Illustrated by Ernest Morris
Ed Connell’s book gives the why and the how of making a spade bit horse out of the hackamore horse, using the methods of the old California Vaqueros. This book takes the mystery out of the spade bit and shows, among other things, that the spade in the hands of a man trained to use it is easier on a horse than even the common
grazer or snaffle bits. This book tells how to choose the right bit and how to use the bit to get the most out of a horse. The use of other bits is covered as well.
Reinsman of the West — Bridles and Bits, the second half of the training process, covers:
* About Bits
* Fundamental Principle of the Bit
* Summary of Bridling
* Purpose of the Double Rein
* The Importance of a Good Start and Finish
* Worn Bits
* Santa Barbara Spade Bit
* Half Breed
* Snaffle Bits
* Training Marks of Distinction
* Carrying the Bit
* Start of Using the Double Rein
* High Nosed Horse
* Misuse of the Romal
* Straight Up in the Bridle
* Knowledge and Know-How
* Horse Sense
* And much more
A must have for anyone interested in the Vaquero tradition!
(softcover, illustrations, 119 pgs.)
Excerpt from the book:
Carrying the Bit
This is the first, and most important step in bridling a horse. He has to learn to carry the bit in his mouth and at the same time to hold it in place. The horse hast to learn this himself. He ha to learn to carry the Spade, Half Breed, and Chileno bits. These bits should all weigh about the same, somewhere around a pound and a half. A little more, or a little less than a pound and one half will not make any difference.
This is very important to remember: it is through the weight of these bits that the horse learns to carry and hold them in the right manner. He learns to hold his head in the same position as the bridle hangs in his mouth. At the same time he is learning that while he carries his head in this position, there is no pressure against the bars of his mouth from the mouthpiece of the bit.
This is the start of the Spade bit head set and the bridle head set for the Half Breed and Chileno bits. It is also the start for putting a light-working mouth on a horse. The bridle head set is what puts the arch in his neck either when worked fast or slow, and it will be there permanently if handled correctly all the ay through the bridling process.