Goin' Bitless?

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Goin' Bitless?

This is a discussion on Goin' Bitless? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        07-30-2009, 12:26 PM
    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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        07-30-2009, 01:30 PM
    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.
        07-30-2009, 01:35 PM
    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.
        07-30-2009, 03:13 PM
    I switched my mare from a snaffle to a hack and she's doing MUCH better!
        07-30-2009, 08:50 PM
    Green Broke
    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.
        07-30-2009, 11:01 PM
    Green Broke
    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.
        07-31-2009, 02:55 PM
    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.
        08-03-2009, 04:04 PM
    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.
        08-03-2009, 04:13 PM
    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.

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