Dr Cooks Bitless Bridle - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-05-2013, 02:31 PM
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I guess what I'm trying to say is that if your horse does not understand what it is that you want him or her to do, no type of equipment is going to give him/her that understanding; so, I stand by what I said earlier; I do believe that if your animal understands what it is you want them to do, then the equipment is not the most important thing, (at liberty work would be a good example of this) but I suppose this could become quite the philosophical discussion!
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-05-2013, 11:34 PM
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I used one the the Dr. Cook bitless bridles on my mare for a while. I like it, but I would recommend you bought the leather version-- not the beta. The beta one is too grippy and once it tightens it won't release enough. The beta holds up a lot better and stays looking nice, but a bit too grippy imo.
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-06-2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by HorseCrazyTeen View Post
I used one the the Dr. Cook bitless bridles on my mare for a while. I like it, but I would recommend you bought the leather version-- not the beta. The beta one is too grippy and once it tightens it won't release enough. The beta holds up a lot better and stays looking nice, but a bit too grippy imo.
You're dead right on this. I bought the beta one first to see how it worked as its cheaper and then the leather one - it slides through the rings really smoothly and that makes a huge difference
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-06-2013, 12:08 PM
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I used to ride young horses in a side pull and liked it, but beware the rope nosebands on some of them. They can be very harsh and take the hair off a horse's nose. I have not tried the Dr. Cook's bitless, but I like riding bitless in general with the right horse. However, you may have options with other bits. Maybe your horse has a low palette, which could make a standard snaffle uncomfortable. Have you tried a 3 link snaffle? There are a lot of Herm Sprenger knock-offs that aren't too expensive. I think Korsteel makes a copper 3 link loose ring snaffle for around $30. Happy mouth also makes a 3 link that would probably be really gentle. Finding the right bit can take a lot of trial and error.
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post #15 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 04:12 PM
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Thumbs up for bitless bridles

I am a total bitless convert, going back at least a decade. Iíve been known to hack or do dressage in a halter, but normally I use a Cook bitless bridle for both. Many of my fellow boarders and my coach have also switched over to either bitless (various brands or adapted regular bridles) or a natural-type halter. A wide variety of issues across the horses started to disappear during the first ride without a bit: tense neck carriage, heavy on forehand, grinding, head-tossing, sucked back, grabbing the pit and pulling, inconsistent rein contact, and more Ö all gone in one or a small number of rides. In a bitless, these same horses now have a softer and more trusting eye, more inclination to stretch the back correctly from tail to nose, freer movement, and so on. At least one horse has become a much saner companion on the trails - who knew that a bit was causing that anxiety? Senior horse or young and green, all went better. I have yet to see a horse run away in a bitless bridle. With a leather Cook bridle, be aware that the cross-over leather straps will get worn at the part where they pass through the rings on the noseband; they should last a few years, but eventually will need replacing (replacement straps are available from Cook or you could get your local leather repair shop/saddlery to make new ones). Bitless bridles are not legal for showing, but there are petitions out there to change this situation.
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post #16 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by darkelb View Post
...I have yet to see a horse run away in a bitless bridle...
I have. Been there, done that, more than once. Rope sidepull halter. Bolting ad nauseum. My mare relaxes more in a curb bit than a snaffle, and more in a snaffle than a rope halter. Haven't tried Dr Cook's because I've read his stuff and think he is a nut. I also think my mare would go ballistic in a design that wraps around her face.

Dr Cook:

"The bit method’s primary fault is that, except in the hands of a master horseman with an unshakably independent seat, the bit causes pain. ‘Good hands’ depends on having little or no pressure on the bit. As the horse’s mouth is one of the most sensitive parts of its anatomy, even the slightest pressure (the weight of the bit and the attached reins) can cause intense pain. Think of the pain of badly fitting dentures or the irritation from a particle of food that lodges in your mouth."
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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."

Last edited by bsms; 06-08-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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post #17 of 20 Old 06-08-2013, 05:55 PM
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If you are serious about going bitless I have a black leather one for sale. A friend bo't it, tried it on her colt - too big and has asked me to sell it for her. $50 plus mail.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-10-2013, 04:12 PM
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Well I've got a Dr. Cook and my horse seems to like it...he also rides with a bit, and a hackmore. Definetly likes the DC better than the hackmore.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-11-2013, 09:00 AM
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My arab rode very well in a flat nylon halter. The halter was a Hamilton with the adjustable noseband which prevented it from crawling up his face.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-11-2013, 11:28 PM
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I don't like the squeeze the dr cooks gives. I prefer a regular rope halter. But that's just my opinion.

RIP ~ Mr. Bass 06/09/1985-01/21/2015 my dearest friend
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