Bitless Bridles - a personal experience. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 10-30-2008, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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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.


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post #2 of 75 Old 10-30-2008, 10:29 PM
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You might try returning it. They seem like they stand behind their products.

I just got one of the Nurtural bridles myself. My horses both go very well in a copy of the Dr Cook bitless bridle, but it's about to die and the Nutural bridles were cheaper and have had good reviews from most people. I'll let you know how my horses do in them next week ;).

You do have to work with your horse on the ground first with any new bridle or bit, so he understands to give to the pressure and is okay with it. That said, it could have just rubbed him the wrong way, or maybe he had a tender spot somewhere? Does he have his wolf teeth still?
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post #3 of 75 Old 10-30-2008, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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I work at the tack shop and this was a sample bridle, so I never paid for it, and will be returning it pronto.
I have talked to a few people in my barn and have had similar reviews of it.

Edited to add: it is nothing physical. His vet check was less than a month ago and he passed with flying colors.

I'm positive it's not just him, I've heard similar reviews... I'm just stunned. Out of all the horses I've owned, he was the one I thought would be okay with this. I have ridden him in a halter before, so it must just be the mechanism of the bitless contraption.

Again, as soon as I put the bit back in his mouth he was working beautifully.


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Last edited by JustDressageIt; 10-30-2008 at 11:16 PM.
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post #4 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 02:12 PM
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I've heard the same thing from more than one person. I've never tried it myself but from all the stuff I've heard about it I don't think I ever will.
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post #5 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FehrGroundRanch View Post
I've heard the same thing from more than one person. I've never tried it myself but from all the stuff I've heard about it I don't think I ever will.


Tiff, I am and was not impressed in the least. He reacted like he was in pain!


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post #6 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 03:03 PM
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I had sort of the same reaction from Vida JDI. Enough that I took her home and put her bit back in. She is ridden western of course with no nose pressure, so I'm sure that was one of the many strange sensations for her.
I'm glad to hear you had some difficulties with it too. Makes me feel a little better. -)


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post #7 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
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.
Funny you started that thread because I just posted a video on Canadians with a lady who rode her Canadian with one of those bloody things. Looked like nothing but a messy ride.
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post #8 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 09:19 PM
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I havn't used it myself, I don't like how it works. It squeeses the horses head together and as I see it, that should mostly be confusing.
But some horses that has problems with normal bits might prefer the bitless bridle.

I prefer other bitless alternatives to, like muserola, sidepull, riding cavesson, that gives similiar signals as a snaffle, or hackamores, working like a curb.

The horse in the video didn't seem too satisfied with the bitless bridle, but of course I can't know how it usually acts.

It's funny how amazed people are that you can ride without a bit.. when it's really not that special or hard.


Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.


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post #9 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 09:22 PM
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Did you read their web site? The Nurtural is supposed to be significantly stronger than the original Bitless Bridle.
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post #10 of 75 Old 10-31-2008, 09:25 PM
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If you just throw a new peice of equitment on a horse that they are just not use to of course there going to react weirdly to it. I Just got my bitless today hopefull ill get some video and see what you think.


What kind of bitless did you use??


I've NEVER once in my life seen or heard of a horse reacting to a bitless like that in my life..

Last edited by HorsesAreForever; 10-31-2008 at 09:34 PM.
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