Originally Posted by Freelance Cowgirl
I was honestly taught to believe that no horse needs a bit in its mouth if its trained right from the start...
Guess all the top trainers in the world are wrong, as are almost all of the top riders in the world.
I've ridden bitless many times, and it works fine for some horses and some needs. I'd prefer it, if I had a choice. But at least 2 of my 3 horses prefer having a bit in their mouth - based on calmness, a relaxed back, eagerness, confidence on the trail, etc.
I don't object to anyone riding bitless, if they are still gentle about it and it works for their horse. I do think every horse should be trained to ride with a bit, because many horses aren't going to be owned by the same owner for their entire life. And unless they have been taught and ridden both ways, you won't know which the HORSE prefers. And the horse's preference is not always bitless...