Goin' Bitless? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Goin' Bitless?

I have been thinking of trying Sundance with a Hackamore or something bitless. He doesn't take the bit well, and I'm wondering if he'd be more comfortable with a hackamore. Has anyone here switched from bit to bitless? I'd appreciate any training advice...
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 12:30 PM
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For 20 years I rode bitless, started all young horses on it until I had a serious accident. I always trained and rode in side pulls but it actually was heavier then a small light snaffle and the snaffle didn't rub the hair off the nose so I switched the older horse to a snaffle for just that reason.
I no longer start young horses bitless. I use a snaffle and only after a few months would I switch to a mild curb.
I feel if you want to make a horse light you need a bit and not one of those rubber ones either.
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 12:35 PM
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I've switched Daytona from a bit for awhile (she did much better bitless, to be honest)- I'd give it a try. :)
However, now she's back in a bit, & is doing really well.

Success comes a [bit] at a time.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 02:13 PM
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I switched my mare from a snaffle to a hack and she's doing MUCH better!

~ SabreBaby. :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 07:50 PM
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We are bitless here. It has worked well for us. I also rode with a hackamore in my earlier horse days. I, and the horses, can/will use bits, but prefer bitless.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-30-2009, 10:01 PM
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I ride T in an english hackamore. I ride with a lose rein and use my legs and seat mostly resorting to rein in speed control only as a reinforcement if she disregards seat. I neck rein and direct rein with no problems. She is light and obediant and a very happy girl.

Walka is ridden in a full check snaffle and is also light and responsive. He seems very comfortable with that selection.

I purchased a Dr Cook Bitless Bridle for T a few years ago, and she absolutely hated it. So, your horse will let you know if he/she is comfortable or not.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-31-2009, 01:55 PM
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Give it a try. I use the Dr. Cook bitless bridle which uses the crossover technique instead of localized pressure and my horses love it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-03-2009, 03:04 PM
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I'm using the Dr. Cook bitless with the crossover also and Soda is really not liking it. I am giving it a little more time to see if he will get used to it, but I'm not hopeful at this point. Just give it a try, your horse will let you know if they like it or not.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-03-2009, 03:13 PM
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I've started both 3 year olds in a Dr. Cooks. Saro (now in a snaffle) is ready to go to a curb in the next few weeks. Shiloh is just starting in a snaffle.
I loved the Dr. Cooks for starting them out. I think it really helped transition them from the ground work we started with, to the saddle.
I use the bitless on Vida (my finished 10 year old mare) when I'm not to particular how she goes. She likes it and is comfortable in it, but I really feel like its a step backwards for a finished horse. If you feel like your horse needs to take a step back due to behavior issues, its not a bad thing.

ETA- We started with a rope halter and a single lead rope for the first rides then to the dr. Cooks then the snaffle then the curb. Just FYI on the transitions.


"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France

Last edited by Vidaloco; 08-03-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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