Why are you riding a dressage horse with only a curb bit?

In short, because I can. ?Eventually, I no longer need to rely on the snaffle to position the horse’s neck. ?As a Baucherist, I do not use “traction” on the bridoon to effect a fixed poll, because a poll that is “fixed”?as a result of being carried by the rider – from bondage, really – is of no interest to me. ?The horse must carry himself – including his neck and head – else he will not be optimally mobile, nor properly balanced.

Moreover,?I don’t exclusively with the curb, though I move to it quite quickly compared to the typical modern trainer. ?I use bosal/hackamore, then the snaffle, then graduate to the double bridle long enough to transition to the curb, and then to the curb exclusively. ?Thereafter, it doesn’t matter much – the horse will go the very same way in only a snaffle. ?Incidentally, by the end of his career, Baucher?concluded?finishing?by retiring the horse back to the snaffle from the curb.

But?the truly/classically finished horse is rideable with “one hand on the curb”, so this capability is my objective with any horse. ?This true for high school dressage of whatever flavor (Baucherist, German, “French Classical”), as well tauromachia (mounted bullfighting, a kissing cousin of the Spanish-American Californio Vaquero style), in spite of the fact that FEI exhibitors ride two-fisted and retain the double bridle all the way through Grand Prix.

People forget that modern “show dressage” is rather its own (relatively recent) stylized phenomenon – including?the standards, the dress code, and trends in tack – including retention of the double bridle (without which, few German-style horses could perform as they do). ?I do not compete, so what is in fashion does not impact me much … instead, I attempt to use the methods and philosophies of the greatest masters I feel I understand. ?With respect to tack: ?I use tack – whatever will increase my fidelity, or will seem most sensible to the horse, or be most comfortable to the horse, or have the most utility, depending on what I’m doing. ?I don’t attempt to conform to certain tack configurations because that or this ‘discipline’ prescribes. ?The tradition I follow draws a big, ancient circle around any individual discipline.