Dr Robert Cook Bitless Bridle

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Dr Robert Cook Bitless Bridle

This is a discussion on Dr Robert Cook Bitless Bridle within the Natural Horsemanship forums, part of the Training Horses category
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    08-04-2009, 05:10 AM
Dr Robert Cook Bitless Bridle

Hi, I've been looking at the Robert cook bit-less bridle and I'm thinking of getting one.
Has any one tried one or know if they are any good?

The Bitless Bridle by Dr. Robert Cook, FRCVS, Ph.D.
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    08-04-2009, 05:38 AM
I have never ridden in one but I know of a whole riding school who wont use bits and will only use this type of bridle they swear by them and they seem to do pretty good in them
    08-04-2009, 07:58 AM
Green Broke
We use it with our horse and she has done fabulously in it. We do have a snaffle we use as well, but I like the bitless. I grew up using hackamores and other bitless systems and this is my favorite by far.
Not all horses will appreciate it and it is important to be aware of how you use it, but it can be a great tool for those who like the idea of it.
    08-04-2009, 08:34 AM
My horse doesn't seem to like the Dr. Cook. I've been trying some different options this year as he doesn't seem to like his current bit. I don't think he likes the pressure on his whole face and the noseband keeps him from being able to yawn, which he doesn't like. I loosened it at least 2-3 holes further than the recommendation. That being said I know several other horses who go really well in it.
    08-05-2009, 04:54 AM
Thanks for your comments.
I ride in a roped head collar now and again, so I not sure that the pressure thing on his face would be an issue. The article about this bridle stated it was better and kinder for a horse than a roped head collar, due to the pressure. Its interesting to hear that the pressure thing was a problem to tigerstripes.
    08-05-2009, 08:54 AM
I was suprised also as Soda generally goes better in a rope halter with a lead rope attached than a bridle. Based on that I thought the Dr. Cook Bitless was the way to go. He's a pretty sensitive horse in regards to pressure though and I'm thinking he just doesn't like the pressure on his whole face (gentle hug is what they call it on the website). He does have a tendency to be iffy about his face being handled though so that might be a part of it. I'd give it a shot, but if there is some way to get a used one I'd go that direction first. One of my friends loaned hers to me so I didn't have to buy a new one. Another thing (I'm sure you know this) give him time to adjust too. I tried Soda in it for a good week & a half before deciding that it really was that he didn't like it, not that he just didn't understand.
    08-05-2009, 09:09 AM
Green Broke
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!
    08-05-2009, 04:58 PM
I bought one over a year ago and never used it. I started riding our young horses this last spring. I decided to dig it out and start them in it. They both did beyond what I figured they would with it. I definitely recommend it for starting young horses over a bosal or hackamore. If it wasn't for wanting to move on to collection and gait I would have left them in it.
I find it takes more muscle than a bit does. I have arthritis in my hands so I can't handle much pressure. I'm used to doing just a finger wiggle for most responses If I could handle the heavier hand that it takes to use one I would use it all the time.
    08-05-2009, 06:36 PM
I'm glad someone else had a similar response with a similar type horse! Kinda confirms my choice to move back to a bit. I did put it on my TWH mare to start teaching my 4 year old neice how to turn and she went fine in it. Actually better than in the bridle. I figured it would be gentler with small unsure hands on the reins.
    08-07-2009, 01:48 AM
I think I will stick to the rope halter / bridle & bit (not at the same time). I suppose don't fix if it ain't broken springs to mind. I likes the sound of it mind. Like Vidaloco said it's properly best for a young horse.

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