Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Some horses do go better in a bitless bridle - I can understand and appreciate that. But I'd be so bold to say that many of the bitless riders out there made the switch in an attempt to be "kinder" to their horses, or the horse has a different problem that they are trying to correct instead of getting to the root of that problem - for instance, if the horse has a dental problem, it can manifest itself in a few different ways, from the horse "not accepting" the bit to exhibiting some downright dangerous behaviors. If the dental problem was fixed correctly, and the horse fitted with the correct bit, the horse wouldn't have a problem carrying a bit.
I would be so bold to say as well that many horses ridden bitless would go just as good or better if fitted with the proper equipment (i.e. correct saddle fit, correct bridle fit, correct bit and bit size for the shape of their mouths) and given regular veterinary and dentistry care.
As a rider who casually browses horses for sale (who doesn't?), I do find myself reacting to the ads showing or describing a horse as going bitless by saying to myself "I wonder what the horse's problem is that it can't wear a bit," and I move on to the next ad. If I were in the market for a horse, I would have the same reaction.
Is it correct for every horse? No. Some horses don't have a problem with a bit, and go just as good in a bitless, but that is MY first reaction.
Nurtural, in particular, turned me completely off their products. I dislike their video, it is one of the worst marketing videos I think I've ever seen. The chestnut mare, as I said earlier, was obviously lame, and the video made an excuse for her condition - this should not be done. If the horse is lame, leave that clip out and find another rider to show off their dressage. The other horse/rider pairs did not impress me with any brilliant moves at all. The horses were all strung out, and like I said, some of the clips were oh-so-obviously cut off just as the horse was hunching up to explode. Beyond that, a personal experience with a rep left a bitter taste in my mouth.
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com