All Blog Posts Tagged 'bitless' (20)

Mia Says Fine, Cider Tells Me to Change My Plans


This week I changed things with my tack yet again.  I wanted to see how the mares did in the jumping cavesson bridle without the running martingle after all those weeks using the Spirit Bridle.  When I got to the stable on Wednesday it was already hot at 8:00 AM, and I got even hotter trimming Mia's toes.  With the hot weather Mia's hooves are growing really fast, and since I cut back my riding on Fridays because of the heat I had a lot of rasping to do! …


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 31, 2011 at 12:38pm — No Comments

Further Adventures While Being Parboiled


Hot, humid, bad air quality, smog.  Yep, that says it all about the weather in the summertime in the sunny, sunny South.  At least WE are used to this type of weather, I feel so, so sorry for you people further North who are discovering what people living in the South have known all along.  Summers can be as brutal as winters. 


Last week both mares told me that I was not…


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 24, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Riding in Spite of the Crippling Heat

And what can I write about this week?  For my lesson on Wednesday it was HOT and muggy.  Then it cooled down on Friday, when I could not ride, it didn't even get up to 70 F, nice, cool and breezy.  Now the heat is coming back in, this morning when I rode it was not too bad but the weathermen are predicting brutal heat by Wednesday.  It was nice to have a break in the heat. 


My riding…


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 17, 2011 at 12:08pm — 3 Comments

Now That my Reins are Right the Mares Differ, Of Course

I finally got the reins fixed on my Spirit bridle so I could use them without getting distracted.  Since Debbie is off showing at the NC State Fair this week I did not get a lesson, I could not even go out on Wednesday to ride since everybody was leaving early, right when I ride.  So Friday I cheerfully got out to the stable, my son was with me so he could do most of the work!  I got to trim Mia's hooves and for once she was not too kicky with her hind legs.  So we…


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 10, 2011 at 12:11pm — 1 Comment

From Spirit to Bit

Since I finally found a tack repair guy willing to make the reins of my Spirit bridle shorter I could not use my Spirit bridle this week.  Deprived of my new tack I sat looking at all my other bitless options and I remembered the sort of dead feeling contact with them.  I decided to see if I was right with my hypothesis that the feel of the Spirit bridle was so much like that of a bit that I would have no problems switching back to a bit.  So I sat looking at my…


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 3, 2011 at 12:10pm — 1 Comment

Bitless GP Dressage


Ok.  Here it is!.   Read the whole article and you will find that it was demonstrated ALL of the GP dressage movements in a bitless bridle.   The image shown clearly demonstrates the…


Added by E. Allan Buck on June 9, 2011 at 5:09pm — No Comments

No More Nappy Pony!


I finally got to ride Cider again today.  Since she had turned into a nappy pony the last four times I rode her I sat down and thought about her reactions.  I realized that each time she had turned nappy she had something between her front legs in front of her regular girth, first the anatomic girth and then the running martingle.  So today she got her regular girth, no running martingle, nothing between her front legs, and…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 29, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Changes Comfort Can Bring

First, let me send my sympathies for all of you affected by the wildfires, droughts, floods, tornados, earthquakes and other disasters.


I was not in my best riding form this week since I'm on an antibiotic.  My feet feel sort of like they are not attached to me.  My balance is not at its best either.  In spite of this I had some amazing rides, well amazing rides for me.  As usual I was…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 1, 2011 at 12:43pm — 1 Comment

Continued Amazing Results

The heat has come back to NC.  Both my teachers have already started murmuring about me coming out an hour earlier to ride.  My wonderful half chaps have come off--they are too hot.  Fortunately my new support stockings are tight enough so my lower leg has some idea of where it is.  Soon I will have to start riding in my ice vest, though I am delaying this as long as I can since the ice can trigger muscle spasms if I use it when the weather is still coolish.  We…


Added by Jackie Cochran on April 24, 2011 at 1:19pm — 4 Comments

Be more gentle to your horse!

Since three years ago, I removed the metal from his mouth, as I always felt it was cruel. We are now both happy. From the very first trial he showed positive and thankful response. He does everything better…


Added by Amir Khosro Alai on April 8, 2011 at 4:18am — 4 Comments

Oh. The Light Dazzles!

