Bitless - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 04-21-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 684
• Horses: 2

I rode bitless with my mare few times last year, but then winter came and I stopped. It's been the second day today when I'm using the bitless bridle. In the orchard (which is some kind of round pen for me), she is good. Excellent in fact, there are no changes from bit bridle.
But when we're on a trail she starts troting without me asking her. I have to use some pressure to stop her (I don't need to do that with bit and also she never starts troting by herself).
I've been only on short, very familiar trails for now. She also "suggests" that she doesn't like this route very much (she wants to turn back to home). I spend some time then, to convince her to go where I want. I doubt I would be able to get her on totally new, far from home trail.

Should I ride bitless only in my "round pen" and use a bit on the trails, or will it become better in time?

It's silly, because I can do whatever I want without using reins-if she has a bit (doesn't matter if I don't use it). And I want to be bitless because Candy is more comfortable and relaxed without it.

What were yours first rides bitless and does it get better in time?


manca is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 04-22-2011, 02:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
What sort of bitless bridle are you using?

If she's a broke horse--and it sounds like she is--it really shouldn't be a safety issue to take her out on trails at all. You can get her stopped no matter what, correct?

If you aren't already, you need to get more accustomed to cueing her with seat, leg, and to an extent vocal cues. For example, when I'm asking one of my horses to stop, the first thing I do is take my legs off them, sit deeply in the saddle, say whoa, and pull on the reins, in that order, and all in less than a second time span. But rarely do I have to pull on the reins because the horse is already transitioning to a halt. It's the same principle for any command.

I think perhaps you may be using your bit as a crutch, even though you aren't harsh with it. You may be less confident without its presence, and your nervousness causes your mare to be less responsive to the same subtle body cues you always give.

When riding bitless, pretend you are riding with a bit. Give the same seat cues. If she does not respond as she should, don't be afraid to tug on the bitless bridle in an appropriate manner, rewarding her compliance with a release, as usual. Teach her that it's the same sort of thing, and she must respect it and listen to you all the same.
bubba13 is offline  
post #3 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 684
• Horses: 2
Thanks for the advice :)
I'm using sidepull, I tried dr. Cook bridle too, but I prefer sidepull.
I always give her commands with legs and weight transition, and I did almost everything with vocal cues, but I'm trying to stop doing that.
Candy is a little bit hyper sometimes and I was nervous on that first trail without a bit, so this could be reason.


manca is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
Well, for what it's worth, sidepulls are known for having very poor stopping power.
Can you ride her in a rope halter? Do you have access to a jumping hackamore to try?
bubba13 is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 04-23-2011, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,532
• Horses: 4
My mare likes bitless. She gets worked up over every bit I've tried to date.

My gelding can be ridden bitless, but he doesn't like it very much. He likes to know exactly what is expected of him, and a sidepull rope halter doesn't give him confidence. He'll obey, but it is obvious he is worrying.

In an arena, I can turn and stop him with leg and seat. On a trail...I wouldn't want to rely on it. The bit helps him to relax and feel calm.
bsms is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bitless ? AztecBaby Natural Horsemanship 97 02-17-2011 10:23 AM
How to go from bit to bitless?? LovinMyRy Natural Horsemanship 6 12-31-2010 01:01 AM
Is bitless really better? smrobs Horse Tack and Equipment 30 11-24-2009 06:43 PM
bitless to bit Aliboo Horse Tack and Equipment 5 04-06-2009 02:27 PM
Bitless?? Equuestriaan Horse Tack and Equipment 24 11-27-2008 08:40 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome