New horse, Bit or Bitless? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 Old 03-01-2011, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 70
• Horses: 2
Question New horse, Bit or Bitless?

Ok, so my new paint has been given the go ahead by the vet to be ridden. He has healed from his accident(stuck on the fence), and I have been exercising him on the ground (natural horsemanship style). First off, I have only ridden him once, because he got hurt the day after i brought him home. He is very responsive to voice commands and did well the one time i rode him. Anyway, I havn't gotten him a bridle yet. The bridle I used previously is a bitless, but this horse has only been ridden in a snaffle. Should I chance starting out bitless in the arena or order a new bridle and bit? he threw one of his shoes and the farrier is coming out next tuesday, so I was going to ride him after his hooves are done. I tried the bitless on him and he seems to respond to it from the ground, but i wanted more opinions. He has alot more "go" than any horse i've had before lol.

thealabamaredhead is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 03-01-2011, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Vermont
Posts: 621
• Horses: 1
I would try bitted for starting simply because there are more options and little changes you can make with a bit. Going bitless may limit your options for change. Even more so if you plan on showing. Many rated shows ban certain bitless contraptions.
Personally, I would use a bit to start, and change over if the horse needed it.

"The wise man thinks he knows nothing.
The fool thinks he knows everything."

Tymer is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 03-01-2011, 08:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 12,472
• Horses: 4
I'd go with a bit for now, just to minimize the changes the horse has to get used to.
bsms is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 03-01-2011, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22,320
• Horses: 0
In all honesty, I don't see a problem with going bitless if that's all you have now. Since he has never been ridden bitless, I would suggest riding him in a small enclosed space the first couple of times until you figure out exactly how responsive he's going to be. Then, if you choose to, you can go ahead and get him a snaffle and bridle. IMHO, it never hurts to switch things up occasionally.
smrobs is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 03-02-2011, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,009
• Horses: 1
^What smrobs said. will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
aspin231 is offline  
post #6 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Oregon
Posts: 70
• Horses: 2
ok so i tried riding him yesterday...tried bitless and before i could get my other foot in the stirrup he was trotting, and wouldn't stop. the more i pulled the more freaked out he got, i tried letting the reins loose and just saying woah and sitting back..didn't work. finally just jumped off and borrowed my bf's snaffle. he was fine once he had a bit lol. i was hoping he would be like my other horses and do well bitless :( oh well. it may just be the type of bitless i used, it tightend around the muzzle when the reins are pulled. or i guess he just may be too much horse for it. opinions?
thealabamaredhead is offline  
post #7 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22,320
• Horses: 0
Sounds like he is lacking in some basic training then (or has been ridden bitless before and allowed to run through it). The good news is that a good snaffle bit is fairly inexpensive. I would work on him in the bit and get him more responsive to your voice and seat (not to mention some work on the ground to get him listening to a halter), then you can give it another try later on.
smrobs is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 400
• Horses: 0
When I broke in my arab, I did it with A Bosal. He is the "hottest" horse I ever owned. He was great for a while, but then got very competitive with other horses, and the end result was him running away with me when another rider cantered by us. Even one rein stop didint work in that thing, lol. Pretty scary as he was not even heading back home... Just out on a joy-gallop. I kept a bit on him for quite a time. Now that he is an old man I will ride him in an s hack tho. My experience is that some horses are too hot to go bitless
Posted via Mobile Device
christabelle is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 03-12-2011, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 317
• Horses: 1
Here's a different answer. Usually I endorse bitless, because that's how I ride. However, I am going to be using a snaffle bit, and eventually a curb bit, to rein with.

So to your question in the OP- Both.
Work towards being able to control your horse in a rope halter one day, and a bit the next.

Bitless riding and training is different. You cannot expect your horse to just "take" to it. You must work on the ground, lunge, and let your horse learn what is expected of him bitlessly.

It is my opinion, that ANY well-trained horse, unruined by abuse, hard hands or excessive force, with enough time, effort, and knowledge, can be successfully ridden both ways.

If a horse is "uncontrollable" bitlessly, it is not the headgear's fault. It is a rider/training/discomfort problem.
Clair is offline  

bit bitless bridle

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bitless bridle for stubborn horse? Dock Horse Tack and Equipment 4 09-10-2010 01:11 AM
Bitless bridles/ green horse? SarahRicoh Horse Tack and Equipment 2 09-06-2010 03:54 PM
starting a horse bitless? sehrlieb Horse Training 5 01-10-2010 02:10 AM
Bitless bridles- young horse? pros/cons-need help!! Go The Distance Horse Tack and Equipment 14 12-14-2009 08:43 PM
Bitless Bridle, Black Horse Size 4 Sale luvs2ride1979 Tack and Equipment Classifieds 4 11-21-2008 02:18 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome