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Old 05-21-2013, 12:54 PM   #1
Corry
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Default Is it true? Riding with only the alamar knot?

Hi!

Several times I heard and read that the highest level a bridle horse may accomplish is to having the ability to carry itself in perfection so that it can be ridden with no bridle at all but only with the alamar knot around its neck. Even when working on cattle. Sounds appealing. But I wonder whether this is true? Are there horses who can be ridden that way and riders who actually do it?

Happy trails
Corry
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #2
Baquero
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Originally Posted by Corry View Post
Hi!

Several times I heard and read that the highest level a bridle horse may accomplish is to having the ability to carry itself in perfection so that it can be ridden with no bridle at all but only with the alamar knot around its neck. Even when working on cattle. Sounds appealing. But I wonder whether this is true? Are there horses who can be ridden that way and riders who actually do it?

Happy trails
Corry
This is a very reverential thing to talk about with los viejos. (old timers) The alamar knot test is a once in a blue moon personal test a vaquero would do in private. This is not a part of the bridling process, instead it is to test the level of training the horse has received. It actually works against the collection that has been built in the bridling process. If ridden this way for more than a short period the horse will begin to stretch out and lose any collection they have obtained.

The test was to be done in a small area, and again only once in a long while. It helped test self carriage and how fully trained the horse was. You would not try and perform ranch duties with the alamar knot.

The alamar knot was tied around the horses chest as a badge of honor. It marked the horse as "finished" but very rarely would the two loops wrapped around the horses neck as part of the knot be used for the test. So to answer your question, yes and no. There are horses that could be ridden with the alamar knot today, but it isn't something you would want to do continuously. The alamar knot is a beautiful symbol that should be reverenced and respected. It should only be worn by horses who are not just in the bridle, but are straight up. Riding bridleless is a completely different thing. Excellent questions!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:53 PM   #3
Corry
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Originally Posted by Baquero View Post
This is a very reverential thing to talk about with los viejos. (old timers) The alamar knot test is a once in a blue moon personal test a vaquero would do in private. This is not a part of the bridling process, instead it is to test the level of training the horse has received. It actually works against the collection that has been built in the bridling process. If ridden this way for more than a short period the horse will begin to stretch out and lose any collection they have obtained.

The test was to be done in a small area, and again only once in a long while. It helped test self carriage and how fully trained the horse was. You would not try and perform ranch duties with the alamar knot.

The alamar knot was tied around the horses chest as a badge of honor. It marked the horse as "finished" but very rarely would the two loops wrapped around the horses neck as part of the knot be used for the test. So to answer your question, yes and no. There are horses that could be ridden with the alamar knot today, but it isn't something you would want to do continuously. The alamar knot is a beautiful symbol that should be reverenced and respected. It should only be worn by horses who are not just in the bridle, but are straight up. Riding bridleless is a completely different thing. Excellent questions!
Thank you very much for your profound answer. The way you explain and describe it is wonderful. Your answer left me breathless. I think I now understand the idea. What you write makes perfect sense.

Last edited by Corry; 05-29-2013 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
DocsMinnieElixer
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I've ridden my horse bridleless many times, and she will do any maneuver I ask of her in a neck rope that she will do in a bridel. I still do not consider her a traditional bridle horse. She was trained like a reining horse so she operates of your seat and looks to move off any rope or rein on her neck. I think any horse who has a good stop off your seat and neck reins well you can ride half decent without a bridle. So I dont know that it is an effective tool to "test" your bridle horse. Though if you had to go out and rope and do a days work on the ranch without a bridle it would sure put your horse to the test. I find a lot of the time my horse does certain maneuvers, such as spins, better without a bridle, and that just tells me I'm getting in her way with the bridle on so I've got things to fix.
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