.
    If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
    DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
    Originally posted by talkofthetown
    As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.

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    • #22
      I didn't read all the posts but this is the general rule:

      Snaffle bit - bridle with browband and throatlatch

      Leverage bit - one year, two ear, or browband/throatlatch bridle.


      The bridles with browbands and throatlatches are specifically designed for snaffles. Snaffle bits lift in the mouth, thereby lifting the headstall up at the poll, and making it very easy for the headstall to come off.

      If you have a leverage bit, the action applies pressure at the poll to an extent, therefore not lifting the headstall off the poll, so no worries there.

      A horse can still rub off a one year headstall if they scratch on their knee or something.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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      • #23
        I like the look of a one ear, and have a bling one for my older mare. She shook it half off one day shaking flies.

        I still use it. She's a go-nowhere mare and has an outstanding verbal whoa.

        That said, I also have a brow band as the ear nets stay on much better with the brow band.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by HydroPHILE View Post
          It's not the one-ear that makes me cringe on the trail: it's the one that is NO ear! JUST a piece of leather with a buckle attaching from one side of the bit to the other: no browband, no throatlatch. I'm thinking - WOW, all it would take is a hard bump on the head or a head toss into a tree to get that sucker off.
          The ear doesn't make the bridle stay on better. The ear loops are loose and in no way make the bridle harder to take off.

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Wow! I guess it wasn't as stupid a question as I originally thought! Lots of good thoughts here :-)

            My new guy is quiet quiet quiet but he is 5 and we'll be doing a lot of solo riding. He is not finished to a curb yet (he sat for a year, so that will be on my plate) so it sounds like I should save the one ear for the ring work, and figure out what else to put on his head for the trails. He's the type of horse that you can ride out in a halter and lead rope combo, so my options are pretty wide open! I do like the idea of the get down rope as well.

            Thanks again everyone for all of the suggestions! He's got such a pretty face that I don't want to bung it all up with a ton of leather. OTOH, I want us to be functional and safe.

            My saddle is supposed to get here on the 13th and I can't wait to ride him again!

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            • #26
              I think this one is pretty. I may have to order it... http://www.rods.com/Harness-Leather-...hers,2239.html
              "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

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              • #27
                Originally posted by alabama View Post
                I think this one is pretty. I may have to order it... http://www.rods.com/Harness-Leather-...hers,2239.html
                Nice looking. Free advice when using those posts instead of leather string for holding the bit in- do check often to make sure they are secure, I usually put clear nail polish on the treads before screwing them in.

                It can be pretty inconvenient to have one of those come unscrewed when riding. Happily, though in the middle of nowhere, I was on a horse that just whoas when you say whoa and I had the omnipresent piece of baling twine necessary to make the repair.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                  Nice looking. Free advice when using those posts instead of leather string for holding the bit in- do check often to make sure they are secure, I usually put clear nail polish on the treads before screwing them in.

                  It can be pretty inconvenient to have one of those come unscrewed when riding. Happily, though in the middle of nowhere, I was on a horse that just whoas when you say whoa and I had the omnipresent piece of baling twine necessary to make the repair.
                  ugh...Chicago screws. I try to avoid those things like the plague, especially with concho bridles because the screw part is never long enough to get a good connection into the concho. I'd much rather have leather ties.

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                  • #29
                    Not a dumb question at all. Western headstalls are specifically designed to work with a given bit. You will see all sorts of configurations, some correct and some not.

                    A snaffle bit should not be hung on a headstall that has no throatlatch because when the snaffle bit is engaged, it tends to lift the headstall up and off the poll, and can easily slip over the ears. The throat latch and browband are designed to keep the headstall in the proper position with a snaffle bit. Western trainers also generally use a bit hobble to keep the snaffle fron sliding around in the horse's mouth.

                    A shanked or leverage bit is used with a one ear, split ear or slip ear headstall fitted with a curb strap under the horse's chin. A headstall with a throat latch and brow band can work, but will appear odd to knowledgeable western riders.

                    In western riding, young horses are started with bosals and/or snaffles and only graduate to shanked bits when they are quite advanced- soft, engaged, trained, and ready to be polished. By the time a horse is fitted with a leverage bit, the rider and horse are (supposed to be) so well trained and sensitive that the horse responds to the slightest touch. The leverage bit, when engaged, rocks forward in the horse's mouth allowing the curb strap to apply pressure under the chin and slight pressure over the horse's poll. This downward action will keep the split or slip ear headstall in place. A browband or throatlatch would theoretically interfere with this action and would be undesirable to a rider at that level.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Bluehorse164 View Post
                      Not a dumb question at all. Western headstalls are specifically designed to work with a given bit. You will see all sorts of configurations, some correct and some not.

                      A snaffle bit should not be hung on a headstall that has no throatlatch because when the snaffle bit is engaged, it tends to lift the headstall up and off the poll, and can easily slip over the ears. The throat latch and browband are designed to keep the headstall in the proper position with a snaffle bit. Western trainers also generally use a bit hobble to keep the snaffle fron sliding around in the horse's mouth.

                      A shanked or leverage bit is used with a one ear, split ear or slip ear headstall fitted with a curb strap under the horse's chin. A headstall with a throat latch and brow band can work, but will appear odd to knowledgeable western riders.

