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Bitless Bridles - a personal experience.

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  • Bitless bridles for horses
  • Bitless bridles harmful

 
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    02-14-2010, 07:45 PM
  #71
Green Broke
I have Dr. Cook's bitless (lots of bitless threads recently!) for my draft. He works really well. Here's a picture of him in it at one of our medieval events. I didn't have it fitted correctly, it should have been further down his nose. But he works really well in it.

     
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    02-15-2010, 02:55 PM
  #72
Showing
I need to add on to my reply to this as well. Last summer I started both of my 3 year olds in the Dr. Cooks and they did excellent in it. Of course that was moving up from a rope halter. I did eventually move them up to a bit.
I think they're great for training young horses. Much better than moving them into a hackamore.
     
    02-16-2010, 02:35 AM
  #73
Yearling
I had someone with a Dr cooks who complained that the way the straps attach to the noseband make the whole affair rotate on the horses head.
I made her this which she says works just as well without the noseband pulling around the head.
Before sending to the customer I tried it on two of our own horses - one was already using a bitless so no problems there at all - the other had never used a bitless, she did not at first understand what was going on but soon became used to it, and as there is lots of padding on both nose and poll did not object at all.
We also tried it as a bit / bitless combo which worked well but only with a snaffle bit - this could be useful for helping the transition from a bitted to a bitless bridle for the horse and rider

Bitless & Bit (3).jpg

KV Bitless (1).JPG

KV Bitless (12).jpg

The customer likes the bridle , we both agree that a few minor changes need to be made but it still works well as it is and she has a few friends who want to try it on their own horses
     
    02-22-2010, 10:36 PM
  #74
Weanling
I had an interesting conversation today with the lady who massages my horse. We got onto the topic of bitless bridles and she mentioned the fact that the cross-under styles (Dr. Cook, Nurtural & the like) can actually be quite harmful and do a lot of damage to the poll and jaw. She is qualified, well recommended and has had years of experience, plus she does a fabulous job on my own horse, so I trust her word for it.
Like people have said previously, the bit/headgear is only as harsh as the rider's hands, but I think it's good to know that the cross-under's aren't the super-gentle alternative people think they are, and can actually cause quite a bit of soreness and muscle damage around the horse's head. Especially if you're riding around with a strong contact - I don't like it that a lot of bitless promoters say they are good if you tend to have hard hands, according to this lady who has treated many horses with issues caused by cross-under bitless bridles, if this is the case you're more often better off with a french-link or oval-link snaffle.

Just thought this was a good bit of info to share.
     
    02-22-2010, 11:50 PM
  #75
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHawk    
I had an interesting conversation today with the lady who massages my horse. We got onto the topic of bitless bridles and she mentioned the fact that the cross-under styles (Dr. Cook, Nurtural & the like) can actually be quite harmful and do a lot of damage to the poll and jaw. She is qualified, well recommended and has had years of experience, plus she does a fabulous job on my own horse, so I trust her word for it.
Like people have said previously, the bit/headgear is only as harsh as the rider's hands, but I think it's good to know that the cross-under's aren't the super-gentle alternative people think they are, and can actually cause quite a bit of soreness and muscle damage around the horse's head. Especially if you're riding around with a strong contact - I don't like it that a lot of bitless promoters say they are good if you tend to have hard hands, according to this lady who has treated many horses with issues caused by cross-under bitless bridles, if this is the case you're more often better off with a french-link or oval-link snaffle.

Just thought this was a good bit of info to share.
That's really good to know! I'll definitely keep that in mind, especially when I let people other than me ride Lacey.
Since Lacey stretches her head into the bridle as much as she can (she's like a dog with a leash as soon as she sees it! Hahaha And I only very rarely ride with contact) I think I'm probably doing ok but other people, who knows.

I'm really glad you shared that! I hadn't even thought about the crossunder part maybe being a problem, I was mainly focused on the nose part... Thanks!
     

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