What does a bitless bridle do, compared to an average bridle? - Page 4

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What does a bitless bridle do, compared to an average bridle?

This is a discussion on What does a bitless bridle do, compared to an average bridle? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How much is the average bitless bridle
  • What is the x shaped thing bridle horse

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    06-21-2013, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Tracer    

^^ That is the style I'm planing on getting. I was going to try making my own, but it was a little daunting and I had the feeling that I would fail miserably.

Quick question to those experienced in bitless though - I'm going this version because it seems most similar to how I ride now (with a halter and reins). Would a sidepull/bosal etc still work in the same way? It seems to be the nose pressure that he reacts to, and doesn't the sidepull (I think it's the sidepull) work off poll pressure? I'm quite a 'newbie' to this.
No, a sidepull uses no poll pressure at all. It is the same thing that you posted, and works off nose pressure only.

For poll pressure, the reins connect to a continuous piece of leather that goes under the chin, up the cheek, over the poll, down the other cheek and under the chin again to the opposite side. It creates an 'X' shape under the horse's jaw, so that when you pull the rein, it not only creates pressure on the nose, but under the jaw and on top of the poll as well. This is a true bitless bridle, as most people understand it. I think that it is more often used by riders of English discipline, while the sidepull types are more often used by those of Western discipline.
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    06-21-2013, 05:56 PM
Also, here is a useful article that explains how a bitless bridle works
Bitless Bridle The Design Technology Blog

And a closeup picture of the "x" under the chin:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PICT2354.jpg (80.5 KB, 63 views)
    06-21-2013, 10:48 PM
I use a Dr. Cook's bitless cross under bridle in western leather with my five year old spotted saddle horse gelding. He responded to the bit, but there was a lot of head tossing and he always felt really tense. He also didn't respond quickly to commands to halt. I love the bitless bridle because he is much less tense. I was also really happy to discover that his breaks are much better with the bitless bridle- he responds so much quicker now!
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    06-25-2013, 12:24 AM
Imo, it all depends on the horse and how he responds to pressure.. Some respond better to the bit, some don't. My mare responded very well to the nurtural bitless bridle until just lately she started to not be as much comfortable with the pressure on her poll. I switched to a side-pull instead, and works wonders since it's not putting pressure on her poll. I plan on customizing my nurtural bitless to a side-pull by taking off the circle X under the chin ;)
    07-16-2013, 09:33 PM
Taking off the circle x won't make it a sidepull. It will simply make it the same as just about every other crossunder bitless there is, especially the Dr. Cook's.
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    07-18-2013, 08:08 PM
Nope, I removed it already and it really does make a side pull as there nothing anymore under the jaw. I attached my reins on the rings each side and voila :) + I added and customized a throat latch for safety
    07-18-2013, 09:19 PM
Oooh okay, you took off the circle x and modified the rein strap/cheek pieces as well. I see now, and you are absolutely correct. :) I thought you meant literally take off just the circular piece of leather holding the cheek straps in place.

ETA: Have you ridden in it yet? I'd love to know how it works for you. I cut the actual Circle X piece off my Nurtural a long time ago to see if my horse liked it better. Alas, he did not, so I used to hair ties to hold them in place and it works virtually the same. But with this new horse, he likes sidepulls much better, so I may follow your lead.
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    07-18-2013, 10:13 PM
I like it, it works pretty well, her attitude is much better she's not throwing her head to the side anymore as when I had the circle X under and she still follows my commands exactly the same. I had tried another sidepull before actually detaching the circle x thing and it worked good it had a rawhide noseband though so to be honest I found she stopped just a bit better with the rawhide noseband than the one on the nurtural but for me, I like my nurtural better since it's customized ;) I don't regret it at all, and if I ever want it back I only have to re-stitch the rings on the circle x thingy...hope this helps! :)
    07-19-2013, 01:46 AM


A couple of shots of the literider bitless.

All it has is a chin strap which makes it act like a side pull but some preasure also goes on the pole and the nose. However to get pressure on all three points one is pulling reasonably hard. My horse responds to light pressure

I find my horse has no issues with this configeration. Its a lot like a halter.

As for side pull, all bits and bitless have a degree of side pull That is why bits have large D rings or bars to stop the bit traveling through the mouth thus applying side pressure as well.
    07-19-2013, 06:06 AM
Green Broke
This has been a really interesting thread for me.

As of tomorrow, I will be riding a loanee horse in an English Hackamore. I tried her out in it, and to say the feeling was weird is an understatement.

I never ride in anything but snaffle types, as in Germany until you hit double bridle you have to ride in snaffle for dressage.

I discovered I had a lot less 'feeling'. I like to be able to feel a horses mouth through my reins and feel how happy they are, or not. With this thing.. I felt a nose. I suppose that's how it was really.

I am not sure if it is just something I need to get used to, or if it is normal. Very strange! I will get back to you all as I have the mare to ride Saturday and Sunday!

bit, bridle, horse, tack

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