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Old 05-04-2014, 10:34 PM   #1
Baquero
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Default Riding Bridleless

Here is a video Deeth Harney made of him riding his bridle horse Cap. Deeth purchased this horse as a 2 year old with 60 days riding on him. The video was made when this horse was six. He was mainly just messing around on his horse. You don't ride a bridle horse bridleless for very long. But there is a lot of things you can pick up from the video. How important it is to ride with your body, and how little you should actually have to pick up on a bridle horse.

I have heard tooo many people who believe if they control the face they control the horse. In a lot of ways you have to think of it the other way, if you control the rest of the body the face will for the most part take care of itself. You can't micromanage a horse in the hackamore, you have to give them their face a lot of the times.

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Old 05-05-2014, 04:56 AM   #2
Tosch
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I'd wish I could ride like that......

What jumped to my eye, though, was that when he wanted to make the circle smaller he leaned/shifted his weight to the inside. For a long time I did the same, reasoning behind it: I have more weight to the inside, horse tries to get himself under my weight again to balance himself and thus makes the circle smaller. Then I have been introduced to putting my weight more to the outside so my weight (and legs, reins) acts like the outer boundery (like the panels of a round pen) the horse has to stay or move away from. (The actual weight shifting gets a bit more complicated but this is the principle).
I know both methods work. And each way can be explained (at least to me) so that it seems to be the one and only "correct" way.

I'd be interested to learn which method you prefer :
-own body weight to the inside to make the horse move to the insided to regain his balance or
- own body weight to the outside when you want the horse to move to the inside
- your reasoning behind what you do.

Thanks!
Tosch

Last edited by Tosch; 05-06-2014 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #3
Jimmy
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This question is asked a lot.
My answer is neither.
The most optimal place to be is in the middle. From the beginning, our reins have to establish good position. Using your weight to guide a horse can lead to the horse always traveling unbalanced, always trying to get balance, without being balanced. It can also lead to a rider leaning towards the direction.
My opinion is that the horse balances himself over four feet. While in motion, the horse is weighting and unweighting his legs constantly. To fix your weight in any one position is what goes against the horse in motion. One moment one leg is weighted, while another is not, depending on the gait. Impossible to constantly shift your weight to keep up with all that. The horse can do it better than us anyway. The best thing your seat can do is to move with the horse's back, and stay centered with his balance. The horse is capable of all his movement after he has learned to carry us in the center.. The best place to stay out of his way is in the center of him as much as possible, with your weight equal. We can affect the start of a movement or transition with a weight shift, as a signal, but we should not remain there, but get back to center.

Last edited by Jimmy; 05-05-2014 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:56 AM   #4
Tosch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
We can affect the start of a movement or transition with a weight shift, as a signal, but we should not remain there, but get back to center.
Jimmy, when you affect the start of a movement with a weight shift, you shift your weight away from the (front) foot the horse is unweighting, so you shift your weight to the outside? And then you float/balance with the horse's back movement while staying on the center of the back? While the rein is the "stabilizing tool". Thank you.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:34 PM   #5
Jimmy
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I only said that because we can affect a movement with our weight, but we shouldn't. Simply put, I want my leg (my calf) to signal movement and activity. My reins direct where it goes. When a horse gets handy, he is quite comfortable picking up and putting down any foot he wants to with us on his back. He doesn't need us to be shifting around up there.
The assumption is made that by shifting our weight to unload a foot helps the horse. But it just loads our weight on another leg which at the very next instant he needs to move also. We cannot possibly shift around enough to keep up with that. So the assumption is wrong. It is not workable. The horse is strong enough to move any of his feet in any direction while he carries us. So the best place to be at all times is centered over his spine and move with it. He is then free to pick up and put down any one of his feet, or pairs of feet. We can establish the pace and the rhythm and the direction.
So to answer your question, neither.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:47 PM   #6
Jimmy
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The horse needs to shift his weight under us in such a way as to be able to pick up and move his feet. If it is just a front foot you want, then he either needs to shift his weight to a back leg, or step forward. But we do not just move one foot at a time usually. The horse uses all four to balance and carry himself in motion. He is better at doing that then we are at trying to direct each foot fall. Trying to do that takes all the impulse out of the horse, making them feel sluggish.
A horse can learn to follow your weight. He can also learn to move away from it. But there is nothing physically compelling about either. It is what we do consistently that teaches him habit of a response. So again, I think it is better not to use weight shifts. Teach him how to carry us in balance.
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Old 05-07-2014, 12:11 AM   #7
Tosch
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I thank you for your time and for so clearly explaining your thoughts!
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:28 AM   #8
Baquero
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In the video Deeth did a good job of staying in the center for the most part. I always try to do with my body what I want he horses body to do. If I want a horse to pick up his shoulder by picking up on the rein my ribs lift and could be considered the "unweighting" that cues the horse to lift his shoulder. I do think that we sometimes teach people to ride exaggerating body movements. I have found that my horses respond much better to consistent riding than what we deem is correct. If I know the way I want to ride and do it consistently my horses will pick up on it more than if I play around with shifting my weight to move his body around. My "weight shifts" occur more in my pelvis than anything.
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