Tuesday, December 1, 2009

bitting case study and general update

I have been awol. Well giving carriage rides mostly every weekend and having things to do as always on the weekend I never got around to doing my Sunday stills photos and nothing in my archives made me jump right up to do the letter T. After all we already ate our turkey (so much for T's cause T-posts are boring) in the beginning of October, being in Canada and all.
Sunday morning really early I woke up with a mild case of food poisoning. Yacked my guts out but had to get up and feed the horses anyway. It must have taken me three times as long as I normally would to feed the horses that morning. They were incredibly patient. I went back to sleep until 10 and then felt alright to go out for breakfast.
The thing was I was so hungry. I wanted to eat and did but I felt like crap afterwards. I went back home and took a nap from 12:30 to quarter to 5 pm.
I never take naps. I woke up all confused and more sick. Fed the horses dinner and went back to bed. Woke up this morning feeling queasy and tried to find someone to go in and do my barns for me. No one answered the phones. Downside of being your own boss.
I went and got them all done and felt good enough to go to class that night. I feel great now. I never, ever, ever want food poisoning again. I believe it was from a ham sandwich I made at 2 am Sunday morning.

Oh yeah, the bitting case study: When I went to the one barn today the lady left me a 3 page paper asking me to sell her my bridle. Hahah!
See we have a slogan about the nurtural bridle: "Bring us a horse, any horse. Whatever he does in his regular bit or bridle he will do better in ours."
We haven't had a failure yet.
The lady rode all weekend with her young horse and old horse alike. She said, quote from the letter "I have progressed with kit(the young horse) more on this weekend than I have in the year of lessons with him. He is super responsive and there is no tail swishing or choppy transitions"
It makes me feel so good to know I can help horses and riders. Once people try it bitless is kind of self explanatory. First she rode in her bit going through the usual routine then she switched to bitless going through the same routine to see the difference. Her trainer was there to give her a pair of eyes on the ground and she was very impressed. I wish I could have been there.

Shes going to have my spare bridle for another week but she really wants one for her schooling.

There ya have it folks. Diehard traditionalist. Don't knock bitless until you try it, just like this case study. Hopefully a follow up later on how she is doing with the young horse bitless.


Jayke said...


I have a horse that I trained myself, and, aside from 60 days being finished with my trainer, I'm the only one who has ever ridden him. He's a great guy and I love him, but he has a bit of an attitude. I've come to the conclusion that his attitude is a result of the way I ride him, so I'm exploring ways to be more in sync with him. I want us to both enjoy our rides more.

How does one go about introducing their horse to a bitless bridle? Do you just throw it on and go? Where would I get one if I wanted to try it out?

Thanks for any information you can give.


Jo said...

I'm sorry to hear about the food poisoning. I have had it before and it sux.

I must admit I laughed when you said it was from a late night sammich.

Hey! my verification word is: waywol

Sydney said...

I love hearing that riders are looking for more ways to harmonize their ride.
It depends on the bitless you are looking for really. Personally I steer a clear path away from any hackamore that uses a curb chain as it is based upon pain upon the mental nerve, not communication.
Rope halters are very common, a lot of people ride in them who follow popular clinicians.
Bosals and sidepulls you can get at any tack store and are moderately priced.
However I look for a little bit more suttle communication so I use a cross under called the Nurtural bridle.
When we do out bit to bitless clinics first we have the horse and rider warm up in their regular bit or bridle. They go through their paces. Walk to halt, trot to halt and if they are experienced enough canter to halt. If they are discipline specific they do what they normally would, say jump or gallop around a barrel, do a spin or sidepass.
We then have the rider get off, fit the bridle to the horse, turn the horse left on the ground, turn the horse right on the ground and back the horse up on the ground. The rider gets on and does the same thing he/she did in their regular bridle and if we have a crowd they score the horse and rider in bit vs bitless. We have never had a bit win.
You can see our bit to bitless clinics on youtube if you type in nurtural horse.

Jo said...

the game

Sydney said...


Jame said...

I totally understand the reasoning behind the checks, which is why we've never used one with these boys. It took some serious training to get them to do just what you were talking about, which is put their heads down & engage their butts in their work. Hill training worked wonders. They used to be a show team, in a 6 horse hitch, which did use over checks & expected them to be high headed, & the weight they were pulling was nothing, & this is all they were used for. Lately I've taken to training them to put their heads down to be bitted so I don't have to stand on a chair by smothering hte bit in molasses, & the head tossing has gotten a lot less, but it's still there. Could be he's just bored, but it happens at all paces.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

One day I'd like to try the Nurtural. As you know I used the Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle on my mare for over a year and was 98% pleased with it and the way it made my horse more relaxed and comfortable. She easily took to the bitless and she was easy to stop and turn.

Our only issues came up when she was barn sour and wanted to go back home. She would lean on the bitless bridle and push her nose into it and then try to pull her head in the direction of the barn while we were out on the trails. Not fun.
I'd end up with sore shoulders, neck, arms and back for several days after playing tug-o-war with her.
And then the Dr.Cook's tends to get caught up when one rein gets pulled on, and the only way to loosen it back so the reins were even again, was to dismount.

Over-all I was/am happy with it and will probably use it again one day. When my mare goes in a bit, she rides with a higher head, shakes her head and opens her mouth wide as if she is not comfortable.

BTW, I think what you meant to write in your post is ""Bring us a horse, any horse. Whatever he does in his regular bit or bridle he will do better in ours."


"Bring us a horse, any horse. Whatever he does in his regular bit or bridle he will do better than ours."


Sydney said...

Thanks for catching that misake Lisa. Hahah I always read my posts over at least twice but I almost always miss something.

We get such a great number that switch from the dr.cooks to the nurtural for your exact same reasoning. My friend had a mare that she jumped/hunted in a dr.cooks. On a particularly fast paced hunt her mare was leaning on the bridle, wanting to run but she stayed in line. After she got off her horse she realized her mare had a literal DENT in her nose from her not respecting the smooth noseband! That was that, she switched and hasn't had the same problem. Your sore arm thing with babydoll is a training issue though, not a tack problem. If a horse is barn sour they are going to fight you in any tack until they realize it's ok to go away from the barn and be away.

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