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Country Pleasure & Snaffles


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#1 Zoe

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:21 PM

How does one generally exercise their country horses in a snaffle? Do you use a german martingale? A running martingale? Draw reins (and direct reins- I'd never use draw reins as anything more than a reminder), do you use nothing, or...? I know that many different people use many different methods, and I'm curious to hear your own. :)

Also, have you ever shown country pleasure on a non-junior horse in a snaffle? If so, what was the outcome of that?

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#2 ArabHrsLvr

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:44 PM

Non-junior horses cannot be shown in a snaffle only. :(

I am switching Goody from a German to a regular martingale...

Michaela

#3 Zoe

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:51 PM

Non-junior horses cannot be shown in a snaffle only. :(

I am switching Goody from a German to a regular martingale...

Michaela


The rulebook says they can in country pleasure, I'm pretty sure...

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#4 ArabHrsLvr

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:57 PM

You're right...I just looked it up!

Learn something new everyday! Thanks Zoe :)

Michaela

ETA - Same goes for English Pleasure.

#5 windridge

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 06:03 PM

When I had my English horse I usually worked him in just a snaffle- no martingales, draws etc. However, he had a lot of issues with a full bridle (mostly the curb) so I frequently rode him in either just a curb or a full bridle hoping to help him gain more confidence. Not sure what had happened to him in a full bridle but obviously something bad. I thought about showing him in just a snaffle but never did.

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#6 WanderingStar

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:13 AM

I wouldn't encourage you to show a country horse in just a snaffle. Just because it's allowed in the rules doesn't make it a good idea. I saw a costume horse shown in only a snaffle once - it ended with the rider breaking her back.

I actually used to ride my HA country horse in just a draw rein, snapped to the saddle as high as possible. It worked great to put some elasticity into his neck, but unless you have very soft hands I wouldn't recommend trying it.

I would recommend schooling a country horse in a running martingale, with the rings set VERY high.
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#7 maryjo

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:36 AM

I wouldn't encourage you to show a country horse in just a snaffle. Just because it's allowed in the rules doesn't make it a good idea. I saw a costume horse shown in only a snaffle once - it ended with the rider breaking her back.

I actually used to ride my HA country horse in just a draw rein, snapped to the saddle as high as possible. It worked great to put some elasticity into his neck, but unless you have very soft hands I wouldn't recommend trying it.

I would recommend schooling a country horse in a running martingale, with the rings set VERY high.


ERRR? People FOX HUNT, JUMP, run cross country, etc in snaffles all the time. If a horse is good in a snaffle the horse is good in a snaffle.
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#8 WanderingStar

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:57 AM

ERRR? People FOX HUNT, JUMP, run cross country, etc in snaffles all the time. If a horse is good in a snaffle the horse is good in a snaffle.

I agree with you! I work my western horse in a straight snaffle all the time. Yes, it is possible. Yes, it can be done. No, it is not easy. No, it is not for everyone. No, I wouldn't recommend trying it right off the bat.

The danger with working in straight snaffle is that you have virtually NO way to resist a horse that decides to spit the bit. With a country horse, you already have a horse with a high-set neck, and you are encouraging them to go higher and higher. I'm not saying that if you ride a country horse in a straight rein it will automatically end badly, but WHY would you run that risk when a running martingale set loosely can save your neck?

When I say loose running martingale, I literally mean that if you wanted, you could have just straight contact without interference from the martingale UNLESS the horse acts up and spits the bit, at which point in time the martingale would apply leverage and help you out.
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#9 WanderingStar

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:13 AM

I looked and looked and the best picture examples I can find are on Mike Ferrara's website, from 2010 USN. Check out both the PB and HA English Pleasure Futurity classes. James Stachowski won both of the classes - he really doesn't rely on the martingale, but it is there as a training aid if you need it!
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#10 ArabHrsLvr

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:14 AM

Most babies are started in a snaffle. I am not understanding your explanation here. I have never had any horse "spit the bit" or run away with me in a snaffle, unbroke, green, trained or otherwise.

If someone is uncomfortable riding their horse with a snaffle and straight reins - the horse isn't the problem - the rider is.

I have had more horses pitch a fit with a double bridle than all the green horses I've started in a snaffle. Soft quiet hands are key.

Maybe I'm missing something here?

Michaela