Join Date: May 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
I personally don't have first hand experience with bitless, but I know numerous people that swear by them. Young old, starting or finished...I think to switch him over, long rein him with it as you would the halter. Once he's got that down and you're confidant he's ready for backing, I see no reason to wait. I've used short shanked hackamores quite a bit and I imagine it's the same idea but instead of a chin chain, it's a leather one. The only thing I could see a youngster getting confused about is that ANY pressure put on the nosepiece would apply some sort of backwards/whoa pressure. You'd have to make your turn signals somewhat exaggerated in order for him to associate it with forward and turning rather than whoa. I could be way off, but that's how my hacks have done. Once they figure it out, you're golden though. I'd say go ahead and see how he takes to a bitless, you seem to understand him well and you're confidant in what he already knows...nice to see you thinking about his mouth instead of getting on and going anyway. Hats off to you!
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly