My Introduction.

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My Introduction.

Post by renoo on Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:19 am

Hello. I am from Latvia, and my horse is kind of a mixed blood Latvian Warmblood gelding, currently four years of age (and a half).

I started riding when I was quite small, but not very seriously. Always dreamed of a horse, but never though I could really have one. And then, on my 16th birthday I got the best present ever - a nice, kind of rideable, darker chestnut mare. Happy was the summer I spent training with her over jumps, and riding in the woods and then... either something in her not-so-very-happy earlier years, or an unlucky sliding, but she became incurably lame. I was quite desperate, because I didn't have any relatives that could take a lame horse into a retirement home for free board, slaughterhouse was not an option (I was negatively surprised with the amount of people who suggest me THAT as a solution )... so I was stuck with riding other horses and just walking around with the mare....

of course, nobody did ride without bit - except riding to and back from the pasture (that was quite far) with only halter, bareback, holding another horse...

Then I was advised to breed her, what I did, and so my dream horse came into this world. until he was weaned, I managed to find a good retirement home for the mare, and I started my way to starting a young, black stallion.

While he was growing up, I did learn alot of new things - like that there are people who ride bitless, and even bridleless, and so, when the time came, I started my then already a gelding in a cavesson. attached reins on two side-rings, and off we went. Since there wasn't anybody who could teach me how to work in this bitless device, and my horse was the first one I ever rode bitless (don't count halter-riding fun thing), I was going ve-e-ery slowly. I was quite convinced I would have to change to a bit when trotting, as I thought I could not control him. Nope, was fine in the cavesson. Then I started to ride with a bit for a few times, and then changing back to cavesson, and again to bit, and I became convinced there was not too much difference in what was on his head - the "turns" and "brakes" were very equal. Then came canter - I started to ask canter from him, because he was offering me to canter - thus I believed he was balanced enough to canter...

Then I pushed him too much, because I wanted to start some hacking, at least to cool off in the hot summer through the nearby forest. I know I was asking too much, I was taking a risk, and he bolted, because I failed to notice that he was too scared and get off to lead him past the scary object, go back, and then ride. I was too cofident, and then he bolted - I experienced the most perfect wild gallop in my life - and I could not stop him. I was in the cavesson, and was not too sure what to do. Eventually I managed to turn his head and make him drop out of the rythm, and we slowed down, and went back.

At that moment I was perfectly sure it would have been much worse with the bit, because the panicky me would have definately caused more pain, more frustration for the horse with the bit...

No, I don't do Natural Horsemanship, just the plain traditional riding, only without a bit. I have not yet thrown away the bit, but I think it will accumulate a lot of dust in the future...

I'm the only one in my stable who rides bitless, and I'm kind of probably considered a bit crazy. Yes, we have some problems, but they don't come from not using the bit but my lack of riding skills. so, while the people look at we with a look of bewilderment, its not negative, I hope they will look at us and maybe try the "bitless thing" with their horses...

(pictures coming later, I hope)
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renoo

Posts : 9
Join date : 2009-09-16
Age : 32
Location : Latvia

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Re: My Introduction.

Post by HorseHippie on Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:29 pm

Well hello there!

We have read your other posts and we finally get to meet you!

I am sure you will love it here and a big welcome from me!
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Re: My Introduction.

Post by fin on Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:53 pm

Hi Renoo, I've not had time to check in here for a while so this is a belated welcome. What a story! It reads like the pony books I used to read when I was little! Look forward to seeing the pictures of your horse.
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Re: My Introduction.

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:19 pm

Hello Renoo,

Also aplopgies for the belated welcome

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Horses are only dumb animals to those who don't listen
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Re: My Introduction.

Post by Cyndi on Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:50 pm

Welcome Renoo! I think I have talked to you in other conversations, but I didn't officially welcome you in here
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Re: My Introduction.

Post by renoo on Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am

With some changes in my life, I totally forgot about this forum. sorry for that. but I decided to share my goings from that point onward, and I would like you to comment something, if you have something to say Smile

The autumn and winter of 2009 went by quite peacefully. I was riding mostly with the sidepull, sometimes with the bit, because my trainer said she didn't have a clue how that bitless thing was working, and suggested me to use the bit. I agreed, because we needed a trainer. The following spring I went trail riding with my stable buddies. I realized my horse had learnt a bad thing of just suddenly turning left and around. always to the left, and it didn't matter if we were first or behind some horses. I could not block him with the sidepull (he was pulling me through) or the whip. First it was just funny, then annoying, and eventually he turned around and bolted home at top speed. i managed to stop him, turn around, and then he turned and bolted again. it took me a lot of time and effort to stop him at that moment. I got off quickly, we went to find the horse that was going in front of us, and went home.
Since then I went trail riding only in a bit, leaving the sidepull for the field. With money problems and a hot summer I left training behind. We were quite happily riding on the arena, because we had no company for the woods. Then, one day, I decided to go walking after a training with just the horse, sidepull, and bareback - we had a small circle around the territory. then my horse hears people working in the woods, jumps around, bolts, and, with the uncomfortable package (me) on his back starts bucking, awhich throws me off. luckily, I'm almost unhurt. This threw even more fear in me, as you can imagine. Eventually I packed my stuff and in winter we moved to a natural horsemanship stable which is also natural in the sense that horses live outside 24/7 all year around. since he was living in an outside box before, the change wasn't too severe, and he was really happy.
The people in this stable are way more inclined to trailriding, then the dressage people in the previous stable. as I was still pretty scared of trails (even though that's the favorite part of riding), I was still putting the bit in. Everything turned around - I was thinking bit for training and serious work, and sidepull for pleasure, but - it was just the opposite.
Since winter came with a lot of snow, it was just trails until all the snow melted. in the spring the local trainer restarted coming to us, who is training pentathlon-ists, and dressage as well. BUT she was all for bitless riding, so we went to train with the sidepull. Then I decided to try out a hackamore, the normal english one. We (me and the horse) didn't like it. it was too sharp, even when wrapped in sheepskin, and with no chain under the jaw. THEN we tried a home-made version of a LG bridle, that included a lever. it was a small lever, I think half the length of a normal hackamore, and - WE love it! We have started to go trailriding in it, and I have a pair made for me. Both my bit and my sidepull are hanging on hooks on the wall. I think I might go back to the sidepull once. When my horse is older, smarter, and we will be able to communicate better. And the bit... Well, since bitless is not allowed for dressege over here as well, if we ever get to competing, maybe I will have to put it in. still, I'm thinking I could go in the hackamore thing for a non-official competition, just to prove the horse can go this way as well.
I'll take a picture of the hackamore, so you know what it looks like!
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renoo

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Join date : 2009-09-16
Age : 32
Location : Latvia

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Re: My Introduction.

Post by Cyndi on Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:17 am

Great to see an update from you Renoo! I'm happy that you are in a barn that seems interested in more of the same things as you. I hope it all works out for you. How nice that your trainer likes bitless bridles!! That's wonderful!

All the best to you!
Cyndi
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