Gaining insights from losing the bridle

Even though Foster isn’t with me at the moment, I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I learned from our last rides.

On a night when the cold temperatures kept the other boarders away, we had another nice quiet evening in which to test those bridleless skills again. Since I’m nowhere near as brave as Carly, so I opted to keep my saddle and again warmed up with the bridle, since who could say if our first ride was a fluke!

Carly of Poor Woman Showing, way more of a badass than myself

Carly of Poor Woman Showing, way more of a badass than myself

When things seems to be going just as swimmingly as the time before, I slipped the bridle off and played around a little more.

I wanted to see if I could do lateral movements without using rein aids, and in general these exercises were fairly revealing.

First, it became quickly obvious to me that Foster wants to continue to lean on the left shoulder. Considering the weak front right fetlock and right stifle issues, this really isn’t all that surprising in itself. I suppose what was nice to note was that the leaning isn’t also in part due to my less-coordinated left side, since there was obviously no rein for me to flail around.

I was also surprised that I had more control of the shoulders (bar a bit of leaning) than I thought I would have with no reins. Granted, I am still using the neck strap as a “blocking” aid for the shoulders when need be. So we practiced leg yields and some other transitions, as seen in the video below.

Since this ride I’ve also introduced riding in the arena bridleless with other horses around, as I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to play just because others were also riding. Though I played fairly conservatively and picked my moments to try certain things, Foster continued to be a champ. I even peer pressured got my friend A up on him with no bridle, and she was able to walk, trot and get transitions without reins.

Overall, I’m glad I tried something new, and was able to learn from it. If Foster comes back we will continue playing around with no reins. And if not, well, here’s hoping the next horse is just as great at helping me let go.

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5 thoughts on “Gaining insights from losing the bridle

  1. i’ve had a couple rides where i’ve tried to let go completely of the reins (steering exclusively from the martingale neck strap when absolutely needed) and my mare actually does really well with it too. actually she might kinda appreciate it when i let go lol. never tried the lateral stuff tho… could be enlightening!

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