Category Archives: Tack thoughts

Go Bitless and Feel Secure! I Love My LG Bridle and so do 5 of my Horses!






THE LG BRIDLE

It is totally a personal preference if you wish to use a bitless bridle.  So, I’m not writing this to convince anyone to go bitless.  I’m writing this because I finally found a bitless bridle that gives me as much control as possible, a nice headset and is comfortable for my horse.

(Since I originally wrote this post, the dressage rider in the USA who was importing them no longer imports them, I think because she was a Mom and it became too much to organize.   I did contact LG and they asked me to import them  — see below in red to order. )

Here is the original post:

I’ve taken this picture from their website. (I have no affiliation with them, I just like the product.)

WHAT IS IT? I know it looks odd, sort-of like a wheel.  Let me tell you, it works beautifully!  The LG Bridle was invented by a German Dressage Rider.  She needed or wanted a way to bridle her horse without a bit that would give her head set plus control and that could be sanctioned by the dressage community.  This was her invention.

I don’t remember how I found out about it, but I remember going to the website to check it out.  There are several videos there that show the bridle in action.  Impressive.  You see jumpers and dressage riders as well as trail riders using the bridle.

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS… You use your own headstall.  What you are buying are the two wheels and the nose/chin straps.  You fit it to your horse according to how they hold their heads and move.  So, the spokes are levels of control, let’s say.  You connect the top of the wheel to the headstall, the inside of the wheel to the nose band, the back of the wheel to the chin strap and then the adjustable part is where you attach your rein.  The closer to the chin strap, the less severe of a pull on the poll and nose.  You can set it to be more like a side-pull or to work like a rein that encourage a head set.  When you lift your rein, the contact lowers the poll and pulls the nose to whatever degree you have it set.  Does that make sense?

THE DIFFERENCE here than with other bitless bridles (and I’ve tried them all) is that you have no crossed  or single reins that go through a ring(s) that then need to release once the horse gives.  Most all other bitless bridles don’t release immediately.  My horses were frustrated with other bitless bridles because they either didn’t release, got hung up, or pulled too hard on the poll – or for me, were too ineffectual for the head set.

I BOUGHT THIS BRIDLE BECAUSE it sounded right from the website.  I could see how it would work.  Truth to tell, it took me a few tries to get it adjusted correctly.  But, once I did , my Morgan mare was a DREAM.  I swear, she was so happy!  Granted, this mare was trained to a bit or a hackamore, so one could say that she was already comfortable with a hackamore style so that is why she took to this bridle.  Read on for my answer to that.

I TRIED IT ON 5 HORSES AND HERE ARE MY RESULTS:  OK, well, in the paragraph above, I described how my Morgan mare who has a lot of “go!” loved it!  So now I was ready to try it on my other horses.  I put it on my Tennessee Walking mare.  She had just 90 days training and that was in a bit.  But,  she hated the bit – any bit.  I had tried them all.  Poor girl just fought with it and threw her head a lot.  You could argue that maybe I have bad hands.  But, her trainer also had the same issue with every bit she tried.  Anyway, I was a little nervous to put the LG on my TWH mare because she was young and green.  But, I did.  And, the mare loved it!  She was so responsive because she wasn’t so worried all the time.  And, she heard me!  She was listening.  It was so easy.  Her arena work was great!

Here is another photo from the LG Bridle website. 

After that experience, I tried it on my TWH gelding.  He is older and used to a bit or a hackamore.  Although well trained, he has some zip to him, if you know what I mean.  I don’t do arena work with him, I only trail ride him.  So, I had to be brave.  I put the LG on his headstall and adjusted it.  We trailered to a his well-known riding spot.  I figured I would be safer in a spot we both knew.  Then, I mounted and left as usual.  I tried to act like he was wearing his regular tack.  Well, honestly, he was better than he had ever been and gaited more smoothly.  I thought maybe that was a fluke.  So, I tried it again the next day.  Perfect.  Wonderful.  So, I tried again and brought along a horse that usually riles him up.  Yup, we had a little antsy pansty session but the bridle held up and I felt as if I had the same control as with a hackamore or a bit.  In fact, I felt like I had more control because he couldn’t grab on and run.

I put it on my Mustang with the same results.

STARTING A HORSE IN AN LG BRIDLE? I called the company and asked if they had ever started a horse with one.  The rep said, Yes!  So, I started my Icelandic filly in the LG Bridle.  So far, so good.  She responds just as she should and she has never thrown her head or chewed on the bit (of course).  I see no issues with this bridle.

I will say that several trainers have told me that I should not start a horse in the LG. They believe that I need to train in a snaffle to get the general idea down first and then switch to the LG once she is trained.  I don’t know if they are right or wrong… but so far, I see no reason to snaffle train her.  She is doing just fine.  And, she is the strongest minded of the bunch.

I DON’T USE BITS ANYMORE… So, that is my story.  I now have five of the LG Bridles for all five of my riding horses.  I have archived all of my bits.  I don’t use a bit ever anymore.  I figure if a dressage rider can get the head set she needs and a jumper can control his horse, I am just fine with this bridle as a trail rider.  I love it.  I love all 5 of them.

