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Posts Tagged ‘bridle’

We are doing our annual spring cleaning of the barn and tack room and have discovered much horse tack that needs to find a new home. Most of it is brand new or used only once for a photo shoot.

If you are looking for bits, bridles, trailer boots, blankets, sheets, scrims and much more…………..browse our tack shop for great bargains on high quality items.

courbette-8100-350w   TB10-trailer-woof-1    HI-scrim-navy-81-500w

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Hi Cherry,

I am a very young person and i have a greenbroke arabian i green broke him myself but i cant get the bit in and he  always jerks back and i cant put it on the way i am supposed to cause i am shorter and his head goes up a long ways what do i do to keep his head down so i can bridle him. Maci

Hi Maci,

Did you read this post Head Handling?

Here is another article from my website: Difficult to Bridle.

Once you have read those articles and taught your horse not to fear you touching his head, ears and mouth and you have taught him to open his mouth – all without the bridle being anywhere around………then when you bring out the bridle, it will be easy.

You might also want to read this book.

I suggest using this bridling method – you ask your horse to lower his head, put your right arm between his ears with your right hand holding the headstall. Your left hand presents the bit to the horse’s mouth. This photo shows the first bridling for this horse which went well because he had done all his homework !

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If you are going to use a bit when training your horse, the logical choice would be a snaffle bit. Alternatives to using a bit are bitless bridles, bosals, sidepulls, halters and tackless. These topics will be discussed in future posts.

A snaffle is a mechanically simple bit that allows you to communicate with your horse in simple terms.  A snaffle bit transmits pressure in a direct line from your hands on the reins to the rings and mouthpiece of the bit to the horse’s mouth.

©  2010 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information

On a snaffle, there are no shanks.  Shanks are the vertical sidepieces on a curb bit to which the reins attach.  Shanks create leverage action.  The snaffle bit operates via direct pressure only. The mouthpiece of a snaffle can be jointed or solid.  The misconception that any bit with a jointed (or “broken”) mouthpiece is a snaffle has given rise to the misnomers: “long-shanked snaffle”, “tom-thumb snaffle”, and “cowboy snaffle”.  All of these are really jointed (or broken mouth) curbs.

The most common snaffle, the jointed O-ring, has four parts: two rings and a mouthpiece comprised of two arms.

A snaffle is customarily used with a brow band headstall that has a throatlatch.  Often a noseband is used with a snaffle.

Snaffle Action The snaffle is useful for teaching a horse to bend his neck and throatlatch laterally so that he can be turned in both directions.  It is also useful for teaching a horse to flex vertically in the lower jaw, at the poll, and at the neck muscles just in front of the withers.  Vertical flexion is necessary for gait and speed control as well as for stopping.

The bars are the flesh-covered portions of the lower jawbone between the incisors and the molars.  This is where the bit lies.  It is the action of the snaffle bit on the bars of the horse’s mouth that produces vertical flexion.

With a regularly configured snaffle, when one rein is pulled out to the side, let’s say the right, the bit will slide slightly through the mouth to the right and the primary pressure will be exerted by the ring on the left side of the horse’s face.  This will cause him to bend laterally and turn right.

When the right line is pulled backward, pressure will be exerted on the right side of the horse’s tongue, the right lower lip, the right corner of the mouth, the right side of the bars and on the left side of the horse’s face.  This will tend to cause the horse to bend laterally and begin to flex vertically so he shifts his weight rearward as he turns right.

Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill

Making Not Breaking by Cherry Hill

When you pull backward on both lines, pressure will be applied to both corners of the mouth and across the entire tongue and the bit may contact the bars and the lower lips.  This causes a horse to flex vertically, shift his weight rearward, slow down, or stop.

Your hands have the capacity to turn the mildest bit into an instrument of abuse or the most severe bit into a delicate tool of communication.  Above all, good horsemanship is the key to a horse’s acceptance of the bridle.

The introduction of the bit and bridle occur during ground training such as longeing and ground driving.

Longeing and Long Lining the English and Western Horse

Longeing and Long Lining the English and Western Horse

Cherry Hill

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In-Hand Checklist

©  2010 Cherry Hill © Copyright Information

In-hand work is often thought of as the basic operating procedure to get a horse from point A to point B. There is much more to it than that.

Whether you are working with an untrained horse or trying to improve the manners of an older horse, start from square one and spend plenty of time on these lessons. They will help you immeasureably in the next stages of training, longeing, long lining, and riding. Throughout in-hand lessons, give special attention to tack selection and fit, consistency of a horse’s performance, the horse’s position in relation to you, and, at the top of the list, safety.

  • Can be caught easily
  • Can be haltered smoothly
  • Can be turned loose safely
  • Will walk on a lead alongside handler, handler on near side
  • Will walk on a lead alongside handler, handler on off side
  • Will perform the following maneuvers with handler on either side:
    • Walk
    • Trot
    • Stop
    • Turn left
    • Turn right
    • Back
    • Turn on the forehand
    • Turn on the hindquarters
    • Halt on the long line
  • Can be easily led with the bridle
  • Can be led with halter or bridle away from other horses
  • Can be led over obstacles such as
    • Ground poles
    • Plywood or platform
    • Concrete
    • Plastic or tarp
  • Can be led by obstacles such as
    • Flag
    • Tractor
    • Plastic on fence
  • Is easy to lead through a gate
  • Is easy to load into a trailer
  • Stands still when tied to post (no pawing, chewing, swinging hindquarters)
  • Stands still when cross-tied
  • Picks up and holds up each foot for hoof care and shoeing
  • Moves over while tied when asked
  • Stands quietly for clipping, reasonable sacking, saddling, bridling
Horse Handling and Grooming by Cherry Hill

Horse Handling and Grooming by Cherry Hill

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