Bitless bridle questions/process/results?
I've had a look, but can't find any posts that directly answer all my questions so I figured I'd stick them all in here Any help from people who ride or have tried bitless would be awesome!
Which type have you had most success with/which would you recommend? I ride Nugget bareback around the yard in just a halter and have never had a problem, he is very responsive to leg, seat and voice cues. I'm not sure if he'd accept the head hugging of a cross under bitless.
How did you transition your horse to bitless and/or did you have much trouble? Just throw it on, they adjusted well and go or area work before taking it to the trails. I trail ride but I do have access to an arena when I need to do "work" lol.
Any other advice for transitioning?
At what age/experience level would you introduce a horse to bitless? Does it affect how a gaited horse moves? I'm an intermediate rider, Nugget is 12 and pretty much my push-button-pony. I have no real worries about changing him to bitless.
I do have a 3 year old TWH, Rylen, who came back from training at the beginning of August. He is currently in a French link snaffle and has a very soft mouth, he is quite responsive to leg and seat cues. He has a good stop but we did have an "episode". The neighbour's aggressive dog made an appearance and spooked all the horses ( both the ones in the field and ours while riding up the front yard ) and everyone took off at a gallop. He ran for a few hundred feet before I could stop him and he was dripping sweat. I know a bit is not a brake pedal, but I'd rather not have this happen in a bitless if we're not ready for it. I have read though that panic combined with the discomfort of the bit can actually make the spook worse, any opinions? He is not a flighty horse by any means and is usually quite level headed.
After going bitless, would there be anything that would make you consider returning to a bit? Are you happy with the results?
To anyone that read that novel....Thanks!
Your post actually inspired me to join the forum board, I wanted to share my experience with my bitless bridle.
I have one (actually 2) of the Nurtural bridles (the first one got replaced after a rein got stepped on and the cheekpiece snapped, but hey, no mouth injuries!). It is a Canadian made cross-under style bridle. (Nurtural Bitless Bridle The better bitless bridle) I started using it on my baby when we started riding and have never gone back. She carries a bit comfortably and was ridden consistently in one when I leased her out for a year, but I honestly feel like I have more 'control' with the Nurtural. All I do is trail ride and I have never been in a situation where I was unable to guide her with it.
I would have to say that introducing one is like using any other piece of equipment - slow and steady. The biggest difference I think is the squeezing sensation from the cross-under, some horses do well, some do not tolerate it. I would just attach a lead rope to the rein rings and lead your horse around for a bit to get used to it. Otherwise, direct reining works just as usual.
As for gaited horses - The place I board at now, the gal rides all her horses bitless, some cross-unders, some sidepulls, whatever the horse was more comfortable with. 2 of them are Tennessee Walkers, 2 are Missouri Fox-trotters. None of them seem to have had their gaits affected by being ridden bitless.
Sorry, you got a bit of a novel in return . . . post if you have more questions!
Thanks for the information prettypony! I will definitly check out that website :D
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