THE CORRECT WAY TO USE A BITLESS
BRIDLE. . .
. . . . . . . .
Bitless bridles come in a wide variety of styles and materials including :
CROSSOVER/CROSSUNDER BITLESS BRIDLES
SIDEPULL BITLESS BRIDLES
UNDERCHECK BITLESS BRIDLES
MECHANICAL LEVERAGE HACKAMORES
BIOTHANE (which is a hardwearing leather look-a-like material)
However which style or material you choose doesn't really matter as the bottom line here is that all of these designs work from the simple premise of “PRESSURE & RELEASE” and as
long as your horse understands this concept, which is easy to learn and understand, which bridle or halter he or she is ridden in is realistically just for the riders preference of what type, material or style the human likes best or suites a particular discipline/sport etc...and this will have an effect on the success of how its used.
For example if the rider believes that say an Sidepull Bitless Bridle doesn't work, then ironically it probably won't work for that horse-when ridden by that rider....as the horse is so sensitive that he often picks up on our mindset, plus the riders dedication to learn about how to use this type of Bitless Bridle correctly and successfully has been compromised by their negative beliefs and attitude about it, and sadly this will effect it's use and inevitably the outcome of the bridles success.
So which type of bridle you ride your horse in really has no bearing to their acceptance, as they are
ALL easily understood by
ALL horses as long as they are used with gentle pressure and in the
correct way, so please allow some time for re-training your horse both on the
ground before you ride, as well as in the saddle, as to get them used to this
new device. You should always use the REINS
using all other subtle riding aids noted below in order to ask your horse
to make a turn, or stop etc…
Also nor you will immediately see a resistant horse turn into a well trained obedient mount through the use of a bitless bridle, though we often do see huge improvements to a horses willingness to work, once ridden bitless. However this is the start of the horse listening and being more willing-it is not the end, so your training will need to be consistent and constant to improve your horses overall schooling, and it's so much nicer for him/her if this can be done bitless.
HOW TO CORRECTLY USE AND RE TRAIN FOR A BITLESS BRIDLE:
BITLESS RIDING SUCCESS IS DOWN TO THE CORRECT TRAINING OF YOUR HORSE FROM THE HANDLER/RIDER, WITH THE ABILITY TO OFFER FAST RELEASE AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD CUES AS FOLLOWS…………..RE-TRAINING-Please don’t just hop on your horse with this new bridle as this is a new tool and some basic retraining is required before use. Firstly make sure your horse is in a left brained, calm and relaxed frame of mind as no learning takes place when your horse is stressed or frightened. Start by carrying out some simple but exaggerated turns on the ground WITH THE 4 PHASES as shown below, including turning left and right, backing up and most important of all stopping. We also advise that you teach your horse a one rein stop too but that is for all bridles, whether bitted or Bitless-please Google for heaps more Information on this.
APPLYING REIN PRESSURE-Only a little pressure is needed when using this bridle so please do not be rough on the reins or the horse will resent it and start to object by showing resistance. We should never try to force the horse…..but politely ask for your equine to go in the desired direction and Rein pressure should be applied as follows as to encourage the horse to be light, soft and responsive………
PHASE 1—apply a slight pulsing tension on one rein with 1 finger pushing and releasing off and on -continue at that light rhythmic pressure for 10 seconds-if the horse does not respond by trying to move his weight in the correct direction, only then move onto phase 2 if he complied-RELEASE
PHASE 2- If the horse did not respond at phase 1, you can add additional pulsing tension to the rein with 2 fingers on and off, and continue for a further ten seconds-if the horse does not respond move to phase 3-if he complied-RELEASE
PHASE 3-again if no response was achieved at phase 2, add a little more pulsing pressure with 3 fingers for a further 10 seconds-wait for a respond then increase if none shown to phase 4-RELEASE to a slack reins at the second your horse tries to do what you’ve asked
PHASE 4-this is the highest phase you should go to-add more rhythmic pressure with 4 fingers to one rein and hold steady and firm until the horse tries to move….(RIDING ONLY-if he doesn’t move you are not using your other aids correctly so make sure all these are being released to show your horse he has done the right thing. The faster you can release the
more responsive and lighter your horse will be. Then ask for 2 steps in the
same way as above, until your horse is responding consistently to the bridle…..and
then enjoy J as with every repetition
you will both improve with the use of this Bitless bridle.
RIDING-the first time you
ride your horse in the new bridle please use a smaller fenced off area to
practice until he or she gets used to the new device. Use the exact same
routine as above with the addition of all the others aids now being applied
1-EYES & FOCUS-concentrate on where you want to go next and focus your eyes in that direction, which your horse will read from your body language-this will help guide him to where you want him to go-with practice it can be made to look like you are doing nothing to steer him
applied in addition to the rein). RELEASE when he tries to move for you.
THE RELEASE-The milli-second your horse even tries to move his weight in the direction you want him to go please RELEASE ALL pressure on reins and offer complete slackness of the reins (RIDING ONLY) and release all other all aids quickly and relax as this shows the ho
2-BODY- steer with your shoulders, stomach & body to where you are headed for-your horse will feel this & learn to follow that “feel”…….and with practice he will know your every cue –exaggerate this to teach your horse & refine once he understands what you want J
3-LEG PRESSURE- (PLEASE DON’T EVER KICK YOUR HORSE-IT’S SO RUDE AND COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY)- we ask that you gently push your horse in the desired direction with your leg pressing against his body & squeeze with both legs to ask him to go forward…..you can also use a “whip whop” or “giddy up” device as to add “energetic pressure” to motivate and encourage her/him to move-release all pressure as soon as the horse responds as to show her/him that s/he has done the right thing- if you don’t release fast enough you will make your horse dull –the horses reward is the release and s/he will try harder and be more willing the next time you ask if you continue to do this J
4-YOUR SEAT-you can use your seat to add weight or remove weight in the necessary direction that you wish to go-for example lean back to stop or sit straighter to go
5-REINS-only AFTER using all the other riding aids above should you gentle and lightly use the reins for a turn or stop etc…please don’t micro-manage your horses every movement with the reins-once he goes the way you want release the tension and let him do his jobJ Please feel free to email us at email@example.com for our free after sales support
Natural Horse will not be liable for any injuries sustained by the incorrect use of these techniques as you are responsible for you and your equines safety.
The information provided on this site is to offer you written support only and cannot replace that of a physical instructor for your horses training, therefore we advise to employ the services of a qualified horsemanship trainer to help you implement this advise, as Natural Horse NZ will not be responsible for the incorrect applications from this advice, as you are responsible for you and your equines safety.
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