Some horses love them, others hate them.
Denny, my OTTB gelding, is one of the horses that HATES them with a passion. I can ride him in a halter no problem, but toss a bitless on and he's a different horse.
The only concern I have with bitless bridles is:
- Resale; if you ever have to sell this horse, people want to be able to put a bit in its mouth - if you're going to be doing this anyways, then it's a moot point
- A lot of people buy a bitless bridle thinking it's kinder to the horse, or the horse has developed a habit that people want to avoid, like head tossing or grinding the teeth; usually this is a problem much grander than a bit, like an ill-fitting saddle or teeth that need work. The misconception that bits are cruel is a big one; in the right hands a bit is absolutely not cruel.
Bottom line is if you want to ride in one, absolutely go for it, just make sure you aren't doing it to cover up for another problem.
I have a suggestion:
- It is a completely different sensation on the horse's face than any other piece of equipment you'll ever use. It's different than a halter and different than a bridle, so introduce it slowly like you are bitting a horse for the first time, because it can take a while for the horse to get used to.