Iv only rode a horse once or twice in a bitless bridle but my trainer used to have to ride his mare in one all the time. She was a nightmare, it didnt matter if you used a rubber snaffle rapped in cotton wool shed throw her head around and take of.. was not a happy horse! I couldnt believe the change in her when he put hr in a hackamore. She was a totally different horse, rode beautiful. I would note that my trainer was very experienced and had used one before, so if its your first time using a bitless bridle id get some1 to show you first, because they can be tricky to get the hang of to ride in and also making sure it is fitted correctly..
My girl is better in a bitless than with a bit. I didn't start using a bit until after I had her wolf teeth pulled. I figure that she's used to being led around in a halter and a bitless bridle wasn't too terribly different. I'm still looking for the perfect bitless bridle since the one I have is too loose around the nose and will rub her raw. I have to wrap the nose band to protect her nose.
I am transitioning to a hackamore. I have to get Sam's teeth floated and until I do I don't want to ride him with a bit. Sad to say, it took me several weeks of bit experimenting before I could fully confirm he needed to have them floated. During that time I moved him from one bit style to another trying to find a comfortable bit for him. He was constantly shaking his head and his tongue was hanging out.
After several weeks of putting fingers into his mouth we were finally able to confirm it was teeth and not behavioral.
I explained all that because Sunday was his first time in the hackamore and he was completely reversed. He was a participant during the training and kept his mouth shut tongue inside his mouth the entire training session.
I could tell he was engaging in the training and even his gait felt smoother.
Frankly, up until I read the posting about Mechanical Hackamore's and the dangers they present, I was thinking I would not move back to a bit after his teeth are floated.
The postings in that thread scurred me. :wink:
it will be interesting to find out where I end up. I like the ease with putting the hackamore on. I always thought a bitless bridle was more humane, but after some of the postings on this subject it appears to be quite the opposite.
I haven't used a bit on any of my horses since the late 70's. Not sure I'm qualified to comment, because I'll even just use a halter or if their trained (neck reining) sometimes just loop a line under their neck for riding around the pasture or farm.
Love bitless for a variety of reasons and doubt that my horses mine not having a bit )
It really depends on the horse and your personal preference. I use hackamores on all my horses just because that's what's we have always used.
I've heard people saying they use them because they don't want to jerk on the horses mouth, that may be true but I think it's important to note that a rough rider can hurt a horse in a hackamore or other bitless bridle just as easy as they could with a bit. I've heard of rare (thankfully) cases where riders have crushed the nasal cavity from being so rough.
Obviously I'm sure you wouldn't be that rough with your horses but bitless bridles in my opinion, are just as effective as bits, you just have to keep in mind that what may work for one horse may be a disaster for another.