Jackie Cochran's Blog – May 2009 Archive (3)

Behind the bit



Back in 1970, when I began riding seriously, my BHI (graduate of Morven Park) instructor introduced me to the concept of behind the bit quite early in my riding career. What she said:

1) DON'T DO IT

2) It was a sign of bad horsemanship

3) Good riders NEVER rode behind the bit, at the top levels it JUST WASN'T DONE.

Almost 40 years later, everywhere I look, horses ridden behind the bit are EVERYWHERE, in all disciplines, winning top prizes, including medals at…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on May 28, 2009 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

Why the heavy hands?

When I started riding seriously 38 years ago, one of the top achievements of any serious rider was to develop SOFT & EDUCATED hands. Beginners rode with loose reins until they developed an independent seat, advanced beginners through intermediate riders concentrated on developing soft hands, and advanced riders were acknowledged for their soft, educated hands. In fact if you did not have soft, educated hands you were NEVER considered an advanced rider, and were spoken of just as a…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on May 20, 2009 at 2:30pm — 6 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…

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

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