Bsms it's great to see another person riding with only a halter and lead rope! It isn't very common where I'm from so people think I'm nuts when they see me doing it!
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In all honesty, I don't ride like that much any more. It works OK with Trooper, who doesn't care what you put in his mouth or on his face...he's there to get the job done. He's just a darn good horse, which is why my youngest daughter adores him and won't ride any other horse. As far as I'm concerned, a smallish horse who takes care of his rider is worth his weight in gold!
But most of my rides are on Mia, an Arabian mare who will blow thru a bitless bridle, ignore a snaffle when excited, but pays attention and gives in to a curb bit. The last time I rode her in a rope halter, I ended up removing a lot of the hair on her face trying to keep her from hurting herself and me. In a curb bit, she is not only more obedient, but you can feel the relaxation go all the way thru her back.
But yes, when a horse will get the job done in a bitless halter, its nice. Very nice. I don't see them very often where I live, either.