Most folks don't have the slightest clue about how to ride in a Hackamore/bosal setup. ....Like smrobs stated, they think they are getting something done in a corral trotting circles. But if they had to go outside and get something done
IME there are just as many(more because it's commoner?) that don't have a clue how to ride well with
a bit. How many 'hard mouthed' horses do you hear about for eg. I don't believe a bit causes that either, but the hands on the reins & training.
That doesn't mean that me or anyone else is resorting to pain to control a horse. That would be like saying that all people who use bits use pain to control their horse, not true.
What I said was; "Perhaps it may be seen as such for people who rely on pain to force a horse to do stuff, but if they don't use a bit in that way, there's no huge difference.." If not for the ability to cause (possibly) sharper pain with a bit, I don't get the difference between using one or not, as far as control, which seems to be what you're saying is lacking with a halter/hack.
If it isn't an art form or harder than it appears, than why have have very few horses that were rode in the hackamore won championships?
Rules? Tradition, the norm? Level of training for championships? Hackamores seem to be looked upon more for early/basic/normal training, whereas bitted bridles are looked on as good for more refinement.
Loosie, everything you put on a horse's head is a bluff for the most part. The reason that it takes a very talented horseman to be effective in a bosal is because it's a lot easier for the horse to call the bluff in that than it is in a bit.
Your first sentence about is precisely my point!
From what you regularly see at pony clubs, trail riding places, etc, I disagree with your second sentence. It seems to me that, as you've said, SM, everything you put on the horse's head is a bluff if the rider hasn't got a clue/the horse isn't trained well. Again, you both seem to be against the concept of using a bit to control with pain, but if it's not about that, why do you think it's harder to 'bluff' with a bit?
but if your headstall can only go to level 4 but the horse is willing to go to level 9, then you've already....
Just because some of us expect more from our training and our horses than plodding around doesn't mean that we resort to pain an intimidation to train. You simply can't get a nice, calm, relaxed, responsive horse if you train through pain.
Please look again at my earlier quote about bits & pain, as both you & Cow seem to have assumed I think bits are all about pain. I don't personally have a problem with a bit when used well on a well trained horse. Your above comments on the matter are contradictory - What on earth do you think 'level 9' about if you don't believe you use pain??