Bridleless riding

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Bridleless riding

Post by Sydney on Tue May 12, 2009 8:31 pm

I had imagined doing this but never fathomed it being so soon. Indigo and I are bridleless in an arena/pen! Wow.



Indigo can be kind of a brat sometimes. She has her days when she
argues my every move. I think I finally have reached that place
where we have an understanding and feel of what the other is going to do before you actually do it.



I had this idea a week ago of riding with a crop and using it to
prevent her from nabbing at the grass, a terrible habit of hers.

Anyway it started as me tying the reins in a knot, grabbing the loose
end and a handful of mane and testing her will not to grab at the
grass. It turned into refining leg cues (shes already very push button)
and eventually using just seat/leg to change directions, stop and back
up ten or so steps.


Today I was riding around and she was doing real well. I was doing
spins and stops and turns on the forehand and haunches without even so
much as a finger on the reins. I reached down, undid her bridle and
took it off. I then tossed it over the fence and rode her for a half an
hour in the pen bridleless! What a good girl. I never imagined she
would be the horse I would be riding around with no bridle on! I love
how if I would look in a direction her neck would curve and match my
line of sight before I even started to apply leg pressure. What a good
feeling.



A friend of mine wants to have a step by step on how I was teaching her
to turn. Hopefully there will be a video or pictures as soon as I can
get a camera person out. It's a fun thing (even with the bridle on) to
do with your horse.

I've got a young 4 year old I re-started this spring. She knows how to
move away from leg pressure but I think this might get my point across
quicker and without the nagging leg.

With Indigo before she would sidepass or however you asked but not more
than 5 feet without tail wringing. Now she will sidepass forever
without so much as a flick of an ear.



I hope I am on to something Wink
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by lightertouch on Wed May 13, 2009 3:52 am

Sounds faaaaab Sydney! Its exactly the thing I'm working towards with my horse. Though she's only 6 and the last lesson I had was about 6 yrs ago (!), I'm everso pleased that I can change her pace upward by leaning forward and lifting my seat a bit. We're not quite so hot on slowing, but its a work in progress Smile I'm working on steering just by looking where I want to go and 'focussing' on it. Its soooo rewarding to have such sensitivity after riding school and BHS instruction advocating the constantly nagging leg. That kind of thing isn't just grim for the horse, its way too much work for me!

Congrats, sounds like you're doing fantastic work!
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by HorseHippie on Wed May 13, 2009 8:19 am

Congratulations on your achievement! You must be very proud of Indigo and yourself!
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by Cyndi on Wed May 13, 2009 8:43 am

Way to go Sydney and Indigo!!! I would love to have that kind of relationship with Fanny someday! That is the ultimate "dance".
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by fin on Wed May 13, 2009 3:23 pm

I jnow what you mean Sydney, though I haven't got as far down this road as you as I haven't taken the bridle off my pony, but that focussing rather than using your leg all the time really works, I have the opposite problem with my pony as he can be a bit dozy, particularly in the arena, and the more you nag the less he listens. I've been using the bitless since the end of last summer but mostly for hacking. now I've returned to the schooling he seems much more relaxed and willing to go forward. Like you I had a lovely afternoon in the arena because I put him into canter and he just seemed happy to canter forever. Last year I would have been red in the face, out of breath and stiff as a board after a couple of circuits. Cynics might say it's becausse he's had a winter oout of schooling but I've done that before and he's never come back quite so willing before. Look forward to your videos.
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by Sydney on Wed May 13, 2009 9:34 pm

I've asked my professor and hopefully for my behaviour minor assignment I can use my bridleless riding.
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by bohohorse on Sat May 16, 2009 12:42 am

Well done Sydney Very Happy We love bridleless as you can see from our avatar Laughing

It's a great exercise and a 'diagnostic' test for yourself - you can test your seat and balance, your reliance on the reins and also see if your hand and leg aids are contradictory (if you think your body is saying left and your horse goes right...)

Having said that I don't think it's the be all and end all as some do, it's not the pinnacle of riding (though of course it needs preparation as it will show up any holes in your training!). But it is an extremely useful exercise and bags of fun! Sounds like you're getting it down to a fine art Wink
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Re: Bridleless riding

Post by Sydney on Sat May 16, 2009 12:55 am

Oh I do have one picture, sans helmet I do go with a helmet 90% of the time.
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