Does anyone have any experience with bitless bridles?  I am interested in buying one, and would like to know of any experiences that any of you might have had with them - successful and unsuccessful.....thanks.  I tried one out on my  Welsh/Standardbred this morning - tremendous difference in her way of going....hard to get used to but once I caught on, and she caught on, great things started happening.  The trot slowed, she started carrying herself, she wasn't pulling on the reins, she stayed straighter, she was less anxious and far more attentive.  I have only owned her for about 1 1/2 years - don't know anything about how she was broke out and/or trained (I use the terms loosley), but she has always jerked the reins out of my hands, whether standing or going.  I've experimented with a couple of bits on her, but she still seems nervous, and chomps continuously causing mega foam !!!! but almost putting herself into a trance, from which she jerks herself out of  and then gets anxious again.  She has a wonderful temperament, looks like a Friesian, and trys very hard to do the right thing.  I hope the bitless bridle will allow her to relax, go on a looser rein, and concentrate on what I am asking her to do.  She was quite happy today with those lips of hers flopping around.  In a few months I hope to get her back into a  bridle and see how things go.

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I'll be interested in seeing what you think, so will look forward to your post.
I got my bitless bridle converter and have ridden in it twice now. I ordered the leather one and the quality is very nice. The curb/rein connector is a very soft and wide webbing which seems to be quite comfortable for Tango. My only concern is that the reins tend to slide depending on which rein has more pressure applied to it. I'm going to shorten the curb a bit more ....... I may have had it too long to start with.

I am quite happy with this purchase. I like to have an alternative to riding with a bit. And I think that for a rider and horse with more training than Tango and I, it would probably work well right off the bat. For us, we are still working on learning aids and, well, basically everything for training, we still need to go back to the bit. For a nice hack/relaxing ride, this will be great. And eventually, we should be able to train in it as well.

So, except for the one issue with the reins sliding, I would definitely reccommend this bitless converter. They make a full bridle as well.

I will be contacting the dealer with some pictures/videos of us to make sure that I have things set up properly. Will keep you posted :)
Hi Nora, I'm glad you like this bitless method. The chin strap does slide through, though when the buckle of the chin strap is centered it does limit the slide some. I set mine so that there is 2-3 inches from the nose-band ring to the rein ring on each side--I prefer 2 inches, but I can't always seem to get it.
When I do not want the chin strap to slide too much I keep contact with the inactive rein, and when I give an rein aid I immediately release it and go back to normal contact.
Thanks Jackie.......I think I had mine at 2 inches, and changed it to about 1". Tango has a pretty small circumference around the chin area, and I can still get 2 flat fingers underneath. We'll give this a go, and next time I use it I'll take a picture of her head and post it for you for your advice.......
I have never had a problem with bits on horses, that were ridden by me only. The only time, the bit was a problem was on a horse, who had other problems as well, they were just badly ridden, scared, in pain, confused. In those horses, removal of a bit helped, but mainly because it also changed the way they were ridden. Riders lost some of their "guts", and actually became gentle, quietter, less demanding.

Despite all that, I switched to BB 9 years ago. First, I thought it was a good idea to start my 2 horses in BB, then introduce the bit. Well, it never happened. I am with BB and I will never go back.

One word of caution. There is a big learning curve if you want to achive self-carriage, extremely sensitive control and very quiet head. That does not happen over night, and requires perhaps different re-schooling since this cannot be done by using neck as a steering wheel. Unfortunately, lot of people get so frustrated with BB, they start to see-saw in order to get the horse on the vertical. That is a total disgrace of the BB idea. Take a look at some dressage riders in BB on the YouTube, you'll know what I mean. Please, never get tempted, take your time...
And, you know what is wonderful about BB? I no longer have to worry about an accident, that would leave reins on the ground, and the horse stepping on it. Nor I have to worry about jumping that went not so well, and my body hangs on the rein by many different ways. With BB, the damage to tissue is minimal.

BTW, when I was young, I witnessed a horse stepping on the curb rein when it bolted, and it fractured its mandibular bar. I had been nervous using curbs since, until I found out, I don't need this piece of metal ever :-)
>The rider is having to reschool herself because of the power and freedom the horse now has.

It l;ooks like the rider has come form the english seat? She doe not have an indepent hand, and her posting is also hard, not in a good rythm with a horse. Unless she changes that, it will be difficult to lower the neck of the horse and get it really relaxed. Judging from the broken canter sequence, the horse braces against the pressure on the nose.
Alan, I like the way the horse goes forward. It is unconstrained and forward. Something, that is a good starting point with any horse. Without their mind thinking "free", we have nothing, and all is left for us pushing, pulling, control this and control that.
But the horse came from the gated style? If yes, then it explains the broken canter sequence, and somewhat disunited trot expecially at the start of trotting. That might take a long time to "clean". Kind of learning to walk again after a long time in braces. I would not blame an attitude for any of this. Treat him like a patient :-)
I used a "bitless bridle", actually a bosal years ago and it worked fine. Of course back then it didn't seem too radical to not use a bit. So when I got back into riding last fall after many years of not riding, I wasn't keen on using a bit with my new to me 11 year old Arab. I was interested to find out that bitless bridles were considered sort of "new wave" or something unusual.At any rate I slipped a cross under type bitless bridle on my Guy, in a field of course, I didn't hit the road right off the bat, did a few flexions, stops etc. to make sure he was responding. He seemed to be a wee bit confused for a couple of minutes, but soon took to it as well or better than his old snaffle. So I have used the crossunder bridle since and he has been very responsive in it. I have ridden him all summer on roads and trails. I get a second look from some people because at first glance it looks like a regular bridle, till they see he doesn't have a bit. Having ridden bitless long ago, just meant I didn't have any questions in my own mind on using it. I'm really glad he took to it because if I want to ride in winter, I hate the idea of putting a cold bit in his mouth.
I can associate with what you are saying about the "shocking new ways that used to be a norm". I started to ride seriously when I was 13. In a local Club in the Eastern Europe. We used snaffle bits in my old days, but being light on equipment, some had to ride on modified halters. Including cross country and jumping.
We also had trouble to get a farrier to our stable on a regular basis, so we were barefoot. Sometimes we got "lucky" and we shod horse for the summer jumping competitions, but mostly, we kept horses shoes-free. No one was considering it novelty, cruelty, extremism, etc. We even traveled with horses on a foot to the show-jumping competition grounds, covering at least half of the distance (up to 20km) on the paved rode. Barefoot.

How much of the "normal" has become revolutionary today... the question is why?
I just discovered this conversation, and I must say that I have really enjoyed reading the posts. I, too, use a bitless bridle (Nurtural) on my mare. There are a number of bitless bridles that I'd love to try. I am happy with my Nurtural, but the Spirit Bridle is on my wish list :o)
Intersting discussion but I am wondering if any of you take regular instruction from a certified coach? I don't honestly think it matters whether or not you prefer a bit or bittless since most of your riding comes from your position, seat and legs. This is why people who ride in a halter and lead ropes have the sucess they do. One person said they were going to try a hackamore in dressage. Does anyone know if this device is allowed in the show ring(dressage)?


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