Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
I used to use rope halters exclusively, but I've switched to using a bit. For basic riding, the halter is fine. However, if they get nervous - particularly my mare - I find the subtlety of the bit makes it easier to calm her down. A pinkie of pressure on each rein in synch when her shoulder goes forward, and in 5-6 strides she starts to relax. With a rope halter, I can't do that. Not with her. I also find the bit allows me to help her out more when she drops her shoulder in a turn.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)