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Side Pull Bridles – How to Use Them? [Everything You Need to Know]

Side Pull Bridle

Simply said, a side pull is a bridle that does not have a bit attached to it. Rings are placed on each side of the horse’s muzzle, and reins are fastened to those rings. When both reins are pulled, pressure is applied to the horse’s nose, which signals either a stop or a turn on the part of the horse.

Side Pull Bridle – What is it & How to use?

When a rein is pulled, the horse will move its head in the direction of the rein; for example, tugging on the left rein will cause the horse to turn left, while pulling on the right rein would cause the horse to turn right. Even the most basic side pulls have the appearance and feel of a halter.

In fact, a good many of us have made use of a’side pull’ by affixing lead ropes to the rings located on each side of the noseband of a halter. This allows us to draw the animal from the side.

Different people refer to side pulls by a variety of names. A cavesson bridle, an Indian hackamore, or a Lindell may be the name given to one of these equipments. Many are known by the names of the people who invented them, such as a Dr. Cook bridle.

Side pull bridles come in many different designs. It’s possible that some are constructed completely of leather, while others are made from rope. The nose piece of certain side pulls may be an extremely rigid strap of leather (or multiple thicknesses of leather), depending on the design. In order to provide additional support, the leather may be reinforced with a synthetic or metal wire.

One or two lengths of strong lariat rope may be used to construct the nose pieces of some side pulls. When the reins are pulled, the pressure that is applied by the side pull is increased by the knots that are tied on the nose pieces of the side pull. When the nose piece is thicker, the pressure may be increased, whereas when the nose piece is broader, the pressure is reduced. In addition, there are side pulls in both an English and western design.

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Benefits of using Side Pull Bridle

The side pull is a common method used to start training for young horses. This way, the horse is able to understand directional instructions without having any pressure put on its lips, which might be sensitive. A side pull may be an effective training tool for horses who are unable or unwilling to wear a bit.

It’s possible that a side pull, rather than a bit, will be more pleasant for horses who have dental issues, deformed jaws, or other facial injuries.

Horses that have been ridden by people with heavy hands, which has caused the horse to experience discomfort and numbness in its mouth, may react well to a side pull, providing that the rider learns to use their hands lightly. If a rider consistently pulls back on their horse’s nose, the horse may develop numb to even a bitless bridle and become difficult to control. When a side pull is applied, several undesirable behaviors, including head tossing and shaking, balking, and rooting, are immediately prevented.

When you’re out on the trail, using a side pull makes it much simpler for the horse to eat and drink. A horse’s mouth will not be harmed by a frozen bit during the winter months. It’s possible that school horses that are ridden by students with shaky hands might benefit from being ridden in a side pull.

What Is the Proper Way to Fit a Side Pull Bridle?

The side pull may be used in replacement of a regular bridle. When you pull on the reins to turn, the browband should be long enough and broad enough so that the cheek pieces of the bridle do not drag into the eye of the horse on the other side of the turn.

You should be able to fit about four fingers between the top of your horse’s lips and the nosepiece of the bridle. You’ll want to position it such that it doesn’t rest on the cartilage of the nose or on the bone apexes of the nose itself. This may be accomplished by elevating it.

The higher up it is situated, the less force is exerted by it. You might try lowering the nose piece so that it rests a bit lower if you feel like you need a little extra “whoa.” The chin strap should be fastened such that the horse may still comfortably open its mouth, but it should not be allowed to hang loosely in the horse’s mouth.

The reins made of light leather are our preference.

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How does it work?

The majority of the time, you will use straight reining to steer, but you may also neck rein with a side pull. When the reins are pulled back, pressure is applied on the bridge of the horse’s nose, which may be uncomfortable for the animal. In order to turn, one rein must be pulled, which causes the nose and head of the horse to be dragged in the direction of the rein.

Some side pulls, depending on how they were fashioned, might provide pressure over the poll or under the mouth of the animal. When riding without a bit, you do not have as much connection with the horse as you would when riding with a bit.