I have used several different types of bitless briddles. I prefer the sidepull types, because of the quick release. But a horse has to respond to yielding for pressure first. I love the Vienna cavesson: it has a soft noseband and because its three rings is very multipurpose. One can use it for long reining, lunging, work in hand, leading and riding.
Like any other piece of equipment, bitless works better with some horses than with others. For some horses, it is the best head gear to use.
I agree. I prefer bitless as long as a horse is changing teeth and has a sensitive/sore mouth.
My problem with bitless tends to be with the people that use it and believe that it is "softer" and "gentler" than a bit. It's not. Bits are not "harsh" at all - hands are. Harsh hands in a bitless can do just as much damage as harsh hands using a bit.
I don't think you can generalise like this. I don't mean to 'attack' you, but this is a common uses 'argument' on all horse fora in the world. I will specify what I mean.
There a severe bitless bridles. I think immediately of the Spanisch cavessons with sharp iron edged directly on the nose, like this one (this is the noseband, look at the edges!)
and there a severe/harsh bits, like this one. I think this one will
do the horses mouth damage, even with a softhanded rider. Softhanded riders shall not easily chose a bit like this I think.
The thin skin on the nose wich lies directly over the nosebone is indeed very sensitive and therefor is it not per defenition that bitless=soft.