I read about 23 of the first pages on here, and wanted to add.
I am a bitless rider, through and through. I don't at all have a problem with bits, if they are used correctly. In the right hands, they can be good, in the wrong hands, they can be bad. Depends on the rider. I ride bitless cause even though my Paint was broke with a bit, and trained in a bit, when I switched to bitless his response was 100 times better. He truly preferred the bitless over a bit.
Bits arent my issue, my issue is that I have talked to some people, and they say riding bitless is like doing delicate work with boxing gloves on, and this is the vibe I get from some of these posts. It seems as if some of the people on here are saying that you cannot get your horse as accurate with bitless, than if you had a bit. That is not true. I can guarantee Stacy could have got the same results if she had started her horses with a bitless bridle.
The bareback, bridless riding Stacy does, takes more precision that anything a horse could do with a bit.
I didn't read any of the posts before my first comment. Just couldn't resist making it
but read a couple on this last page.
Don't let be upset with people who swear by the bit. It's in the training and they depend on the bit to train the horse. With some horses it can take some time to train without the bit. Other probably learn faster without it, because thier not having to deal with something in their mouth.
Like people how swear horses should have shoes vs going unshod their whole life.
I worked cattle (in my younger days) with no bits. Never had shoe on any horse I've owned. Ridden 30+ miles a day along busy roads. Hunted off the back of my QH and have yet to see were I needed a bit. That same QH was the only horse to truly run away (running over .2 of a mile with no control) with me and she had a curbed bit in her mouth at the time. she didn't care about the bit or any pressure in her mouth. she was a run-away. I finally stopped her before she killed us both on the hwy by pulling her head all the way back to the right and she slid onto her side. The bit didn't allow that. Could do that with just a halter. 3 years later I gave the bits away and just rode with halters. Haven't trained with, or owned a bit since.
I don't fault people who use bits. It's thier horse and if it makes them feel safe, then so be it (I used to sleep with my teddy bear when I was little
It's like when my vet (1970's) kept telling me that I was going to have problems with my first horse's feet, because I refuse to have her shod even after she reached 3 years. It took until she was 6 before he finally told my that she had the best feet he'd seen and wanted to know what I was doing. Just riding her almost every day...it was a working farm
....on the farm and any place I needed to go. Even to town, which was over 30 miles round trip.
In point of fact the OP almost makes the point for you with the statement that you never need to move to a more severe bit if you train properly. Well, you can also say you never need to use a bit if you train correctly
Happy trails, and enjoy riding regardless of how you do it.