Originally Posted by LoganandMe
Hi, I'm new to this forum, but this is a topic that interests me specifically. I ride bitless, but I am wondering what the research is to back up the thought system that bits are good? I'm just trying to educate myself more on them.
Logan, welcome to the forum and you have no idea how much I appreciate you approaching this in a mature manner
. My research on the matter of bits simply comes from a lifetime of riding horses and over a decade of training. I've handled lots of bits, though I just recently (within the last couple of years) began to really educate myself about pressure ratios and mouth conformation.
IMHO, bits are not good...nor are they bad, they are just a tool. It all depends on the hands on the other side of the reins. Some bits have more potential
to be painful or damaging, but so long as the rider knows how to properly use them, then that risk is minimized.
The way I look at it, a snaffle bit is no different from a sidepull. They both have simple cues and the lowest possible pressure ratio, they just put the pressure on different parts of the horse. Mechanical hackamores (even though most folks use them incorrectly) are comparable to a standard curb bit.
You might consider reading these threads about bits, they talk about milder and harsher options and the different types and their uses. Bit Information (Snaffle and English-Type Bits) Bit Information (Curb and Western type bits and hackamores)