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Mary Liz 11-11-2012 09:37 PM

Your opinion of a Bitless bridle
Hey guys so I went to a Renaissance festival recently and got to see some jousting with knights on horseback. I was so happy to see that the people riding the horses were not pulling in the horses mouths and they had really light hands. I was also amazed at the fact they were riding with a bitless bridle. So what's your opinion of these bridles and can you do everything with those bridles that you can do with a bridle with a bit? :-)

bsms 11-11-2012 10:06 PM

"can you do everything with those bridles that you can do with a bridle with a bit?"

Well, you cannot on my horse. A bit allows more subtle communication than a bitless bridle. If all you need is "turn left" or "stop" from a well behaved horse, they are fine. If you want to be able to play around with the reins to help calm a nervous horse, or want to say "don't move your front feet quite so far", then bitless won't work.

Bitless can also have problems with stopping a panicked horse. Lots of folks don't have to worry about that, but if you do...

SorrelHorse 11-11-2012 10:19 PM

Depends on the horse.

My four year old responds better to poll pressure, so he rides in a light short shank gag bit.

Selena responds best to nose pressure, so she often gets a bit with a noseband or a sidepull or something like that.

Some horses go great in one. Others won't.

Spotted 11-11-2012 10:22 PM

I think it depends on the horse as well, I have used one for years on my gelding, he seems to love it, he helps to put it on.

HippoLogic 11-11-2012 10:27 PM

I haven't encountered yet that I couldn't achieve something with my cavesson.

I ride transitions forward and back, make bends, stops and I even achieved making a stop with my panicking horse without a bit. That is the reason why I train the one-rein-stop often, so it becomes a reflex.

I also ride lateral movements with my horse (my seat is more important than the reins, because the reins just tell the horse how much his head is turning.)

For calming my horse down I don't need a bit, I have another very good exercise for that.

So, I do not need a bit right now. But my horse is also not done with changing all her teeth/molars. My horse is not that far in her education, so may be we will need a bit in the future. But may be we will never need one. We will see...

I think it is hard to make a generalization about bits: that all/none horses need one. May be it it also dependable at the discipline and/or level that a combination is.

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