Letters from Our President...
...Periodically, our President, Bob Giles, will offer a letter of information and inspiration to our membership. Bob says "My articles are not etched in concrete nor are they without fault. They are intended for new drivers - for their safety and to make them think. Hopefully it will make them ask questions and seek professional help and assistance."
Bob looks forward to your comments, as well as suggestions for new topics. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course his use of 'horse' and 'pony' is interchangeable!
Use the navigation buttons at the side and bottom to scroll through each letter and don't forget to check back for new contributions...
The Bridleless Horse
Nothing will make your heart go “flitter-flutter” like seeing your bridle slide off the nose of your equine friend. We all know what is going to happen next as the pony/horse gets to see the nightmare (carriage) we have attached to their derriere! No, I don’t want to hear about training and driving without blinkers. All of the harness makers across Europe, America and thru the centuries wouldn’t have made blinkers if we didn’t need them. The horses must learn to trust us as drivers.
The Amish and the draft horse people solved their problem with a side or overcheck. I shudder when I look at the pictures of old and the cruelty we inflicted on the horses with overchecks being too tight – all for the eye and image of a human. As drivers, we are much more humane today where we teach them to carry their own head and use their body efficiently.
The problem of losing a bridle comes into play if you don’t cut a bridle path, if you have a horse or pony with small ears, or if you are hitching multiples where they can rub their heads together. For the multiples I highly suggest a gullet strap (connect the throat latch to the nose band). For all equines with small ears – I suggest tying a string to the top of the bridle and braid the string into the first 1 inch of mane. You can unbraid it at the end of your drive or use the knife that you always carry with you when you drive.
Keep your traces tight!