(dazzle-to blind or dim the vision by an excess of light)

Many, many times over the past few years I have faced Mia, the Arab mare I ride, with puddles. Like many Arabs Mia does not like crossing water. I have spent a lot of time coaxing Mia through these horrible puddles, and after some resistance Mia, the brave mare that she is, eventually crossed every puddle, and throughout the lesson she would improve. However let a few weeks go by without puddles and the next time out after it rained… Continue

Added by Jackie Cochran on December 19, 2010 at 11:26am — No Comments

There Is Just Not Enough Room

Well, I tried yet another bit on Mia on Wednesday, a 3-piece snaffle with a copper roller in the middle. While she was more accepting of the bit I was still getting some head tossing when I applied rein aids. Tear my hair out time, what COULD be wrong? I had lightened my contact, which she liked, I was doing my rein aids lighter and lighter, which met with Mia's approval, Debbie said my hands were fine, and what else could it be? Debbie and I discussed it and decided we needed…


Added by Jackie Cochran on November 28, 2010 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

The Consent of the Governed

BRRR. It is COLD outside, when I woke up it was still in the high 20's F with a brisk wind. Since I no longer have horses I could stay warm this morning. I am so glad not to have to carry feed (I always fed more for the cold), hay, warm water (to wet the feed), and break open the ice on the water trough. With my MS this had gotten REAL challenging. Such a luxury to be able to stay inside. No frozen fingers or toes, and I do not have to feel sorry for the shivering…


Added by Jackie Cochran on November 7, 2010 at 11:30am — No Comments

Some Thoughts on Using Bits

This month, both on the forum and on video, there have been discussions on whether use of bits constitutes abuse of the horse.


Let me be clear, if the rider does not know how to keep proper contact with the horse's mouth using a bit is abusive. From the pictures and videos I've seen in the last few years VERY FEW riders know how to keep…


Added by Jackie Cochran on October 31, 2010 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

The Summer of the Wellep Bit

This summer I decided to try out my Wellep bits and see if this bit really was a new, improved method of bitting. Usually when the weather gets hot the horses start politely refusing contact with my hands, and then I change to one of my bitless systems. My experiment was to see if the horses would voluntarily keep contact with my hands throughout the summer with the Wellep bits. I succeeded in this, I only used a bitless bridle once, when I forgot my regular…


Added by Jackie Cochran on October 10, 2010 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Cider Shreds My Ego and Mia Heals It

Last Sunday's ride on Cider did not go very well. I have been trying the Wellep Lever Cheek snaffle on her, seeing if I could use the bit while my hands deteriorated in the heat. At first everything went well, I used the bit through two stretches of 18 days of highs over 90 F and on Sunday we were into the third extended stretch of heat and high humidity. Two weeks ago I noticed that Cider was not reacting as well to the bit. On Sunday she lost all patience with me. All of a…


Added by Jackie Cochran on August 22, 2010 at 10:41am — No Comments

Dissolving in the Heat and Taking my Spurs Off

Summer is hard for most people with MS. The heat reduces the effectiveness of my nerves, and when it is really humid then my body can't cool down and my core body temperature just goes up and up. Since my ice vest was causing days long muscle cramps I switched to the system that works by evaporation, but since the humidity is so high the cool vest does not evaporate very well and I just get hotter and hotter.



I noticed that my…


Added by Jackie Cochran on July 18, 2010 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Trying out bitless bridles

Well, I am not entirely sold on the bitless bridle yet. We tried (mostly for the fun aspect) a bitless bridle on my mare - a very sensitive psp andalusian. What a ride. Wow, she was trying to figure that thing out from the very beginning - trying to anticipate our wishes. pretty much all she did was passage for the first 5 minutes, do some spins and maybe after 45 minutes could we get her to walk.

Trish Pitzel

Added by Trish Pitzel on November 11, 2009 at 7:10am — No Comments

Adjusting to the heat

Summer has now truly begun here in the South. Days in the high 80's and low 90's with extremely high humidity. I go outside and it is like stepping into a sauna. Next month I face temperatures in the high 90's and possibly up to the 100's.

High temperatures and high humidity make all MS symptoms worse. Within a matter of minutes, on a bad day, I can lose up to a third of my IQ, become almost totally unable to coordinate my body, greatly increase my tremor, and lose almost all…


Added by Jackie Cochran on June 12, 2009 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

A Matter of Comfort

For the last two years I have been experimenting with various bridles, both bitted and bitless on five different horses. Although I tend to be picky about the fit of my tack, and read and follow directions well I have noticed various degrees of resistance to rein contact with each different piece of gear. Lately I have been riding two mares (Arab and Arab-Welsh), trying out various bitted and bitless systems. I find that mares often express their displeasure a bit more emphatically than…


Added by Jackie Cochran on May 11, 2009 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

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