In the Shadow of Horse

In the Shadow of Horse
In the Shadow of Horse

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Snaffle Connection

More communication can be relayed between a horse and rider with a snaffle bit than with most other headgear. A snaffle allows sophisticated connection in trained, knowing, and familiar hands. In progressive relationships, the horse and rider each knows and feels the other constantly and intimately. The slightest tongue move the horse makes is felt by the rider, and responded to appropriately. The tiniest finger touch to the rein, likewise, can relay the most timely and specific information. Headstalls without bits, or bridles with heavy curbs and shanks cannot detail refined communication like a snaffle can. Snaffles allow refined requests and responses to be taught. In the end, all can be cued from the seat, bridleless, after the teaching process with the snaffle and other headgear has reached ultimate fulfillment. These taught aids can later be overlain with classically conditioned seat and leg cues, and the snaffle can then be replaced with a bride-less contraption, or no head gear at all. Snaffles facilitate refined cue teaching and delicate responsiveness. Horses come to admire sophisticated, timely fingers. Here is an example of snaffle connection. The reins on Rachel are white, and Calvin's fingers, voice, and seat do the talking, and listening. Rachel tells Calvin when rein pressure is necessary, and Calvin listens. This is also an ultimate example of utilizing the horse's proclivity for flight.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=37TaDAMDIkw

Dr Gustafson is an equine veterinarian, veterinary behaviorist, and novelist. Behavioral approaches to development, training, nutrition, and conditioning sustain equine health and enhance performance. Behavioral and nutritional enrichment strategies enhance the lives of stabled horses. Training and husbandry from the horse's perspective result in content, cooperative horses. DrSid provides equine behavior consultations to help recreate the needs and preferences of horses in training and competition.
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