Not to rain on your parade or anything...
But about these bridles. I don't know if it was Mr. Cook or someone else, but a "trainer" came through and did a "clinic" at a barn where I used to board. It was complete rubbish. He claimed he was going to train this horse that we had. It was a georgous, black arab 3 y.o. And it was completely nutts. He failed. Miserably. Then he tried to play it off like it was someone elses fault.
The next day, he performed the "participation" portion of his clinic. It consisted of all the participants lining their horses up nose to tail on the rail of the indoor arena. They walked them around in circles and he showed them how stomping your foot before making them stop will teach them that stomping = stopping. Yea... I'm watching the whole thing (viewing was free, the only thing that was :roll: ) and thinking to myself, this guy's a crock. They also did backing exercises and some bareback riding. None of it was any good.
Well the next morning, he was still around and getting ready to leave. Some of his clinic participants were also around so they all decided to sit dowm and have some lunch together and chat. Well the chat turned into a rather casual schooling session in which we learned several facts about this man. As it turned out, he was either in his mid 50's or 40's but he had only been "training" horses for five years. Five years. He apparently had some wonderful moment when all this great Natural Horsemanship training knowledge had been laid on him and he decided to hit the road and spread the faith.
He also took the opportunity to give his participants some really "good" advice about the health of their horses.
Here it is, see what you think:
-Bits are the worst things for horses.
-After bits are shoes. Never shoe your horse. If they are wearing them now, remove them immediatly.
He was advocating several products and one of them was the bitless bridle. After that clinic, everyone wanted a bitless bridle. Everyone got one and in about two weeks, the wiser ones (in my opinion) gave them up and went back to bits.
The more gullible ones even had the shoes taken off, despite our farriers insistance that it would turn their horses lame. Well after the horses had gone lame and some had developed thrush, the shoes went back on. I guess they didn't realize that a horse that has been shoed all its life will not respond well to such a dramatic change.
Maybe it's just me, but I can't bring myself to trust any of the products that clinician was selling. I have ridden a friends horse in the bitless bridle, and if you ask me, its no good. I could have gotten better response from that horse if I'd tied its lead rope to each side and ridden in a halter.
Of course, it's up to you.