Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

Continuing from yesterday's post, one often sees dedicated Parelli natural horsemanship (PNH) practitioners riding in hackamore (bitless) bridles, or completely bridleless. I find these feats moving and I aspire to this kind of partnership with our horses. For the time being I'll stick firmly to the philosophy of "least bit necessary" -- Tonka responds well to an eggbutt snaffle, and I have ordered the same for Raven. There's hundreds of variations on the bit, but they basically fall into two categories. Curb bits use leverage created by the reins to twist the mouthpiece while snaffle bits use direct pressure from the reins on the mouthpiece. Either can be uncomfortable for the horse (PNH argues that any bit is unnatural, though apparently sells them), but curb bits are generally regarded as more severe. The variety in both types is mind boggling, and I regard most as band-aid gimmicks advertised to solve deeper problems. What do you think?

1 comment:

dt said...

I find it unlikely there will ever be anything particularly natural about my horsemanship, so I will be grateful for every little bit of control I can gain (ha ha).