                      In western riding, young horses are started with bosals and/or snaffles and only graduate to shanked bits when they are quite advanced- soft, engaged, trained, and ready to be polished. By the time a horse is fitted with a leverage bit, the rider and horse are (supposed to be) so well trained and sensitive that the horse responds to the slightest touch. The leverage bit, when engaged, rocks forward in the horse's mouth allowing the curb strap to apply pressure under the chin and slight pressure over the horse's poll. This downward action will keep the split or slip ear headstall in place. A browband or throatlatch would theoretically interfere with this action and would be undesirable to a rider at that level.
                      You said exactly what I was trying to say, but your post was put together much better than mine! LOL!
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Chicago screws - paint some clear nail polish onto the screw, and put a drop down into the receiving end of the screw and then screw together. This helps keep them tight.
                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                          You said exactly what I was trying to say, but your post was put together much better than mine! LOL!
                          Sometimes it's just hard to put words to stuff that you've had ingrained for a long time and probably don't give much thought to anymore. The other day a beginning student, brand new to horses, asked me something really basic and I laughed because I had to pause and think about exactly how to explain it.

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                          • #33
                            A browband or throatlatch would theoretically interfere with this action and would be undesirable to a rider at that level.
                            Buck Brannaman usually uses a 'Poco Bueno' bridle (browband and throatlatch, rolled leather with silver ferrules and a silver oval decoration on the browband):
                            You can see Buck's horse in a spade bit and browband/throatlatch bridle at the very bottom left of the page, and in a few of the photos on the page:
                            http://brannaman.com/bbnppage.htm

                            One of the big prizes (if you didn't win a saddle) at The Californios Stock Horse/Roping contest was a Poco Bueno bridle:
                            http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...9158876&type=3
                            Very often, the Vaquero style riders indeed use a split-ear headstall with a leverage bit, but not always.

                            I'm not trying to be snarky, but I disagree with your theory and hold that some western riders who have a ton of knowhow do indeed use a browband bridle, with a curb or even a spade bit.

                            I'm sure there are also some well known, ton-of-knowhow western trainers who do subscribe to this theory, and won't use a browband bridle with a leverage bit.

                            And I DO agree that you don't use a one- or split-ear headstall with a snaffle for precisely the reasons you posted! (Good post!)

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Fillabeana View Post

                              I'm not trying to be snarky, but I disagree with your theory and hold that some western riders who have a ton of knowhow do indeed use a browband bridle, with a curb or even a spade bit.
                              Hi Fillabeana, no worries You make a good point, it's less important which tack we use, than knowing its purpose and why we're using it! There are always pros and cons. That's an old bridle that originated regionally, for a particular conformation, bit, job, and riding style. No doubt cowboy Buck has his reasons!

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                I didn't read all the posts but this is the general rule:

                                Snaffle bit - bridle with browband and throatlatch

                                Leverage bit - one year, two ear, or browband/throatlatch bridle.


                                The bridles with browbands and throatlatches are specifically designed for snaffles. Snaffle bits lift in the mouth, thereby lifting the headstall up at the poll, and making it very easy for the headstall to come off.

                                If you have a leverage bit, the action applies pressure at the poll to an extent, therefore not lifting the headstall off the poll, so no worries there.

                                A horse can still rub off a one year headstall if they scratch on their knee or something.

                                This...With the reiners we ride with a browband in a snaffle. If the horse goes in a jointed shank such as a billy allen or correction bit we ride with either a browband or two ear as they have better balance than a one ear. If the shank bit has a solid mouth then we might go to a one ear.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  OneGrayPony...it's against Coth law to post about a blingy new horse without adding photos.

                                  Do you have to change your user name now?
                                  You jump in the saddle,
                                  Hold onto the bridle!
                                  Jump in the line!
                                  ...Belefonte

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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                                    It can be pretty inconvenient to have one of those come unscrewed when riding. Happily, though in the middle of nowhere, I was on a horse that just whoas when you say whoa and I had the omnipresent piece of baling twine necessary to make the repair.
                                    Ugh, same thing happened to me abut 5 miles from the trailer, but it was the chicago screw on my reins and not the bit. Luckily I had a lead rope that I was able to clip to the bit so I rode home with one rein and one lead rope
                                    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                                    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Lol! MistyBlue, here he is in all his blingy goodness!!

                                      http://i.imgur.com/mUShO.jpg

                                      Sorry about the quality of the picture. Most of the time he is in my pocket and very very difficult to take a picture of!

                                      I rode him for the first time since he got here today, and he was absolutely delightful! I look huge on him because he needs to fill out some, and he is 14..maybe 14.2h (I'm 5'9" and used to 16.3h horses) but he's sooo level headed and wonderful.

                                      Thanks for all of the information, everyone! This western thing is all new to me, and I'm enjoying learning about it very much!!

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                                      • #39
                                        what a pretty boy!

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Here's another view, including his pretty face (he was snoozing in his hay). http://i.imgur.com/LBJ0F.jpg

                                          This is why I don't want to bung his face all up with leather! He's too cute!! I may now be a painted horse convert too!

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