Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Bitless Bridle!

Got a new bitless bridle for Bodhi in the mail yesterday! We have had two rides so far and I have nothing but good things to say. It is a rope side pull, that I got from ebay from Knot Just Rope
I am sure I will invest in a Cook's Bitless or Nurtural Bridle when I can afford one but for now I thought this could be a nice alternative.
What I like
  • You can atatch it to any existing bridle you have
  • It comes in many different colors and styles
  • Soft rope ( I hate when it is stiff!) well tied and secure knots
  • The price!
  • How it is custom made for Bodhi's nose
  • The service : I ordered it on Friday- I got it on Monday

What I don't like
  • Nothing really so far!
  • It is a very simple design, I am sure someone handy could easily make this, but I am not one of those people
  • It may turn out to be too harsh with the two knots, if so I will put one of those fuzzies on. They have "gentler" designs though.
As I have said I rode Bodhi in it twice so far. He turns, stops and bends just as well in this as he does in a bit. Much better than riding in a halter! Today I played around with some sharp turns and a halt from the canter. It was perfect! I will take him out on the trail and in the big pastures for conditioning soon and try it out some more. The only thing I have lost is head set. That will come with training of course. I just need to figure out how...

As an aside I am wearing boy's pants that are several sizes too big (it is how a roll) They look really funny all bunched up around my waist and legs.... I know not riding pants!

I think the curb rope was a little loose but oh well!


  1. ohhh la la..I will check that ebay source out! Bodhi looks happy to be bitless! :)

  2. Curious... what's the difference between a bitless bridle and a hackamore? Or maybe there isn't one? We have a jumper at our barn who is jumping ten times better now that we've switched him to a hackamore and out of a bit. We think he was leaning into the bit upon take off instead of using his hind end to balance. Very cool stuff!

  3. Way to go! Thats basically a sidepull, rope version. I used to make these like they were going out of style way back when I made rope halters left and right.

    "The only thing I have lost is head set." See there is a difference between properly collected, collection coming from the hind end, back legs swinging underneath and in a frame and being forced into a frame with a bit (pain in the mouth) and being all strung out on the hind end. Unfortunately a lot of people hate when I tell them with a bit they never really did achieve collection, they just had their horses yielding to the pressure (or pain) of the bit and their hands. Same thing can be achieved with a noseband, just gotta get the horse to learn to yeild to pressure on the nose now. Little bit harder, there needs to be understanding there with bitless, not the pain of the bit when the horse tucks his nose in he can avoid it. I hope that helped some.

  4. Marissa- It is probably a jumping hackamore which is a type of sidepull! There are other devices called a hackamores which are mechanical (not so nice)used mostly in western. You can order the nose band part of the jumping hackamore and convert any of your bridles that way too! So cool :)

    Sydney- Notice I said head set not collection. Big difference in dressage! The bridle/bit is only used for the soft give and bend at the pole not for collection at all! I had specific cues for Bodhi to bring his nose up and down that now we must relearn. I think it is a bit presumptuous (and just wrong) to think I was talking about collection. Bodhi will need to learn new cues from the nose before I have that adjustabulity back. I could have done without the lecture! ;) Besides Bodhi is 5! Collection is a looong way away for us we still have...Rythum, Relaxation, contact (where I am having to retrain), Impulsion(what you are talking about coming from behind!), straightness, and THEN collection.

  5. He looks adorable as usual. I can't really comment on bitless as I have never used one and don't really know all that much about them. Good luck with it.

  6. My British dressage trainer taught Satin and I to use leg cues for her headset and collection. I stopped relying on the snaffle to "pull" her in to collect, and instead she learned to feel my seat and leg "push" her into collection. But I don't think you can be collected without that vertical headset, can you? My instinct says that if the head is not collected, neither is the body. But maybe that's not correct.

    I can't believe he's only 5 and he's such a good boy! You taught him well!

  7. Yeah to get collection you want the horse to be "between the aids" or to push the horse into the bridle as I have always heard it. You never want to "pull" like you said which makes sense if you want impulsion from your horse. I really love all of Jane Savoie's lessons and she says to imagine a basketball in your lap keeping your hands from going back and pulling. I do well with the visuals myself. I have no idea about the head set and collection. I know a horse that is not round through it's back or on the forehand could not be collected. Your instincts are usually correct so sounds good to me. Bodhi and I are a long way away from worrying about collection!

  8. I started my gelding with a sidepull and I'll use it on my mare when she consents to letting me ride her. It's one of the western style ones with the stiff rope that goes over the nose. If I rode differently it might have rubbed him but I taught him very early on to listen to my legs and seat and the rope never even moved his hair. It's all in how you use it. BTW- we're way too early into training to worry about headset or collection either.

    Good luck!