Originally Posted by BitlessForHappiness
But it's amazing the difference it makes.
This is the statement that I always have a problem with. It should say "But it's amazing the difference it CAN make."
I've tried the bitless route with my horse and he highly disliked it. So much that he actually injured himself because he was concentrating on how much he disliked the face pressure.
Soda is ridden in a french link snaffle and I rarely put anything but the softest pressure on it. I'm not a perfect rider but I'm well aware of the impact of my hands and their place in the cycle of asking for a response. I'm not a hard handed rider in a snaffle, curb, or bitless but my horse has shown me that he doesn't like the bitless route.
Granted I was using the Dr. Cook bridle and it may be that that particular mechanism is what he has a problem with. It's possible that he may be completely happy with a bosal, hackamore, or a simple sidepull. But he's also perfectly happy in his simple french link. I'd know it if he wasn't, he's a tempermental sensitive boy and he lets you know very quickly when he doesn't like what you're doing. I joke with my friends sometimes that he's training me more than I'm training him.
Either which way he will be tried out and trained in (if he doesn't show extreme dislike or discomfort) in a bosal, curb, and sidepull. But for now he's happy and I'm getting my point across in a gentle teaching manner so it works for us.
Sorry if I'm hammering on this point too much, but it's a pet peeve of mine how someone (not specifically you Bitless) can be so adamant that one way is the "one true path." Especially with something as individual as a horse's preference. *steps off pedastal*