Will an English bridle give us more control?

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,190
16,770
786
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
We ride english and endurance an love to run and trail ride. We have a large field, and we love to gallop and run the horses there. We have a very fast mare, Lucy. She is unbeatable in our races, and runs over 40 MPH. We love to run her, but she has no middle speed. You can trot her, and walk her, and she is a great listener, but if you ask her to lope, she lopes for a second and then, runs. We are wondering if an English headstall, since it has a nose band, will give us more control, to keep her from taking off, and to give us more control while we are running. We love to run her, and we have no problem with her incredible speed, but would like to have more control while she is running, and when we are asking her to go slower. I any of you know if an English headstall will help, or have any other input, please say. Thanks! Avery
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,664
84,221
1,522
Wisconsin
I don't think the head stall makes that much of a difference. Generally it's the bit that controls the horse. There are soft bits like snaffle, and more harsh bits with long shanks. What are you currently using? I used to use a hackamore. The type and length of the chin strap, bit shank length, and what's actually in the mouth are what offers more control. Lots of bits to choose from depending on the horse and your goals.

Teaching the horse to move slower based on cues should be the goal. Riding in a controlled situation or working on the ground in a round pen may help. I'm no horse expert though. Just someone that rode a lot when I was younger. So hopefully a more experienced person can help out.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
19,948
74,902
1,217
SE Missouri, USA
Your horse needs more schooling. I personally rode English and loved it. If you can find a good instructor, take a few lessons, they can help whether you want to ride English or Western and are well worth the investmrnt. It's not just to make your rides more fun, it's a safety issue. Your horse could run you into traffic if you don't have good control of her.

My suggestion is that when your mare begins to run away - because that is what she is doing, IMO - is that you shut her down. Do not let her race uncontrollably. Run her for a little bit and then bring her back to a walk or a trot. If you cannot do that, circle her in a tight circle. If she has gotten to a high speed, you will have to start with a large circle and bring it in to smaller circles until she slows down, then walk, trot, run, circle. Just don't let her get out of hand. Sometimes take her out and don't run her at all. And NEVER run when headed back to the barn!

I don't think a noseband has anything to do with it. Keep your hands light and don't let her get the bit in her teeth. Give and take with your hands to keep the bit on the bars of her mouth. Don't get in a pulling match with her, she will win. Pull to one side, lightly, give and take. Keep the bit moving in her mouth but don't sawblade it in her mouth, just give and take with your fingers so she plays with it with her tongue.

When you bring your hand across her neck to move her, say, to the left, don't crank her head to the right. Let her head move to the left. It's a common mistake in neck reining. You have to control both reins.

Whoever rides her for a while needs to stop letting her run "all out" until she understands that it's the rider who calls the shots, not her. Good luck!
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
8,190
16,770
786
Small town in Western Washington
My Coop
My Coop
My suggestion is that when your mare begins to run away - because that is what she is doing, IMO - is that you shut her down. Do not let her race uncontrollably. Run her for a little bit and then bring her back to a walk or a trot. If you cannot do that, circle her in a tight circle. If she has gotten to a high speed, you will have to start with a large circle and bring it in to smaller circles until she slows down, then walk, trot, run, circle. Just don't let her get out of hand. Sometimes take her out and don't run her at all. And NEVER run when headed back to the barn!
We do have lots of little tricks like this, we use them, and she responds. She is a good listener, and listens really well to body language. Though when we allow her to run full speed, which we are fine with, it is so fast, more control would just be nice. She is such a mellow horse, you could throw almost anyone on her in our backyard, but as soon as you reach the running stretch, the tricks and lots of control come into play. Anyway, thanks for the extra tricks, we definitely use circles, and zig zagging when needed. If you really work with her, and use the tricks, she will stay slowed down. So the english bridle is not gonna give more leverage or control then. I guess that makes sense. We don't have much experience with what bit is best with her though, we are just using the bit we have always used, which is a normal snaffle bit. Thanks for the input!
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
19,948
74,902
1,217
SE Missouri, USA
When you say a snaffle, do you mean a divided bit? A bit with a joint in the middle? This is what I used when riding English. This allowed me to pull directly on either side of the horse's mouth. If I wanted her to turn left, I pulled the left rein directly toward me, turning the horse's head to the left. If I wanted to ride Western I used a curb bit. This is a one-piece bit with a curved raised section in the middle. If you want to turn left, while holding both reins in one hand, you move your hand to the left so the rein crosses over the horse's neck. You keep a slack rein when riding Western. In English you keep light contact with the horse's mouth.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
19,948
74,902
1,217
SE Missouri, USA
We are mostly looking for more control I guess, and leverage when she is running. Less concerned about her training and listening skills. Thanks for the responses! Avery
That's the point, though. You can't have control over a 1,000 lb animal traveling at 30 mph unless she is listening and obeying, and that takes training. Otherwise someone is going to get hurt, possibly seriously.
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Premium Feather Member
Mar 5, 2019
19,948
74,902
1,217
SE Missouri, USA
It's not just about leverage and control. If the horse is running on her right lead and you crank her head to the left, she can actually lose her footing and go down. This can happen so suddenly she can fall on the rider. You don't want that! You need to know what you are doing. You need to know what a lead is, and how to tell which lead your horse is on. She sounds like an amazing horse, and if you take a few lessons you can enjoy her speed safely. I wish you luck!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom