My reason for not wanting to use a bit is mainly because I want to be able to train him in a halter, and use the bit only for shows...so when he has the bit in his mouth he goes into "show horse" mode.
The halter and lead rope is considered a Parelli Hackamore.
I am not going to use a mechanical hackamore when he responds well to a halter.
You want the horse to be relaxed while riding, you want him to WANT to work for you, and want you to ride him...if he's not relaxed I personally don't think he'll enjoy the time.
I wouldnt ride with a rope halter, you have no leverage if he would decide to pull something on you... if you don't believe in a bit other then showing you should get something a little better then that.
As I've said, Sonny responds PERFECT to the halter as long as he's alone. Another reason why I don't want to use a bit is because my bridle and reins is a pain in the you-know-where to switch bits...and I will NOT use my western bit for training purpose or any pleasure riding....and currently I have my western bit on and I'd perfer not to keep switching it back and forth.
Using a halter and lead rope is my decision....and I don't want to use a bit...if a horse is sound 100% barefoot, why put shoes on him? Same thing...if he responds good to a halter, why put a bit in his mouth....compaired to a halter, a bit IS harsher.
Yes, it is a rope halter...with the knots...I've NEVER seen a rope halter without on.
Valley, trust me....my balance is just as good in a saddle than without. He's done dead stops, sharp turns, etc and I haven't ONCE fell off bareback or felt like I was about to.
He listens great, and he'll do circles and go in other directions, just you can tell his mind is on that horse, and occasionally he does try to inch over, but not alot