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  • Clare Long

Bridles and Bits Introduction and Overview



Today's a new day of videotaping.

Beautiful Anna behind the camera as usual.

It is September of 2021.

What I thought I would do first today is a bridle and bridling segment.

I'm going to morph into a little thing about bits in a moment, so this is going to be bridles and bits, because while we're working on bridles, I might as well be teaching you about bits.

We're going to do both today in this little section.

That might be all we do today.

I'm not sure yet."

(Wiggly pony, being obnoxious because I have cookies in my hand):

"This is my newest pony in training to sell.

The reason he is wiggling so much is because I have treats in this hand and he knows it; so that's why he's wiggling around so much. So I'll give him an excuse for how much he's wiggling around right now because of the treats in this hand.

Sorry, he's looking for the treats.

He has to wait.

I usually don't have the treats in my hand because they do this, but in preparation for the video segment I'm about to do on bridling, I did put it in my hand.

Just a heads up you guys, I would not put treats in your hand because they do this.

I don't even put treats in my pocket because they do this.

Now, I know he's being obnoxious.

Don't think I don't know that he's being obnoxious.

That's my fault because I have the cookies in my hand.

Normally I wouldn't, I would have walked in, I would have given him the cookies, pulled the halter off, put the bridle on, but instead I got distracted and talked all about Mr. Twirl."

(Introducing Twirl):

"Let me introduce Mr. Twirl.

Twirl is my newest edition.

He's been here about half a month, about two weeks.

He's precious as you can see.

He's a pony.

He's about 14 hands.

He's about 10 years old.

He is a blue roan pinto pony. He's a grade pony, he's ranch bred.

You'll see he has a brand.

He has a brand on his shoulder, so he was clearly what we call ranch bred.

But he's unregistered, gosh only knows what he is.

I'll tell you guys what I think he is from looking at him.

What I think he is breed-wise, when you watch him go, you haven't seen him go yet, but when you watch him go, he presents himself with a very high neck and he's actually a really, really big sport pony mover.

He's actually an excellent mover.

Often these ponies are mediocre movers.

This thing moves like a Performance Pony.

That, with the way he presents himself really uphill, I see Hackney pony.

So I think there's a little Hackney pony in him.

I think there's some Paint, and he's ranch bred so I'm assuming Paint.

Also, I think there's some Welsh pony in him.

My guess is, he's probably a little bit of Hackney pony, a little bit of Welsh pony and some Paint horse.

Also, he came from Texas and so the Paint horse part fits into that as well.

That's what we're thinking he is breed-wise.

He's adorable.

He is precious.

He's perfect.

He came as a gymkhana Western rodeo trail, I-can-do-anything-with-any-child pony. Long mane.

He was a Western pony, Western, run around, gymkhana, everything pony.

I have pictures to prove it.

They're fabulous.

You'll see that when I run his full ad in a couple weeks.

But we decided to turn him into a fancy schmancy English pony.

Because of his movement, he's a super fantastic mover, because I have a picture of him jumping in a Western saddle and even in the Western saddle with a kid that's probably never jumped before, his front legs are really [typey 00:05:10] and up and even and beautiful.

His form over fences was gorgeous.

He came with the name Apache, but Apache feels like a Western pony. I wanted to give him a more English name to go along with his new persona.

So because of his forehead, can you see he's got a whirl here that I thought looked like a cyclone, so I thought about calling him Cyclone, but the connotations are not good.

Then I thought about calling him Whirl, but even those connotations aren't great, because you don't really want a pony whirling out from under your child.

And so instead I named him Twirl.

His name is Twirl, which I love.

I think it suits him beautifully.

I think it's a great pony name.

His owner, his current owner who's selling him, loves it.

So this is Mr. Twirl."

(The Power of Treats):

"But mostly what I want to show you guys is the power of treats.

I love the Mrs. Pastures Horse Cookies. I feel like they're the best cookies on the market.

Yes, they're a little more expensive, but I think they're the best tasting cookies on the market and the horses love them.

They're very easy to work with.

They don't go bad like apples and carrots.

When I first start bridling these guys, I give them the two Mrs. Pastures Cookies, and then I put the bridle on.

What happens after a couple weeks or a short period of time is that the horse or pony equates the bit with cookies and they can't wait, they can't wait to put that bit in their mouth.

They love the bit because they equate it with cookies.

Now, eventually you can stop giving them the cookies if you want, because the training's already been done and they can't wait to open their mouth for the bit.

But I like to sweeten the deal.

So my guys do get two Mrs. Pastures Horse Cookies when I put their bridles on.

So here we go for the beginning of our little bridle section.

For bridling, just pop the halter off and give him two cookies.

Just let him chew for a moment.

I'm going to show you different ways of putting the bridle on, but I want you to see the power of the cookies.

Because of the cookies, you can just dangle the bit in front of their mouth and they just take it.

It's marvelous because you have a horse or a pony that looks forward to the bit, and all of you, I'm positive, have run up against horses and ponies that won't take a bit.

In a minute, I'm going to show you what I call the baby horse style of putting a bridle on and that will help you so much with the horses that don't want to take a bit.

But if you give them the two cookies and they have that idea in their head, you can just hover the bit in front of their mouth and they just gobble up the bit and it becomes a really, really good experience.

I'm going to do it with the rest of my four sale horses for you guys today, just so that you can see it's not just Twirl.

All of my guys take the bit like that.

