When you’re navigating a show jumping course, one of the last things on your mind is your bridle falling off – but it happens.
Ahh, the show jumping course. The place of tight turns, tall fences, and split-second decisions. The show jumping course is home to missed distances, downed rails, and the occasional run out. But less often do you see a lost bridle.
Unless you’re Avery Klunick. Klunick was in the midst of her round in the AEC Adequan Gold Cup when her horse, In It To Win It, suddenly refused a fence. As Klunick fought to stay aboard, In It To Win It’s hackamore slid off of his head.
Klunick was still in the running as long as she didn’t dismount, so she rode her horse to the side of the ring, leaned forward, and proceeded to work his hackamore back onto his head – from the saddle. Watch the incredible save below.
Sometimes bridles (and hackamores) can slide off of a horse’s head – some eventers braid some of the horse’s mane around the crown piece to help keep the bridle on securely. Being suddenly left bridleless is not an issue you ever want to deal with while you’re jumping.
You may notice that Klunick rides in a hackamore, which is somewhat rare in the show jumping world. Hackamores control the horse with pressure on the nose and face, rather than using the pressure on the mouth and tongue that a bit provides.
Learning to ride with them takes a bit of a learning curve, as the steering feels different. Some riders feel that hackamores are a kinder option than bitted bridles. However, sometimes it’s the horse that prompts the rider to try a hackamore – horses which are extremely sensitive or resistant to bit pressure may go better with the reduced pressure of a hackamore.
Regardless of whether you ride in a bridle or hackamore, make sure that you carefully check the fit of your tack every time you mount up. Finding a loose or unbuckled piece of leather may just save you from an unexpected incident during your ride.