I have been of the opinion that if someone wants to ride their horse in a halter, they must know their horse and it's probably just fine.
I've had some experiences, starting last March that have changed my opinion. I now realize there is some odd aversion to bits and that many people just think their horse goes as well. Or, worse, their horses are that poorly trained regardless of what is used.
But, I'm done having these goobers around putting others at risk. We've had to save people from near wrecks when working cattle, we've had to save others from these people and their poorly controlled horses at area events. They are not welcome on my place or at any event that I'm associated with.
I'm fed up with them.
Sounds like you have alot of bad experiences, to me it sounds like they just don't have control of their horse as well as they think they do.
I have experienced many times horses with bites cause or nearly cause accidents......but from what I've seen it's usely a green rider out on a horse and they haven't ridden in years any horse.
I know I sure do not want to cause a accident or even be in one!
I've ridden Spice in a halter (a bitless bridle most of the time now) for 7yrs......I couldn't ask for a better horse.
This past Sept. I was at a poker derby, I was in about the middle of the group, the lady behind me her horse kept coming up my butt but Spice handled it well, gave the evil eye once in awhile but that was about it. Then all of a sudden I hear a commotion behind me, I turn and look and the ladies face was two feet from mine and I couldn't see her face. I'm very proud of Spice for staying pretty calm.....her horse had tripped and his head/neck went right between Spice's legs and under her! Spice gave a little jump forward which of course put her in line with the horse in front of her who booted her in the face.....she spun and I lost my balance and slid off.......Spice stood right there and didn't move! I think if it had been another horse it would have been alot diffferent but Spice stayed pretty calm about it and didn't panick.
On that ride I would say 50% of the horses people brought were green horses (3yr. Olds) that had never ridden in groups, there were a couple accidents and they were with the young horses and also with green riders.
I do believe a horse needs to be introduced into riding with groups slowly, only a couple at a time and then work up from there but that is just my opinion.
My accident didn't happen because I was using a bitless bridle but because someone's horse wasn't paying attention and tripped....luckily everyone was fine.
I am training Spice's boy, Street (he's 3) with a halter and also the bridle but he will not be taken out in groups with a halter or a bitless bridle for a long time. I want to expose him to smaller groups first of only 2 or 3 riders which I know and he knows the horses........some people figure you just throw a green horse in a huge group and they learn from that but they aren't only putting their horse and theirselves at risk of injury but others as well.