Welcome to my blog. I hope to introduce you to different bitless bridles and how they work, share some transitioning and training tips as well as other useful points. I will also introduce you some of my musings on aspects of horsemanship and share my journey with my beautiful horse Ember, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A bit of bodywork

I love having the Chiroprator to my horse. It gives me a chance to find out if there is any soreness I hadn't detected and to know what sort of shape she is in.

So after having the winter off, it was time for a check up before we start exercising.
Many thanks to Emma Hustler who is always amazing for my horse and my dogs.

So what is the verdict?
Generally ok, but she would stay in better alignment if she was fitter (point taken, time for some exercise). Her pelvis is straight (I have had a lot of problems over the years keeping her pelvis in alignment due to an injury she had as a youngster) but she is slightly down in the right hip which was corrected. She is starting to show signs of wear and tear in her hindlegs, exercise will help but also it is time to think about a supplement. She always seems to have some soreness in her back, without being ridden. After a discussion we decided that this was due to her front feet as they were not really conditioned to be barefoot as well as they should be. So her feeling soreness was making her move in a way which was causing soreness in her back. Despite always being barefoot and following a diet that is generally good for barefoot horses there is still more that could be done to improve the condition of her feet.

So the next steps:
Review her diet and management to improve her feet.
Exercise in her boots until her feet improve.
Watch this space for more updates.....

Sidepull bridles

I am going to start the posts on what types of bitless bridles with the Sidepull.

These are the simplest of the bitless bridles. Anyone who has attached a leadrope to either side of their headcollar and ridden in it has used a sidepull.
It works only on the nose, either on the front of the nose when pressure is applied to both reins or on the side of the nose if one rein is used. It gives a direct rein aid and is considered mild as it doesn't have straps that tighten round the nose, jaw or face, nor does it have any leverage on the poll.

It can be made from a variety of materials
Rope - a rope halter halter with rings either side to attach the reins.
Synthetic materials - webbing or beta biothane available either as noseband attachments or a complete bridle.
Leather - also available as nosebands to attach to a bridle or as a complete bridle, sometimes with stabilising straps.
Sometimes they are available in leather with a very stiff rough rope noseband, either or single or double rope (often available from western shops) these nosebands can be quite harsh on the horses face so should be used with caution.

I find that the sidepull is one of the best bridles to start a youngster in, the aim in bitless is to try and achieve the lightest possible feel so starting with a simple bridle and teaching the horse to respond to that lightness will produce a responsive horse.

Thanks to Vicki of Inspirational Horsemanship for the use of her photos.