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I'm new and have never been on an endurance ride but I have a horse that I
am training with the hopes of being able to compete in the next couple of
years.  I have seen sidepull bridles and I'm interested in trying one but
I've never used one and I would like to know what the mechanics are and
how to use it appropriatly. I have also seen the sidepull used with a
snaffle and am wondering about that too. I'd apperciate any suggestions.

Marlene, you'll find quite a bit on sidepulls in the archives, the subject
up periodically.  In the meantime, here's a quick answer:  the pressure is
on the noseband.  I first used one with a rope noseband that took all the
skin off
Spirit's nose in half an hour (thin-skinned horse).  Switched to biothane
from Sporttack
and have never had a problem with it.   You gain by not having the bit in
the horses mouth,
allowing them more freedom to drink/eat on the trail -- you trade it off
with a possible
loss of "control" depending on how well your horse listens to you.

Since you don't have the same level of "control" as bits and mechanical
hackamores, etc.,
provide it's worked best for me to break the horses into it by first using
a ride or two in
the arena, then a quiet trail ride, then a training ride, then one with
other horses.  The first time
I rode in a sidepull at an endurance ride, I snapped on the bit-hangers
and rode in a snaffle
till the first VC, them popped it off and just used the sidepull.  that
was several years ago and
haven't used a bit since.   I think the last comment answered your
question about seeing them
with snaffle bits.  Some come with the "bit hanger" attachments you can
put bits onto and use them
as needed.

Good luck.

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