Adventures in Bitless Riding

As we all remember because we’re scarred by imagining horse molar earrings Duke had a molar removed recently. He was on a regimen of handwalking/taking lots of cute selfies for a week and can now go back undersaddle. Bitless.

Thankfully he’s such a good egg. We rigged up this bitless Micklem contraption that has been fine. It’s funny though, because when I go to bridle him, I’m surprised every time that there’s no bit and I can just put it on his head. He is surprised, too, I think; he always searches for the bit with his lips and he seems slightly confused when there isn’t one there.

Last night I was thisclose to riding in the outdoor arena for the first time this year. It was a lovely evening and I could’ve had the whole thing to myself while lessons went on in the indoor. And then I came to my sense and remembered that, no matter how good a horse is, he is not to be trusted on the first outdoor ride of the spring. ESPECIALLY not without a bit, when such a thing is out of the ordinary.

So to the indoor we went. Our rides aren’t terribly exciting, lots of working on transitions within the trot (think: slow, now go, slow, now go). Steering can be…suspect. He’s getting better at going around just off my seat and legs but typically on a circle he gets distracted halfway through and thinks we’re going to go over poles or jump or something. Overall I think this forced foray into bitless riding will be good for both of us in terms of fine tuning our aids and not relying quite so much on the reins.

On another note, my Romfh International full seats arrived! And I was terribly disappointed. I love Romfh but these were not the right fit for me. They somehow gave me a muffin top in front, but gapped so much in back that I could fit three fingers between them and my back. I did like the idea of the higher rise in back than the front, the color was lovely and the construction was obviously top notch. They just weren’t right for me, so they’re going back, unfortunately. Back to shopping for the elusive perfect breeches!

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Bitless Riding

  1. Bummer about the romfhs 😦 love the rigged up bitless bridle tho haha, glad it worked! I hack my horse out pretty consistently in a mechanical hackamore (after first testing that he would respect it lol) and LOVE being able to just pop it on his face without dealing with a bit. Esp in winter time with cold fingers lol

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  2. Ugh the Romfhs… I have the International Full Seat Breeches too… I think I got them for a song on Facebook. They are nothing like my knee patch Sarafinas. I might give the Sarafina’s a try in full seat (and white) for shows.

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