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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Don't misunderstand me, If you prefer to go bittles that's great. I am just saying you don't need a bit to accomplish your goal of a arched neck,rounded back and proper impulsion from behind. I also never meant to imply that this is in any way easy however, it is the the goal.
This is the basic problem. Arched neck is not a goal. It is a BYPRODUCT. Once you start thinking about it as a goal, you are on a decadent path. Unfortunately, that is not your fault, all mainstream methods adopted it and there is no easy way out of it. It is a DOCTRINE. Rounded back is a myth. There is no such thing. A horse cannot round its back much. DR. Hillary Clayton measured it, and at most, the magnitude in canter is roughly about 2cm. In fact, the faster the horse goes, the more rigid the back must be, otherwise it risks injury. The purpose of the back muscles is to stabilize the back as much as they can. The rigid spine of the horse is the sole reason, why we can ride them. This theory, that a horse rounds its back is entirely made in the laboratory called "lets train horses through neck manipulation". It as a complete lie, repated thousands times till it became "truth".

About impulsion. Impulsion was mentioned historically, because some people were capable of inhibiting horses so much, they barely moved. Like a slime. Not much can be done about it. So, impulsion became important characteristic of a good training. Only in modern riding, we started DEMANDING IT! And look what happened. The dressage became a speed contest. Dressage was never ment to be fast. It was supposed to be LIGHT, steady and slow, with certain degree of elevation.. And the aids invisible. Not the constant bim-bam leg aids, demanding "impulsion" forcing horse into something, that is obviously not there.

And finally, why go bitless. Because it is an opportunity to get out of this doctrine and retrain your line of thinking. That's all.
I am not quite sure what you mean by certified coach, but where I ride the stable has 35-42 horses, the lady teaches alot, and her students often win at shows.
I introduced her to the Nurtural over 3 years ago, and now she has enough bitless for 4 horses (2 Nurturals, one Light Rider, and a jumping cavesson noseband that attaches to a regular bridle. )The Arabs that are quiet enough for beginners wear the Nurturals in these lessons.
The nice thing about the Light Rider is that people don't notice there is no bit unless they look closely, so if you have a teacher that is thrown by the absence of a bit the Light Rider is a solution.
When I use a bitless, any bitless, she teaches me just the same as if I had a bit in the horse's mouth.
>This is not the correct thing to do.

A generally agree, but we have not seen the way she trains with bits.

I run an internet Club. We gather people from all circles, with one thing in common. They ruined there horses, physically and/or mentally, while they were in the mainstream organized training, many of them competing. Most people buy another horse, many run toward NH, but for some, there is no alternative, so they found us. We meet on the internet, and some local groups meet in person and help each other. Those, who still have rideable horses, they learn to retrain their body and mind. We use bittles bridles as our main equipment. The biggest challenge, we often face with club novices, is to re-train them to ride without the use of reins. You would not belive, how many former dressage riders cannot take their horse through a corner properly without the use of tight reins. They cannot even sit comfortably on the horse that travells naturally. As if they completely missed the natural way of horse going from their basic rider's education. The amount of work that must be done with these people to teach them ride a naturally moving horse is huge. Only then, they can progress to riding on contact. Their horses, in a meantime, get physically and mentally better.
It may not be the correct thing to do for dressage riding. I ride Forward Seat, and we do contact different from dressage--prime rules--the rider's hands belong to the horse's mouth (or nose with the bitless), I keep my contact as light as the horse gives it to me, and the horse decides where he carries his head. Riding like this might be wrong for dressage, but it is how the FS is ridden.
I introduced my riding teacher to bitless riding with my ancient Jumping Cavesson bridle. This has been in use with Hunter/Jumpers for decades before I bought mine 35 years ago (esp. Kathy Kusner on the USET on Untouchable sometimes.) Pretty straight forward, different from a bit, but not much so.
Cross-unders? That was what I introduced next. I had to use lighter contact than with the Jump. Cav. or bit. My hands switched from belonging to the horse's mouth to my hands belonging to the horse's head. The horse I was riding then was a super sensitive Arab who suffered no fools on his back. I rode in the bitless with his active cooperation and willing obedience. I find that it is the timing and the release of the aids, not what is/is not in the horse's mouth or on his head that ensures obedience and cooperation.

I can see that in dressage riding it could be wrong to ride the same way when bitless as with a bit, especially with what is normal contact with the bit now!
A certified coach is a person who has been trained and recieved their coaching certification from thier respective associations. I am quite sure the lady who teaches at your barn is more than capable and since I don't know you I meant no disrespect. In terms of whether or not someone chooses a bittless system, that decision is up to them and their horse. It just seemed to me that if someone is unsure about whether or not to use one, they might want to seek counsel from their instructor or coach.
May I interest you in this certified information about the sorry state of organized training?

It is so bad, they even have to run a separate conference on the subject. Lets just say, that things are not what they appear to be. We live in a decadent state of equestrianism, and it comes form the top down...
My teacher is not "certified". She IS the best riding teacher I've run into for over 30 years. She has fixed all the problems that came from decades without lessons, and now I ride a MUCH better Forward Seat than I did when I came to her. She has adapted to teaching a disabled middle-aged woman (me) a riding system she was not taught (she had the position, but not the theory and practice), and improve me so much that when I went to a Forward Seat stable that instructor told me I was riding a good FS (the FS teacher was certified over 35 years ago in the FS system and trains riders to become certified in the FS system.)
Though Debbie, my regular teacher, had never ridden bitless before, she has also helped me ride bitless better, just through observing the reactions and movement of the horse. At my specific request she yells at me whenever I unnecessarily irritate the horse. Some rides I don't get yelled at at all. She also tells me every time I do something right. Wonderful teacher.
Considering what I see and read about mainline approved riding instruction and training I really do not think I would be content with most certified teachers.
I have a younger horse that was started in just a nose band, I have since bought a custom bitless bridle for her, and I love it!! She does very well in it, and it really does have stopping power.


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