Emily, the reason that we got so up at arms was because in your first post, and almost every one subsequent, you have implied that the horse doesn't respond to the training it gets, but is simply trying to avoid the "pain" caused by the bit and/or spurs and that is why they respond. You make it sound like no matter what, even carrying around the bit is uncomfortable and maybe even painful for them. Unless you have the same mouth configuration as a horse and have tried a bit on, then you couldn't possibly know that past what your experience has been with your bits on your horses. You prefer bitless and bareback, that's fine. Going bitless and bareback is completely impractical for me since I do a lot of cow work and roping. I honestly believe that my horses like the bit because if they didn't, I seriously doubt that they would drop their head and bridle themselves the way they do. Your experience has been molded by a bad experience with a bit and that's fine. We are each influenced by our own experiences, but it was rather offensive to me to read someone who automatically assumes that my horses are uncomfortable in the bit when I see proof every day to the contrary.