Gentleman Jim - Retired Show Jumper Talks about Jumping, Tack, Bits and How Humans can Compete Better

Discussion on Jim's last time in a traditional bit and bridle (interview w/Winterhawk)
4.23.12_CS_Gentleman Jim on Bitted Bridl[...]
MP3 audio file [15.2 MB]
Discussion on Jim's and the Rider's Experience with the Bitless Bridle (interview w/Winterhawk)
MP3 audio file [16.7 MB]

Gentleman Jim was a successful show jumper for many years.  Eventually, the continual impact of his weight landing over the jump, the rider's weight, and velocity caught up with him.  By the time we got the horse, Jim travelled under saddle with his nose a couple of inches off the ground.


He described that he felt like his brains had been scrambled, he had difficulty focusing going up to a jump, he had trouble swallowing and breathing, which impacted the whole front of his body.  The area underneath the throat always felt like a huge lump, which impacted his movement when he reached out for a jump, over time.


With regular optimum bodywork to correct this effect on the body, especially concerning release of muscular tension around the hyoid bone, and changing his tack from traditional bridles & bits to the Bitless Bridle, he is now enjoying his workouts and travelling comfortably with his head up and alert.


"Our mouths are not meant to be driveable in a vehicular sense...they are meant to help us breathe, to help us eat, to help us converse verbally with one another, and to hydrate our bodies...They are meant for many, many purposes, none of which have to do with steering...A gentle turn of the head, certainly the body will follow but it needn't be done from inside the mouth...


"People will ultimately discover that it is their thought, the picture of what they want to do that gets transferred to us to which we just completely respond, and they may choose to have a rein on a bitless bridle because it helps to balance their seat on our backs...but it's really the thought of what you want to do, then you transmit it to us...


"It's hard to move forward and do what you ask us to do when I cannot breathe, I cannot see clearly, my head hurts, my vision isn't clear, these things interfere and cause us not to be able to respond to you so you don't get what you want...and then things go wrong - time trials, accidents and injuries occur, etc....


"Generally, we are very glad to fulfill what you want...If we are comfortable and rejuvenated - the knots are taken out after the activites, as you know yourself you might take a hot bath or have a rubdown, we need these things too and if we have them...we are glad to work in partnership with you, and you'd be surprised how many more of your horses need not be retired or determined unfit or unintelligent."