My other question is which types of bitless bridles do you suggest and why? I have studied the crap out of bits and how they work and why - but am just now getting into learning about bitless bridles, so if you can explain the mechanics of it that would be fantastic.
I was looking at the Dr. Cook's and really like that one, rode a few of our lesson horses in one and they were amazing! But some parts of it looked pinchy - and the whole point is to avoid pain. What are some other types of bitless bridles, I will probably ride direct reining, I may eventually teach her neck reining for the heck of it, but my natural inclination is to direct rein.
Personally, I like side pulls. Simple, direct comunication with my horse, no gimicks. You pull on the left rein, it pulls on the left side of the side pull, horse goes left.
I have soft hands and my mare is a spirited arabian. She seems to resent preasure on her nose, so I'm currently using a snaffle on her, which she prefers. It is a mild bit, and I have soft hands, so pain is not a factor.
I really, REALLY dislike dr.cooks. Study the way they work. Would you like your whole head being squeezed whenever the rider asks for a stop? Not to mention behind the ears and the boney part of a horses jaw, which preasure is being applied to, is fairly sensitive. Every horse I've tried one on has hated it. I watched a horse at a clinic run around with its head in the air trying to get away from the dr cook.
You'll hear both sides of the argument, but I honestly think what works for your horse is the best opption.