With a western horse you are striving for a loose rein all the time anyway. But us "normal folks" will have to still cue our horses and check their speed once in a while with the bit. So I kind of look at this like the ultimate progression of a well trained horse. He can read your body language so well and you are so in tune with him, and he no longer challenges you and you don't have to use the bit for cues, well, that is what you get.
And nope, I will never get there! But, it isn't hard on a horse that neck reins to ride in an enclosed area such as an arena, with just a neck rope. I think most riders can achieve that. I used to do that with my (lazy) Arabian when I was still just a beginner. And it still looks impressive.
But I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that outside an arena, as you have absolutely nothing to back up your request for brakes, other than your body language.
I wonder if Clinton would or could ride outside an arena bridleless? I would guess he could, but never would, as it's just not very smart, and he seems like a self-preserving kind of guy.