The US Calvary, back in the day, had a general rule of thumb of letting the horses forage for 10 minutes each hour of riding. Or so I've read. Gives the riders and horses a good break from riding, too. True or not, it seems like a reasonable plan on a long trail ride, assuming there's forage to be had. Expecially if on a multi-day trip it seems like a good plan.
So if I stop to let the horse forage, should I remove the bridle and bit? I have a lead rope ring on the bridle and I have carabiners attached to the D rings on the saddle that I can hook the reins into so he can't get in trouble with the reins. So, I can control him and keep him safe with the bridle/bit on.
But should I remove it to make it easier/safer for him to actually accomplish the task of foraging? He sometimes grabs a snack as we ride so I know he CAN eat with the bit in. But is that a good option for a longer forage stop?