Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bozeman Montana
• Horses: 0
I have a Dr Cooks bitless and I love it. I also agree that a lot of things that the site says are incorrect. A well fit bit should never be painfull.
I'm a firm believer that the harshness of a bridle, (regardless of whether it has a bit or not) lies in the hands of the rider. If you hold onto your horses head for dear life, you should not ride a horse, or at least get some help and become a better rider. It's like when you give a piggy back ride to a little kid and they hold onto your neck for dear life...that gets old real quick.
I trained Bonny on a snaffle and I can do anything with her with the bit, but I can also do everything that I do with a bit with nothing (does that make sense?) so why use one. I don't even have to use my bitless to ask her to leg yield in a straight line or sidepass or stop and back up. I can do all of that with just a halter or even at liberty, so if you don't need to use a bit, and don't want to and your both happy with not using one, don't. It's less stuff to worry about in my book.
If you use the bitless, you do have to kinda retrain your horse to face pressure for turning and stopping, but most horses pick it up in no time. At least Bonny did, and she'll "give" too, without me even pulling on the reins.
I also believe in desensitizing your horse to everything and getting them used to everything, including driving, english, western,trail riding, bits and bitless bridles....(except for sidepulls and some mechanical hackimores....and doing cruel things like the TWH abuse and racing) Acclimating your horse to everything seems to make a better horse.
Most of the time I just ride Bonny bareback with the halter, I don't even make reins! She's learned to pick up on all of my cues no problem. I'll probably switch bridles, just to keep her head level, and to keep my hands familiar with both feels too. But I love my bitless.!