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A Failed Experiment
#1
Remember awhile back when I was experimenting with possibly riding Terra with just a knotted rope halter with a rawhide wrapped noseband? Please also remember that I rode her this way with her D-ring snaffle bit bridle over this halter.

I tried riding her with the lead rope tied in a continuous rein along with the bridle reins. This way I could ride her through the lead rope but go to the bridle reins if the need arose. It didn't take Terra long to figure out I didn't have near the control with the lead rope reins than the bridle reins. I was able to ride her using the halter for several rides before she began trying me and then being total disobedient.

Like I said, my experiment failed, but not once was I in any danger because I could take control with the snaffle bit... which I did. I really thought it would work, but Terra refused to listen to the lead rope reins after awhile. I'll keep the rope halter & lead for ground work at home and as a spare halter & lead on camping trips, but riding her in just a rope halter flat out didn't work.

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#2
Some horses can be ridden that way, and some can't! What I found out from my Parelli days is that it will often work out initially, until the horse learns it is fairly easy to run through the halter & do whatever it wants. That was my experience with the two horses I took to the Parelli clinics, anyway.

Trish was riding her mare in a rope halter yesterday, but this horse is 20 years old (gorgeous, and still looks like she's in her prime!).

EZ2SPOT
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#3
Well, you win some and you lose some! Good you had a back up plan !

My own experiments riding in a halter with reins or lead rope weren't so hot, and I'll throw in bareback to boot:

FJORD LESSON: Short trip (uphill)from the arena and he decided it was a race with the other 2 . Gripped the mane and hung on...never again!

PONY LESSON: walking down to arena,fell and broke my wrist. Bareback (again!) ,fell after a spook and sidestep, left me with a wrist at a very odd angle[:O]. Don't think a bit would have even helped.

At my age, I need all the equipment I can muster to be safe.
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#4
It might be a coinsidence. Then again, maybe not, but ever since I've gone back to riding Terra strictly with the D-ring snaffle over her flat nylon halter when trail riding, Terra's seems to be a much happier camper. She just seemed out-of-sorts wearing the rope halter with the rawhide wrapped noseband. I'm wondering if it was irritating her or something [confused2. I do know she is what I'd call thin-skinned especially on the face and head.
"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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#5
That could very well be, especially with that wrapped noseband. A regular lightweight rope halter probably would not bother her.

EZ2SPOT
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#6
I think you have the right idea. Terra is probably right on this one.
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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#7
I switched Angel to the side-pull 3 rides ago and so far so good. We even had areally scary spin and leave spook that as soon as I applied just a bit of pressure she stopped turned and passed that scary hiker. She is starting to understand neck reining pretty good also!
BethAnn Stewart
Palmyra,Indiana

Lovie-gypsy vanner
Lad- Clydesdale


Do not take up the warpath without a just cause and honest purpose. Pushmataha-Choctow leader
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#8
A possibly relevant note -

I've been riding Seven without a bridle for a few minutes at a time since he was 2. At three yrs old Sandy used him in a demonstration show with just a loop of rope around his neck. I've worked the flag with no bridle and he has done just fine, ridden him all over our property and beyond bareback with no tack at all or just a halter, and never a problem. I've ridden him indoors and done demos on him with no tack, and he has done great.

The other day I was cooling him off, untacked him and started walking him out bareback in the large outdoor arena... and after a few minutes he went bonkers - running, weaving, changing leads, even bucking and kicking a little. Managed to steer him into a fence with my legs and didn't fall off, but it shocked me back to reality. I'll probably never ride him outside without at least a halter ever again. Not that he'd try to unseat me, but he doesn't understand that certain, uh... "expressions of joy" could endanger the rider.

We watch performances like Stacey Westfall's freestyle reining, and get the impression that a well trained horse doesn't need tack (Well, I do. Or did.). That might be true, but only under certain conditions. If you're not certain about how your horse will behave, and very certain about the conditions under which the horse will behave that way, DON'T CHANCE IT!
"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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#9
quote:
Originally posted by Arenadirt

We watch performances like Stacey Westfall's freestyle reining, and get the impression that a well trained horse doesn't need tack (Well, I do. Or did.). That might be true, but only under certain conditions. If you're not certain about how your horse will behave, and very certain about the conditions under which the horse will behave that way, DON'T CHANCE IT!



I've said this before but it bears repeating.
I was at a clinic where Stacey was giving a demonstration. One of the things she said was that she was preparing a horse for the bridless riding. She took him out on a trail ride - down the road. She had on a saddle, a halter and a lead shank. She didn't say what kind of halter but seeing her leaning to the natural horsemanship way, I would assume it was a rope halter. Another horse came alone, started running and her horse took off. Even with the halter and lead rope she couldn't get him stopped until he decided the time was right.

It could have had a disastrous outcome.

AD, I'm glad everything worked out ok with you and Seven, and thanks for sharing the first hand knowledge. (Lots of people read this forum and never post, so we don't know who this might help.) Kind of like the Stacey episode - with your link with Seven that should never have happened. Horses can be scary things sometimes, I'm glad you are ok.
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#10
I don't think I ever would feel safe enough to try bridleless, it just isn't in my bucket list! I have rode with just a halter but have chosen to leave that to others also. More power to those who choose to ride this way I just won't be with them!!
BethAnn Stewart
Palmyra,Indiana

Lovie-gypsy vanner
Lad- Clydesdale


Do not take up the warpath without a just cause and honest purpose. Pushmataha-Choctow leader
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