For those who believe in the comfort and physical/phsychological health of their horse, a bitless bridle is a natural choice.
One hundred or more behavioural problems in the horse are bit-induced. Bits are a common cause of bone spurs on the bars of the mouth and head shaking (facial neuralgia) along with many behavioural problems such as bolting, rearing, teeth grinding, head tossing and being hard to bridle. A bitless bridle can provide better communication than a bit or natural hackamore/rope halter, and more reliable brakes and backup than a bit.
Freedom from pain results in calmness and confidence and this can even translate to a better stride and improved movement, including improved hoof function. A Bitless Bridle is a wonderful tool for starting young horses under saddle as it allows them to focus on learning the aids instead of worrying about the discomfort and strange new feeling in their mouth from a bit.
And there are plenty of riders who have taken horses to high levels of education bitless proving that good education can replace the bit, or any other piece of equipment we use on the horse to control it.
Many entrepreneurial riders have now manufactured bitless bridles to give us plenty of choice to suit different horses and disciplines.
The styles and types now available vary widely from those with overall head hugging pressure, to leverage, to simple nose pressure.These are available in a large range of materials from rope to leather and synthetic, and can be either a full bridle or a noseband attachment.
For example, my contribution to the Bitless revolution is the LightRider Bitless Bridle (one style pictured here) that horses love for it’s gentle action and comfort, and riders love for it’s good looks.
“We can use a bit of steel and pain (or the threat of it) to control our horse OR we can use a bit of education and understanding – which do you choose?” The articles below will help you understand more about the different bitless bridles and how they work.
Articles and Posts
New Products & Savings - LightRider Bitless Bridles Update The bridle design has recently been changed to strengthen the noseband/cheekpiece join so it can cope with more pressure. Originally, the traditional styled bridles (English, Euro and Stockhorse) were designed to be used for well educated horses who respond to light rein pressure. But with more people changing to bitless, a wider variety of horses are […] Choosing the Best Bitless Bridle - by Cynthia Cooper Over the past 5 or 6 years bitless bridles have increased in popularity and so have the number of available styles. Like bits, they can have very different actions and levels of comfort for the horse, so choosing a bitless bridle comes down to knowing how the various designs work and what […] Bitless Bridles – What’s the Difference? - Until a few years ago there used to be very few choices if you wanted to ride without a bit in your horse’s mouth. The Star Hackamore was an old favourite style of bitless bridle. There was the western style bosal, the mechanical hackamore or the rope halter, mostly used by western riders, showjumpers and […] Insurance Issues for Bitless Bridles or No Helmet. - Insurance or lack of it is a big issue at the moment for many horse riding activities so if you’re lucky enough to be covered, it may pay to check what activities you’re covered for. You may also like to check if there are any exclusions such as no coverage when you don’t use a […] Bitless Riding Differences - When riding with a bitless bridle, there are some perceived, and a couple of real differences to riding with a bit that will help with your transition and training. Confident riders and well educated horses who have a good basic foundation generally won’t have a problem adapting to a bitless bridle because essentially the […] Bitless – Challenges and Solutions - © Glenn Wilson July 2011 A look at some reasons why a person chooses to ride their horse bitless. These may be reasons that are not immediately apparent. The decision by some horse riders to go bitless brings many of them face to face with more controversy, more issues, more challenges and more personal revelations […] Bitless Endorsement by Horse Safety Australia - LightRider Bitless Bridles Endorsed by Horse Safety Australia I am very pleased to announce that after almost a year of trialling the LightRider Bitless Bridle and Bitless Noseband, the executive of Horse Safety Australia have given their endorsement. “it is something the executive were happy to endorse, especially considering the quality of the materials in your […] Bitless News - Bitless Collection videos Want to see how soft vertical flexion and a responsive relaxed horse can lead to true collection via self carriage? In this first video, Instructor Suzanne Bellette with her colourful Paint gelding, Tombay, shows how this is achieved with the LightRider Bitless Noseband and the appropriate education of course. Tombay’s ridden education […] Bitless News - Two new Articles to read. Both of these articles have the same title, but different information. One focuses on the physical damage a bit can cause to the horse, and the other on a study done to evaluate the difference between young horses started with a bitless bridle or a bitted bridle. ‘To Bit or […]
Have a look at these articles for more detailed information:
A list of insurance companies, instructors, clubs, associations and breed groups that allow the use of bitless bridles.