Stop Looking at my Head Gear

I went to a fair this weekend particularly to see the speed show that morning. My friend was riding in it and thought it would be loads of fun. And the perfect opportunity to take some action shots!

Being a horse person, I couldn’t help but notice all the different bridles and “head gear” that were used to get the horse ’round the barrel!!

Take a look…

There were some very talented horses and riders at this show and the reason for this post is not to bash anyone. It just made me think and I wanted to talk about it. Some horses were ridden in a simple snaffle bit and did really well… others had everything but the kitchen sink strapped to their head.


Why do some of them need the extra pressure? How did it get like that? Why can some be ridden lightly and others are having their faces ripped off?

There’s always a story, a reason why someone thinks it’s necessary.

I have my own thoughts and opinions about this stuff.. but I think it’s a good subject to bring up and talk about. There is always something to learn, for everyone.


8 thoughts on “Stop Looking at my Head Gear

  1. Interesting. What is on the Arabian? Some of the headgear, if I were a horse, would rather frustrate me. Beautiful action shots by the way.

  2. No bit, no matter how harsh, is too harsh if used correctly. However, most are completely unnecessary. Proper training helps to make the need for harsh bits limited. I cannot speak for the bits used for “gaming”. However, there are plenty in the pleasure world that look pretty scary-and are scary with “bad hands” on the reins. Many of them are used to add lift to horses strides, to help with loosening up the horse, bending, lateral flexion, helping achieve straight, etc. There are many uses. None of which should entail the “jerk and pull” delivery. Different bits can be really helpful to different horses. But how you use them is the most important. I have used many different ones and some have worked really well at lifting the weight off the front end or collection. So, even the scariest looking ones can have a purpose. It is just sad that people don’t know the proper technique. A snaffle can be just as harmful as a hackamore if not used properly. Well, just my opinion. 🙂

    • Thanks for your input Jackie, I totally agree with you. Anything can be harmful if used by the wrong person.. And training has a lot to do when moving a horse into an advanced bridle. I have to say that some of these horses performed well in the extravagant head gear and their rider did not jerk them around .. But others were painful to watch. I don’t know much about gaming either, So it was just a shock to see all the different contraptions.

      I just wonder is the horse wearing all this stuff because they “need” it or because it’s what the rider thinks is best. What would happen if they were stripped down to something simple. I’d be curious to know.

  3. Great Shots Heidi!
    I was glad you were able to make it out 🙂
    You were also greatly appreciated in Estelle’s time of need!

  4. Hi Heidi,
    Wonderful photos! I see some horses with necks bending the wrong way, eyes big, and ears pinned back. I believe the saying, “if it is not beautiful, it is not right.” Helps me stay on the right track and find out the better way to accomplish things with my horses.

    • Charmaine!! It’s wonderful to hear from you!

      I think you have a great point… Go with the obvious: if it looks like it hurts, it probably does. And I agree.. Some of those pictures look painful.

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