View Full Version : Hoping to use a bitless ...
20th May 2007, 09:05 AM
... with my new pony. She is a 10 year old 13.2hh Sec A x Arab mare. Very forward going (she is an endurance pony) and can be strong (not nasty, just wants to go fast, fast, fast :D ). Her current owner has tried various bits with her and an english hackamore (which was ok, but only when out hacking - on a competitive ride in company, she found she needed some more brakes). She is at the moment back in her eggbut snaffle and a running martingale (she has a naturally high head carriage). I rode her on a 3 hour ride on Thursday - bridleways/lanes in a local woodland area and over a disused airfield. I find that if I don't let her 'get away from me', ie change up a gear and go into her huge extended trot or canter, then she is fine - but there were a few moments going towards gates or roads where I was having to pull hard on one rein to get her to slow down :eek: I do lots of half halts/transitions to keep her listening to me, and she has been schooled a lot in the past year and is 100% better than when I first rode her 3 years ago (she now does a very slow 'show pony' canter - as slow as a walk - and a quiet trot, which she can do literally all day :) ). However, she can pull so hard all day that she has a sore mouth at the end of it :rolleyes: I would love to get her going in a bitless - any suggestions on a good one to use (I assume she would then have to go without a martingale?), and how best to do this safely? If not, any suggestions for a bit, that will stop her pulling so much but not hurt her mouth? Our instructor thinks a pelham or gag, at least just for competitive rides, may make her realise we do really want to slow down!
20th May 2007, 09:19 AM
I'd personally try a Dr Cook. Tess is a thoroughbred version of your pony and just loves to go, and you do have to keep hold of the front end if you want to keep a steady pace, which she'll do all day. I'm not aware that she's ever made her mouth sore though.
I have a Dr Cook for Rio that fits her too, so in the spirit of experimentation I tried her out in it when out by ourselves to see what would happen, and was pleased with the results. In fact we've not hacked in a bit since and I've done lots of fast work in company without any issues. On the odd occasion I do have to insist with her I can now do so with a clearer conscience :)
Bitwise a lot of people find something like the Myler Combination good for this type of horse too.
20th May 2007, 10:16 AM
From that description I'd put her straight in a loosering waterford snaffle, eventually u'll beable to get rid of the martingale too as this softens them. I hack mine that was in the waterford in a hackamore, find it better brakes than the dr cook to be honest.
20th May 2007, 10:34 AM
Might be worth looking at the one rein stop? If you do a search on the forum there are some really good threads about it, Kate Wooten & Harry Hobbes seem to be the gurus! My mare has been really good recently & I haven't had serious braking problems but I think that's partly because now the going is not so slippy, I let her go if she wants a bit of a burn. Come the winter this will bite me on the bum because she will want to go, even if it's slippy & dangerous. By then my objective is for us to have learned the one rein stop as a technique to get her back to me when she tries to get away. If I don't get my finger out & do this, I know I'll regret it...!
20th May 2007, 12:46 PM
Thanks for those suggestions - will look at them all more closely when she is here and I have ridden her out/in the school a few times. I really want to get rid of the martingale - hate having the reins pulled down, and I find when she is hard to stop that her head has actually gone down. I use the One Rein Stop, as I ride my other pony in a bitless bridle and originally restarted her using Parelli (which you use only one rein with at the beginner level), so now naturally just use one rein at a time. Penny's current owner rides very differently to me - she will use a strong constant pressure on her mouth, as well as leg/seat aids, which will mean she comes back to you (over the top in my mind - she has had draw reins used on her a lot and now will over bend when asked to trot sometimes, rather than going forward) and you have good control - but that is hard work on the arms/shoulders and I would rather go in a more relaxed style. I hope to reschool her to respond to more subtle aids and realise that I want to go fast where possible (sometimes I will ask her to gallop when she is not expecting it - most people just hang onto her head and hold her back all the time), but there are times where I know best! I think she will also improve with more riding - just once a week at the moment. Ali xx
20th May 2007, 05:19 PM
I'd always go for a rope hackamore whatever the horse but I guess it has to fit on with the training;)
24th May 2007, 08:29 PM
I have a thumbs up here for the happy wheel bit my horse has gone well in it and he can be very strong, I havent had any trouble with steering and have gone jumping with it.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.