From Endurance to Dressage
By its second use, I knew the bridle was a keeper. By the third ride, I was beginning to be a believer. I wish I could explain how these few pieces of leather strapping can change the way your horse moves while under saddle, but I can't. Maybe I've simply become a better rider at the right time for him. Either way, I know Sydney likes it and is moving better in it.
Now remember, I've only ridden him in it for about a month. In six months, the novelty might wear off, and we might be back to playing the same game of how hard can you pull? But even in just a few dozen rides, Sydney feels different. He hasn't turned into an upper level horse or anything, but he is definitely softer through his neck and poll.
When I have to really use my hands, like in a hard halt, or exaggerating the bend, or slowing down from a big gallop, I feel as though I am touching his whole face and not just his mouth. The reins feel as though they are connected like how an octopus grabs onto it's prey - touching everywhere.
I read one reviewer's comment, and at first, I thought it sounded like a harsh use of the bridle, but now I get it. She said the bridle gave her more 'leverage.' That is a really good way to put it.
Another improvement that I've noticed over the past few weeks is that Sydney no longer flips his nose when he's anxious. With his other bridle, he would flip his nose like there was a fly bothering him. I am not sure if his previous bridle's crank noseband caused him to be itchy or if it put pressure somewhere, but he is no longer doing that little head flip. That seems like a good thing.
So for now, the bridle seems to be working as advertised. Even so, I like it for more reasons than that. It looks really nice on him and fits him super well. I am also really happy with how easy it is to put on. It has two simple straps: one under the jaw and one at the bit.
The leather has also relaxed nicely. We're now on the third hole at the jaw strap, and I was also able to move to the third hole on the flash. I like this bridle so much that I just ordered one for Speedy.
More to come ...
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: