Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Bitless Bridles - a personal experience.
So our tack shop just started carrying "Nurtural Horse" bitless bridles. I decided to try one just to see what it was like, and to see if Denny liked it at all.
Denny is an OTTB that ran his last race just over 2 months ago. His re-training has come VERY very far, and is working well at a w/t/c and is starting lateral movements.
He has also been off for 4 weeks due to an injury, so this was my second ride post-injury.
I started him off in a bit, just because I knew he was feelin' good. His warmup was typical, and he was working through himself at all 3 gaits, so I decided to switch to the bitless.
Never have I seen such a reaction from a horse!
My sweet-natured, easy-going gelding turned into this high-headed, not-sure-what-you-want, sketchy TB. He understood "whoa" and that's about it. He would not stay on the track (along the fenceline) even though this had not been a problem prior. He got this really worried expression on his face and just would not co-operate.
The trot was worse. He pinned his ears, started swishing his tail, and got really irritated.
Against my better judgement, I asked him to canter. The first few strides went fine... then he came off the track, so I asked him back over with my hand and leg, and he blew up. He bucked and spun, and I let him have it.
So I decided enough was enough; I made him walk and trot with the bitless again, then switched back over to my bitted bridle.
Once I switched back, he was an angel once again - he started working through his back, and was listening just fine. I went through all three paces without so much as a hiccup.
So that is my personal experience. Now thinking about the mechanics of this bitless bridle, I think it actually applies pressure so differently from a bit that some horses will hate it. The noseband had rubber on it, so it wouldn't slip - but in that, there was no movement.
Denny had such a strong negative reaction that I am very disappointed in the product. I was actually looking forward to having something positive to say about it! (Cuz now I have to sell it without my personal account and emotions getting in the way!)
So that's my verdict.
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com