Here is a picture of my bridle rack in my trailer.  As you can see, I use all different headstalls for 4 different breeds of horses, gaited and trotting. 

PROS & CONS: The LG is “expensive”.  I say that in quotes because it is an investment but it works and is solid so I didn’t mind.  All of the nose bands and chin straps that I got from the company were too big for my smaller, American horses.  I think these bridles were developed in a land where the horses are HUGE.  Dunno.  But, I ended up just using the wheels, the nose bands on their smallest rung and my own chin straps.  I do use a chain on some and leather or rawhide on others.  I also wrapped all the nose bands in fleece, as you can see.

LET ME KNOW if you test one or purchase one.  I love mine!  And again, I have no affiliation with LG.  I just am really happy and want to spread the word!

Any questions for me?  What do you think?  (LG video #1. LG video #2)

ADDENDUM:  I JUST FOUND OUT THAT CLAUDIA IS NO LONGER IMPORTING THESE WONDERFUL BRIDLES.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE ONE, I HAVE CONTACTED LG IN GERMANY AND THEY ARE WILLING TO SEND BRIDLES OUT FOR YOU.  JUST COMMENT OR EMAIL HORSEANDMAN@GMAIL.COM.  I WILL GET ONE FOR YOU.  THEY WILL BE $125 EACH  including shipping to wherever you live in the USA.  *If you want one immediately and we are not already ordering, the price is $145 to get it specially shipped from Germany.  If you want one, either leave a comment here or email me at:  horseandman@gmail.com

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
If you want an update on the Iron Man Rescued Foal Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)




HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!



Horse Bling for Valentine’s Day!






To bling or not to bling, that is the question.  Well, not really.  It doesn’t matter to me whether you blingify your horse.  But, if you do, or were thinking about it, or didn’t even know there was such a thing — here is my introduction to bling.  Besides, it’s Sunday and we should talk about festive things!

In my bling travels, I have found different categories.  First, there is the Brow Band Bling.  That you can find all over Ebay or search Google.  Basically, some clever people have devised a way to weave or sew beads or crystals into the headstalls of various types of leather or plastic.  This seems to be more prevalent in the Dressage world but you will see brow band bling for the Western world.  Here are a few examples of Dressage Bling Bands that I found in my quest.  I was quite impressed with the volume of options presented by browbandswithbling dot com.  I think if you wanted some elegant Sunday Bests for your horse, you could find it here in this category.

Following Brow Band Bling  is the overall Headstall Bling.   Headstall Bling is the natural extension of Browband Bling.  The Western world has embraced this big-time.  I’ve attached a few pics of some selects I’ve chosen.  The first is a good example of the next level of Headstall bling (you can find them with less going on…).  I chose this artist because she has gone above and beyond with adding PAINT.  A new concept.  The other example is the full blown horsey bling attire – the total package.  I chose this one because it is so much fun!  I could see myself buying this for my horse for Christmas — like he’d care (*more on that later).  At this particular website, there are many full attires to chose from.  I particularly liked the Ed Hardy model.  It cracked me up.  I didn’t know Jon Gosselin had a horse…   Anyway, here it is in all of its glory!

Next we take a step back into “horse jewelry with a purpose” — or so they say.  This would be the Rhythm Bead Category.  Have you heard of these?  They are supposed to help you understand your horse’s cadence because you can hear the beat of the beads rattling.  They fit around the horse’s neck and fall around the chest.  Here is a picture.  You can find these rhythm beads on the Internet and I am listing an outlet here.  You can get just about any color and any design.  They range from $15 to a lot more.

I see that there is now a Rhythm Bead expansion category of Mane and Tail bling You can get clip-on bling and add it to those areas.  That seems kinda fun.  After all, the TWH people have been doing that for years.  Here are links to where you can find those in all shapes and sizes.

Lastly, I’m going to bring up my personal favorite.  This category I’ll call Bridle Tags. You’ve probably seen them before with either a simple I HEART MY HORSE or perhaps a I HAVE THE RIGHT TO RIDE IN HERE when the tag is for entry purposes.   But, this particular Bridle Tag goes to eleven for me.  It is unusual, hip and you can personalize it.  (They have dog collar tags, too.)  So, I present to you the Sweet Bird Studio Horse Bling. You can have your horse’s name engraved on it.  Or, talk to the artist and design your own from her wealth of found objects.   I bet you could have her do just about anything if you browse the human stuff on her site.  Very cool and all unique.  I like her human work for myself!   But really, isn’t it all for us?…  ;)

*I once had a horse psychic come out to speak to Aladdin because he was being very mean to my donkey (that story later…).  During the conversation, Aladdin piped up that he wanted a flashy bridle.  He wanted one that would sparkle in the sun like he had seen in the arena where he was boarded at the time.  Now, you may think I’m nuts, but I did go out and get him a headstall with silver.  And, I swear he puffed up the first time I put it on him.  He used to pout when I would tack him up without it.  And, now that he is retired, I can honestly say he nuzzles it whenever he sees it.  So, color me crazy, but I think they know what they are wearing.




HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!