That's interesting MN Tigerstripes because T never liked to have her head "hugged" either. When I tried the Dr. Cook Bit-less Bridle she gave such a violent reaction that it stunned me. She rides in an english hackamore, so didn't think it would be a big deal to switch. But now after reading about your horse it kinda fits because T never did like her head cuddled or hugged. Now she fine with hugging and gives her head to me all the time, so I could have just needed more time and conditioning to the Cook Bridle.
I actually got it for Walka originally, but because of his nose issue, he can't have any pressure there or he goes into spasms (quite severely). Too many nerve endings there because of the corrective surgery.
I do like the theory behind the Cook bridle, just didn't work out for me. Still have it though, never know about the "next" horse!