Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Northern Ontario
I like riding in both, and switch depending on how much of a "work" frame of mind I want my horse in.
If I'm going out with the intent to teach him something, like neck reining, or stopping quicker, then I use a bit. It offers a more enforced signal with less pressure, giving him reason to look at my other cues I'm giving like body weight, leg placement, etc for signs of what I want.
If I want a lazy, soft paced day I slip a halter on and attach a lead rope. He still is expected to respond when I ask for something, but his frame of mind isn't so work orrientated and usually the halter is accompanied by bareback.
My horse know when a bit is on we'll likely be doing some faster, and more challenging work, but when the halter is on he knows we're just going to have a lazy day.
A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli