Does anyone ride Bitless. I am curious. I ride alot with just the halter and wondered how much of a differance there is??
i have never ridden bitless, jjust bridless, but i have seen grand prix showjumpers ride bitless, with i htought was cool. i dontthink there that big a difference between rope halters and bitless bridles
I personally feel like I have more control in a bitless bridle as opposed to just a halter. When I ride in a halter I just use a single lead rope and neck rein in one direction and direct rein in the other direction which probably doesn't help the whole security deal. haha
Lacey and I really like our bitless bridle though. She acts more comfortable in it and I feel more comfortable because she's comfy. =)
You can just tie the other end of the rope to the halter like a pair of reins:P
I can ride on mare in a rope halter and she does really great in it, but when it comes to somethings she really needs a bit.
Then one of my geldings, its absolute suicide to ride him without a bit lol
I can ride all my horses in a halter. I would expect every horse I own to be able to. However, I choose to ride in a bit as I can get more finesse and refinement - Also, in an emergency, a bit gives you a whole lot more grunt if you need it.
I find them quite...strong to put it mildly, my horse goes fine in a halter an english hackamore or a regular snaffle but he doesn't like the bitless at all for two reasons:
A) Bitless bridles require the noseband to be done up rather tight (think of dressage) and for a western trained horse who has never worn a noseband that constricted his jaw, this is extremely uncomfortable.
B) When I try to establish contact, he can feel the pressure all over his face and is bothered by it, resulting in him becoming extremely "wiggly" and requiring even more leg support than he normally does.
There are halters that are specifically designed for riding, they are widely considered to be the very mildest variety of bitless bridle
Example of a rope riding halter:
I ride in a rope halter most of the time when I'm just cruising out on the trails - for more refined work, I use a simple sidepull (noseband NOT done up tight - I'm with you on that matsatisan, don't like tight nosebands!) or a Floatation Hackamore by Nickers Saddlery. I like both of these for more refined arena riding, including dressage and jumping.
I don't like "the" bitless bridle by Dr. Cook - I find it doesn't release quickly enough and is confusing the way it twists the head. Lots of lovers of this bridle though.
I also do like using a basic short-shanked hack on my big gelding - he has done lots of endurance riding and eventing and on race days or XC, he can resemble a freight train on occasion - He has a real problem with bits (fat tongue, low and WIDE mouth - greatly restricts the bit selection!) and goes OK in the Myler for Dressage (required) but for everything else is a much softer creature in either his sidepull or hackamore :)
Any horse that I own or that I'm training will be ridden in a rope halter first. A rope halter/rope halter hackamore is VERY different than a "bitless bridle." Bitless bridles use leverage and can be quite harsh.
A horse should be able to do anything in a halter...jump, go on a trail ride, w/t/c stop and back up, etc. Bits are for refinement and clearer communication, not for control. IMO if the horse can't be ridden in a halter, even in just a certain situation, there is a hole in his foundation that needs to be fixed.
I ride Beau in a Nurtual bitless bridle sometimes. They say it's supposed to have "equal to or greater control than a bit", which, in my experience isn't always the case. I get much greater refinement in a bit if I want to do dressage work, and I don't have to "talk as loudly" with the bit.
Bitless bridles do require much more use of seat and legs though, and they will teach you to use those two aids more than your reins, which is good.
Yes, some bitless bridles do use leverage. My rope hackamore on the other hand, does not.
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