Even my horses that come to me and won't take a bit, after I work with them for a couple weeks, they can't wait to take the bit."

(Hunter Bridles):

"So while we have Twirl, let's talk about what I just put on his face.

Because Twirl is going to be a hunter pony, I put a hunter bridle on him.

The hunter bridles are usually brown, pretty much always brown and they usually have pretty stitching on them.

Anna, can you see the pretty stitching on the brow and on the noseband?

This is a very, very basic hunter bridle. It's nothing fancy shmancy.

I love these bridles.

They come from Dover Saddlery, they're Dover Saddlery's version.

This is a cob and it barely fits him because he's a pony.

It fits him at the very, very, a top, but it's a cob.

So it's a smaller horse size.

The prices are so amazing.

It's between $60 and $80 for this wonderful bridle and it comes with the hunter reins.

Hunter reins are braided.

That's very typical of the hunter reins.

I'll show you when I do my other bridles.

When I do my dressage bridle, the reins are different.

This bridle comes with the reins, pretty awesome.

Quality of the leather, really nice, really good looking, fits everybody great.

Somewhere around 80 bucks; you don't have to spend 400 bucks.

You don't, you don't, you don't, you don't.

You can spend between 60 and 80 bucks and get a fabulous bridle.

So this is a hunter bridle because he's going to be a hunter pony."

(Parts of the bridle):

"Then with Ms. Anna, we're going to just go through the parts of the bridle. I'm only going to do that once, because they're the same no matter what bridle you're wearing.

The bridle, parts of the bridle that every horse person should know about the bridle.

The crown piece is the part that goes over the top of their head.

So, over the pole, remember we talked about parts of the horse, why we need to know the name pole, the word pole.

The crown piece goes over the pole like a crown.

This is a browband.

Most of you know about the browband, because you can order any browband now.

You can get them in mega bling and I mean mega bling, total dazzle your eyes bling or you can just get nice and simple like this with the stitching.

You can get any bridle and put a different browband on it.

You can order the browbands by themselves and if you have a specific color for your horse or whatever it is, you can order a separate browband and put it on the bridle.

So crown piece, browband, this is called the cavesson.

With the English bridles, they're usually just the cavessons, just a noseband.

Just a noseband, we call it a cavesson.

Okay, crown piece, browband, cavesson, if you want to call it a noseband, fine, but it's a cavesson.

These are the cheek pieces because they run down his cheek.

Remember the parts of the horse?

These are the cheek pieces and this is the throat latch.

And that's all you guys got to know.

It's so easy.

It's crown piece, browband, cavesson/noseband, cheek pieces, throat latch. It's a no-brainer.

Crownpiece, browband, cavesson/noseband, cheek pieces, and throat latch. Super easy.

Western bridles pretty much never have a noseband.

Sometimes Western trainers will put a drop noseband on to teach the horse to keep their mouth closed, but pretty much across the board Western bridles do not have nosebands."

(Working the bit and Weepy eyes):

"I know he is working the bit, it could be that we think his teeth need to be done.

So that could be part of it.

I do have an appointment with the vet to have his teeth done.

Also, his eyes since he came to us have been really weepy.

You're going to see me wiping his eyes a lot.

They've been really weepy.

Just FYI you guys about veterinary stuff, if your horse's eyes are weepy and even though you've got a fly mask on and the eyes are protected and they stay weepy, sometimes it's because the eye ducts, the tear ducts are blocked.

Just a little veterinary sidebar.

If you've got a horse's eyes that just keep weeping and weeping and weeping, and it's not the flies and it's not the dust and it's not the smoke, they could have blocked tear ducts.

So the vet comes and they do need to sedate them.

I believe they always sedate them and they unblock their tear ducts, their eye ducts.

I do have an appointment with the vet to come to do his eye ducts and to do his teeth, just a sidebar."

(Full Cheek bits):

"This particular bit is called the full cheek.

I love the full cheeks.

Have we talked about bits yet?

Did we do a section on--?

We'll do a section on bits.

So this is called the full cheek.

They're my favorite.

I love them.

They're really wonderful for teaching the horses how to steer and they give you a lot more control over the horses' whole face.

So when you pull on this rein, it not only brings his nose around, but it brings the whole side of his face around.

I feel like the full cheek stabilizes the bits for me.

I really like the feeling.

Plus if you really have to pull a horse around, you're not going to pull the bit into their mouth.

I'm really big on the full cheeks these days.

For the dressage horses, I use a German training snaffle.

But for anybody that you're having trouble turning or any youngsters that are learning how to steer, I highly recommend the full cheeks."

(Taking the bridle off):

"When you take the bridle off, undo the noseband, cavesson, undo the throat latch.

Now this is really, really important: do not yank the bit out of their mouths, horse comfort 101.

When you take the bridle off, don't yank it out of their mouths, let the horse spit it out.

Take it from the crown piece and just let him spit it out.

Just lower it very gradually so it doesn't clunk his teeth.

One more time, taking the bridle off, let them spit it out.

Don't leave the straps closed.

Undo the throat latch, undo the cavesson/noseband, grab the crown, pop it over his cute little ears and then lower it letting him spit it out.

If you hear a clank, you're not doing it right.

Don't clank their teeth when the bridle comes off, you want the horse to want to wear the bridle.

We want the horse to be comfortable, right?

So don't make them uncomfortable by yanking the bit out and clanking their teeth.

It's going to discourage them from wanting to wear the bit tomorrow.

Let them spit it out.


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