Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
I'm not an expert, but I imagine that it takes similar training/work to get the horse/rider 'communication' understood when riding bitless as it does with a bit, even for a well trained horse. Our 14 yr old finished/seasoned mare is very light in the mouth, always responds, knows verbal commands, and has never run through the bit (we use eggbutt snaffles), but she knows that if I take her out in an open field, get to a lope, give her a little leg and a loose rein, that means 'pick your speed until I tell you to slow down.' I don't think I would ever be confident enough, even with her, to rely on a 'whoo' to replace that slight 'slow down' bit pressure when riding at a gallop.
Most importantly, glad your weren't hurt!
On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.