Friday, 3 November 2017

Bridless Jumper class

Even with one refusal and two rails, which dropped them to 24th in the placings, Melanie Ferrio-Wise  was delighted with her performance at the Washington International. She rode the course with a neck rope instead of a bridle!

She describes her horse as a tough horse unable to handle the stress of his previous life in competitive dressage. “He doesn’t like when I put a bridle on and micromanage him. Learning that made me be a better rider for him.”

There is no rule that says jumpers must be wearing a full bridle, and options like hackamores and bitless bridles are accepted. Melanie had shown at smaller local venues without a bridle and said the decision to let an exhibitor show comes down to safety. “The first time I showed bridleless I asked permission to ride without a bridle, and the steward there said there’s no rule that says you have to have a bridle,” she said. “But if the stewards feel it’s dangerous then it’s time to be done. I never felt dangerous out there.”

So what do you think? Is there a bigger story than an “anti-bit “ story? As I see it, Melanie simply chose a “communication system” that worked best for her horse.

I think I’ll write next about how much I admire the system Melanie privately shaped in her horse – so that she could trust him so publicly!

1 comment:

  1. Everyday I get one the internet and find new things about my ride at Washington and its something that keeps me motivated to help people understand why I made that decision.
    Your right no this is not an anti bit situation, I am not an anti bit person. I simply choose to do this because I felt my horse was happier, at home and different events we had proven over and over that he loved our bridleless work. Riding bridleless gives the horse and rider an opportunity to create their own language, there is no book telling you you must do it one way. Unlike with the bridle we tend to get stuck in the norm, we follow what we know works. But some horses need something different, and for me bridleless was that different. Its not like I just took the bridle off and bam he was a perfect bridleless horse. Actually completely the opposite Vlad was not proving to be a good bridleless horse despite my efforts. It was not that he didn't like it, it was that he was confused, I needed to teach him the new language. He did finally get it and once he did that's when things came together. I am looking forward to competing at every venue this season that will allow in hopes that next year we will get another go at WIHS, of course bridleless.