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    [RC] [Guest] Bitless Bridle - Ridecamp Guest

    K S SWIGART katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Mike Sofen said:
    > my question is this:
    > biomechanically, why would the bitless bridle cause the horse's
    > nose to go UP in this situation, when we would expect
    > them to give to the "bit" (noseband pressure) and thus flex at
    > the poll?
    Generally speaking, a horse's reflexive reaction to pressure is
    to move away from light pressuree and to move in to heavy pressure.
    So, its natural inclination would be to drop his nose if you put
    light pressure on it, but if you pull harder on the nose band, its
    natural incliniation will be to push BACK into the pressure (i.e.
    raise its nose).
    If the horse does something other than this, it is because it has
    been taught to overcome or ignore its reflexes.  So, unless the
    horse has been taught that the rider pulling hard on the reins
    means it is supposed to drop its nose and/or slow down, its 
    natural response will be to clench its jaw and lean on them.
    Rarely ever is constant hard pressure on both reins an effective
    method for communicating with a horse unless it has been taught
    (or probably more accurately, learned for itself) that what the
    rider wants is for it to drop its nose and/or slow down.
    Orange County, Calif.
    p.s.  With respect to the assertion that horses cannot keep 
    running with their hind legs crossed, it is simply not true--
    it's called a shoulder in. It is also not true that horse cannot 
    keep running straight (i.e. without crossing its legs) even with 
    its nose pulled around to the rider's knee, nor that the horse 
    has to cross its legs to bend its nose around to the rider's knee.  
    It is entirely possible (although it can be quite uncomfortable...
    for both horse and rider) for a horse to continue running at 
    breakneck speed with its head pulled all the way around.  If 
    the "one rein stop" works to stop a bolting horse, it is because 
    the horse has been taught this too.
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