Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Magdalen Islands, Quebec,
I've used a whole slew of snaffles, but this past summer I tried a bitless on my Canadian mare, mainly just to try it. It took about 10 minutes for her to accept how it tightened around her head. Then a friend wanted her photo taken on the mare, so I handed the mare over, explaining the bridle and possible problems the mare might give. My friend knows nothing about horses or riding, she just wanted her picture taken. After being photographed, she walked the horse for about another 15 minutes and the mare, Willow worked like a charm. A couple of days later I put her bitted bridle on and another friend who doesn't ride, got on her. Willow refused to turn or backup. I got all worried about her and called the vet in. He couldn't find anything wrong. We tried a lot of different things, then came the bitless bridle and she worked well. He didn't float her teeth because there was no problem there. Willow decided she didn't want a bit (3 sweet iron bits - O-ring, D-ring or shank snaffle) in her mouth and that was all there was to it. She is nine years old and as smart as a whip, but stubborn also.
I tried the bitless on my Standardbred filly and though she was confused, she tried to work with it but she returned to the bitted bridle without any problems. The one curious thing is that she began to neckrein almost like a pro, with the bitless without any training at all. I haven't tried my Hanoverian gelding bitless.
I like the third bit best.