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:
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!
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.
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!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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