I personally never use a bit on the trail. I love using my Indian hackamore. My mare LOVES it and for her and I, trail riding is relaxing time. When I use a bit on her it means it is time to work. Last year for the annual Judged Trail Ride I used my Indian hackamore. My mom begged me to bring a bit but I told her I didn't need it. I even got scored HIGHER for not using a bit!!! 7 of 10 judges were like "WOW! You don't have much control over your horse. How do you feel safe without a bit???" I was like "I have faith in my horse and I've trained her well enough that I trust she won't act like an idiot on the trail. I've never needed a bit for her. So I guess good training and trust. I ride her bridleless all the time. I have no need for a bit unless I'm showing but that is only because I have to have one."