Robert Cook Bitless Bridle
http://www.bitlessbridle.com/BBdiagramB&W.jpgI absolutely love my bitless bridle! and i can only hope for more people to know about, and i want to share it with you all. i have been on a mission for a friendly and more natural relation ship with my horses. Along my path of discovery, i came across the bitless bridle by Dr.Robert Cook. it is an extraordinary design and i can`t help but believe that it is smarter than a bit. it works by applying pressure on the opposite side of the head and pushes the horses head in an upright position, rather than tilting the animal`s head the way a bit does, that causes discomfort at the poll joint. it is painless and effective. my horses are much more comfortable and exhibit an even more cheerful attitude while riding, and are more responsive to my cues. i am quite pleased with this system and i encourage you, and every other horse person to atleast look into this.
I agree, I had a similar bitless bridle made a few years ago for me, we have used it on 6 of our Horse and found no objections from them.
This design seems to help in training for breaking at the poll and a few other things the wife does with her Horses, I am not an expert on that part of training, I just ride ....lol....
I don't like the cross-under design. The ones I've tried - not this brand - don't give a release when you ease off on the reins.
For bitless, I prefer a sidepull halter. However, I've switched to using bits because it allows for more subtle communication with the horse. There are also times I WANT to tip the nose in, and I can't do that with a bitless bridle.
I'm not saying bitless is wrong. I rode bitless for 3 years. But neither is it wrong to use a bit. A lot depends on your horse & what you want to achieve with it.
My mare hadn't been ridden with a bit, so it took some time to teach her. Now that she is used to it, she performs better with a bit than without. YMMV. BTW - bits are also "painless and effective" when used correctly, and bitless can be harsh if used wrong. It is the USE that is painful or painless, depending on the rider - not the bit or bridle.
I LOVE this bridle for training or riding a well trained horse who doesn't need something to chew on in his mouth.
The first time I tried this bridle was with a Lipizzaner mare who had been at a "trainer's" for a year before being classified as untrainable. All this horse would do is trot in a 20m circle, no matter what you did with the reins! She wouldn't even stop. With this bridle I taught her to turn and to stop... eventually she could be ridden by my then seven year old daughter - this untrainable horse.
I also start all my young horses in this. It only applies pressure if the rider pulls on the reins. It is perfect for a horse who is tried of a bit. My daughter rode her Arab in medieval competitions (lancing and using wooden swords and steel javalins) in one for several years.
8 year old on "untrainable" Lipizzaner.
Same kid, one year later, showing off her prize for being the youngest rider at the competition on her Arab.
Oh - and other people love them enough that all three that I have bought have been stolen! Which means that I will be buying yet another this summer for starting our new Arab filly.
There are two horses that it has not worked for, one learned to bully through it. The other was very high strung. After years of riding and driving him in this bridle, I switched him to a bit with a tongue toy and he is much calmer.
I have seen other versions of this bit NOT work, this is the one I use.
Thank you for your opinion, and i agree, that bits are not evil of course, as i used them successfully for years but my point of view is more like "why would you put metal in a horse's mouth if you dont have to?" and in my case, my horses perform much better in Dr. Cook's bitless bridle. Since my results have been pleasant, i just wanted to share it.
I'm not opposed to bitless. I rode bitless almost exclusively for 3 years. If I get my Appy's training where I want, I'll probably switch him back to bitless. My mare seems to prefer a bit. And my new mustang seems very hard mouthed, so I may switch him to bitless for a while and see how he responds. It may be that having nothing in his mouth to pull against will help him relax.
It is always good to have options...
I had one made that just ran straight under the chin. Worked great for me. Pulls the head easily to either side (although I train to neck rein, it's sometime easier to get them started with a direct pull) and because the ends attach to the opposit sides when the nose band comes down I can apply pressue to the nose to bring it down too. Find that the nose pressure and the tightening under chin is also helpful with reinforcing "whoa" with a new horse :lol:.
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