Join Date: May 2011
Location: Asherville, Indiana
I was honestly taught to believe that no horse needs a bit in its mouth if its trained right from the start. Give a horse a good chance, never set him up to fail, and it won't need that bar in his mouth. The second horse I ever got was the first horse I ever trained. No one else has ever done anything with her except ground work. I'm a little thing, not much of a powerhouse and I'm not too forceful with any of my horses.
But she's never had a bit in her mouth, has been ridden for a year now, and nor will she ever have a bit. Mind you, I don't show. I don't enjoy doing that. I do trails and endurance, but she gives me no more trouble than any youngster would, and normally a lot less. Often times she's behaving better than the older horses in a big group.
My other mare, my first one, is about 15. Got her a few years ago when she was 11-12, and she was bit trained. She absolutely hates them; shies away and always chomps on them. But when I started riding her without one, she was a totally different horse. She went from a spycho to a good, trustable horse. I'm not afraid to stick my niece and nephew up on her bareback with just a halter anymore.
This is just me, but I hate bits. My little 4 month old will never have one in her mouth either! So... yes, starting a horse in something bitless is good, good, and good. And unless you're going to be showing, let your horse relax and use a hackomore or a bosal. Or even a halter! Just be gentle, because those suckers can be as unforgiving as any bit.
Whoever said a horse was dumb, was dumb.
If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question or asked the question wrong.