How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

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How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by FlorayG on Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:34 pm

A friend of mine wants to go bitless. She rides with me a lot. Her pony is very well trained and she rides well. Even though the pony has never , ever been ridden bitless before I would myself happily ride him out on the open hill in a halter with no preparation because I know how well she has trained him.
Yet she can't bring herself to do it - she has this mad idea that she will lose all control.
Now, it's bad enough when you know people who poo-poo bitless but how do I help a friend who wants to do it but can't bring herself to?
Any suggestions? She admits to being a real worrier, though - it doesn't help
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by Sydney on Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:58 pm

I have yet to fail convincing someone*knock on wood*. I have a lot of knowledge from university and I take pride in how much I know about bits. The more I know and learn about bits the more I want to ride bitless. I guess it's the same with people I talk to.
It's knowledge that helps me convince people of why the bitless bridle works and why bits don't.
If you can explain to someone exactly how a piece of equipment works/doesn't work using the horses anatomy it becomes 100% easier to convince them to try it.
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by Jo on Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:56 am

you said you would be happy to ride her pony out bitless - would she let you do that? It would be a great way to show her..... or how about swapping ponies for a bit - let her feel what its like on your chap to ride bitless
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by FlorayG on Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:12 am

She's ridden Kitty - she thinks that Kitty is OK bitless because Kitty never runs off, and because I've trained her and my friend thinks I am some sort of genius. Her pony never runs off either, and I didn't train it. She has a real mental block about this! Although I might try it, it's an idea I hadn't thought of myself - I'll offer.
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by lightertouch on Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:18 am

Or you could offer to leadrein her out Shocked If she doesn't mind feeling about 6????!!
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:38 pm

One thing she could do is put a bitted bridle on over the top of a bitless, she could ride with the bitless and leave the reins for the bitted bridle knotted on her pony's neck then if she feels like she needs it she can pick up the reins.

This is a great way of making a transition from bitted for bitless for people who are convinced that they are going to suffer an immediate loss of control, or suddenly their pony is going to start running off when bitless.

She will soon realise that she hasn't needed to touch the bitted bridle reins and be more inclined to try the bitless on its own.

You riding her pony bitless is also a great idea, nice one Jo Very Happy
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by bohohorse on Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:55 pm

Get 'er on the forum Very Happy

You know what I'll say... '5 inches of metal between you and disaster...?'

She sounds like shes pretty clued up but getting rid of a deeply held belief is hard. Might help to come across more people who are doing it with horses of all shapes, sizes and temperaments and not coming to any harm.

My EP has a friend in South Africa who trains all the horses sent to her yard bitless. When anyone says 'oh it depends on the horse' she goes mental! about 400 horses she's trained so far...
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by FlorayG on Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:18 am

"Get her on the forum"
Ha ha ha. Ho ho ho
She doesn't even have a mobile 'phone - hang on, she doesn't even have an answering machine on her HOME 'phone
Computer? nononononooo...

Anyway this was in part a general question - what do you do to encourage peple who are interested?
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by bohohorse on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:11 am

If they are online friends, I answer any questions they have, and send them links for the Yahoo group (now the forum of course), Wendy's bridle site and suggest they email her.

If it's people I know in person I answer the questions (always the same ones!) offer to lend them a bridle and I have ridden other peoples horses bitless.

But thats as far as I go and I only respond to enquiries or talk about it when the topic of bitting etc is raised and I don't try to convert people. If you persuade someone into something then you are responsible for their decision. There's a quote in Dr Cook's book, something like:

'Time makes more converts than reason'

I think you have to set an example, put the information out there and just let them get on with it.
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by PiePony on Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:54 pm

Some good answers, I am less tactless than nice bohohorse. I say that research for health benefits brought me to barefoot and bitless and until scientific evidence and persuavive intelligent argument point me in another direction, I will follow neither tradition nor fashion, but the best reasons put forward for my horses benefit.
To back that up, of course Dr.Cooks articles from www.bitlessbridle.com but also top trainers like Fritz Stahlecker:-
Fritz Stahlecker has trained several horses to Grand Prix and the highest levels of dressage using this method including the world class stallion Weyden.

Horses are like children, their ability to learn is greater in the first years of life. If horses are carefully and gently trained in-hand in the first years of their life, their qualities will be fostered and perfect results can be achieved later on.

With his exceptional hand-saddle-hand method, Fritz Stahlecker shows how to train movements up to advanced dressage exercises with young three-year-old horses, gently, without stress and considering important sport psychology aspects. If the horse is then backed at the age of four, the rider can start on an already advanced horse that knows the exercises and that has already developed the necessary muscles to carry the rider without any problems.

"Legerete" - riding without a strong influence of the hand, is what every rider should strive for. This is part of the Romanic school of riding. Using a special extra padded schooling bridle the horse learns basic exercises without the rider's weight and without a bit. His mind gets challenged, yet there will be no resistance which has the positive result of no tension or wrong movements. Anyone that prefers aesthetics and creativity rather than force and strength will love this method.


These DVDs demonstrate a comprehensive method of training the young dressage horse through to the top levels of the sport by working the horse from a young age in-hand, then using ridden work before coming back to the in-hand work again to develop collection and cadence.

Fritz Stahlecker is well known for his work throughout the years with difficult horses. His opinion is the biggest mistakes result from a violent use of the reins and his method helps to nurture the horse's physical well being and trust.
I have as yet not invested in his CD/Video but am hoping Ebay might sometime have a version in English as my language skills are limited.
Also neckline driving from TTeam article here http://iceryder.net/necklinedriving.html which again shows halt without bit or weight aids.

Might be difficult to persuade the better marketed trainers who have followings, that like Nevzorov there is a way to reform methods and approaches without losing face to the fan club.

Although I doubt I shall be competitive anymore, it is a part of me I cannot deny, I might be tempted again, even though my body is less supple and I have a fat pony not a sleek athletic Thoroughbred, therefore I cannot join Nevzorov's programme. Hope some more of his videos leek out from his website and inform those who may be interested.

Susie xx PiePony
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by Sydney on Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:48 pm

I think this would better explain people who are opposed to bitless
Explaining
anything to sportsmen is useless. They will not understand or accept
it. They are a specific sort of people, who, according to a Zen
teaching, "do not have a cup":
'When a stupid student asked a Master
of Zen a difficult question, the master replied - "I can answer your
question, but I won't, because you won't understand me.
Imagine that I have a kettle of tea, and you're thirsty. I can pour you
some tea, but you need a cup. And you don't have one. If I pour the tea
into your cupped palms, you'll burn yourself and scream in pain. We'll
damage your palms, waste tea, wreck the newly done floors... and you
won't even get to taste the tea.
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Re: How do YOU encourage people to make that step?

Post by bohohorse on Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:10 am

Lol, just read this quote... that's a good one. Not many people get to taste the tea...
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