Riding without a bridle is not the huge difficult undertaking that many people make it out to be. It is a simple, safe, practice that anyone can and should experiment with.
What! Am I really saying that everyone should go out and jump n their horse without a bridle!

No, I’m not. That would be dangerous and irresponsible.

To ride bridleless we don’t have to take off the bridle. All we have to do it not touch the reins.

Go out next time you ride. Lay your reins on the neck and see how long you can go without touching them. Find where you are relying on them as a crutch. Find out if you are using your body clearly, Find out if you are using your body at all to communicate!

It is the fairest way to introduce your horse to bridleless work too. When we drop all form of our normal conversation we are dropping our horse off the deep end. Confusion is a strong form of punishment. The kindest thing we can do for our horses is to be clear and concise in our communication. That means bridleless can be very stressful for them. Not a the utopia many people envision.

Go ride bridleless. In your bridle. Find the things you need to work on. Removing the bridle can come, with time. Or not. The utopia is in finding communication and comfort between you and your horse. Not in the lack of a bridle.



One thought on “Bridleless

  1. Dom

    Bridleless riding is something I do with all of my horses, and I start exactly the way you described above. Being able to w/t/c and jump without a bridle is a really cool way to test your communication. I have found that the really good endurance horses barely need you to touch the reins at all when you ride. I always joked that the horse I did my first hundred on (in a rope halter) probably could have done it with nothing on his face. He was awesome!

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