Natural Horse World

Bitless News

Bitless Basics Overview Video

Parts of the presentation I did on Bitless Riding at Agfest last month were filmed and photographed (thanks Saskia and Nikki) and I’ve put together a sample of some Bitless Basics to give a brief overview of some of the things you can teach your horse.
Basics like lateral flexion, hindquarter yields and a responsive backup will improve your horse’s education and your ability to communicate with your horse in any situation.
My plan is to eventually produce a much more comprehensive educational DVD on Bitless Riding so stay tuned for that one! In the meantime, watch the video here:

YouTube player

LightRider Video Competition

The competition to win a LightRider Bitless bridle of your choice (to the value of $200) deadline is almost upon us.  So send in your best footage of riding or ground work with a LightRider Bitless Bridle. The video must be less than 4 minutes and uploaded to Youtube for viewing if possible (send me the unlisted viewing link) or post it on a DVD.
Send in your entry before June 31st – winners announced in the July News Blog.

Racing Daily Forum says Bitless Bridles Could Be Gift To Horses!

Author Stan Bergstein is a friend of Dr Robert Cook’s – author of more than 25 papers on the subject of bleeding in racehorses in various veterinary journals, dating back to 1974. Its great to see Dr Cook still bringing his research to the attention of the industry – even if they haven’t listened so far.

“He says he knows that by removing the bit, exercise-enduced pulmonary hemorrhaging would not be entirely eliminated, since some uncommon sources of airway obstruction would still occur, but he says its frequency would be significantly reduced. He says removal of bits also would result in a major reduction in dorsal displacement of the soft palate, which he says is almost exclusively caused by the bit. And he says removal of them “also would result in a reduction in epiglottal entrapment, catastrophic musculo-skeletal accidents and breakdowns caused by bit-induced pathophysiology, pain and fatigue.” To read the whole article citing the reasearch in detail go to

Transition to Bitless Clinics in Albury

Cynthia will be instructing at Albury Showgrounds in Victoria on Saturday the 2nd of July. There are limited rider positions left so if you’re interested see the Events News section for all the details.

Bitless Dressage

Corrine and Bright Rex in South Africa

Inevitably, changing the rules will be an ‘up’ and ‘down’ affair at least until the major controlling bodies are persueded to accept bitless bridles in the same classes as bitted bridles. In the Netherlands, bitless dressage is alive and well with recent competitions being held and some lovely photos here of the competitors using various styles of bitless bridles during the initial trials. Their rules now state that only ‘sidepull or crossunder’ style bitless bridles are accepted.

In South Africa the South African Equestrian Federation, after approving a one year trial in bitless dressage in 2008, never allowed it to commence. The committee never ratified the rules, even though the bitless committee had compiled a comprehensive proposal in this regard.They did however get support from many of the members within the committee which was encouraging. They said they would consider it again if they had the support of the FEI.

However they have a few good riders starting to compete bitless in show jumping. One of these riders upgraded and won their first 1.10m at a recognised event over the weekend on her rescue mare. Very encouraging! Next month I will feature Bitless Showjumping so if you know anyone competing please email me the details.

Here in Australia, the Bendigo HRCAV club held Bitless Dressage classes which were supoprted by only 4 out of 40 riders – a little dissapointing and the club will need some serious committment from riders in the future to consider running the classes again. I think the only way forward for these events is to allow horses with bitless bridles to compete in the same classes as bitted horses. Well done to those four riders for making the effort – here are the results:
1st        Amy Cope on Darcy
2nd       Anna Clacy on Maddie
3rd        Louise DeBoer on Ritzy
4th        Desiree Petitt on Southcombe He’s On Fire

Queensland Opportunity
Dorothea Hofman writes: I was wondering if there are any people interested in trying to get some bitless dressage under way in Queensland? There are a few of us here on the Sunshine Coast keen to give it a go if we can get enough interest and can manage to get arround some rules. If interested please contact me via email Hope to hear from you all.

Another opportunity to ‘compete’ in a bitless bridle is via – they have many tests that allow bitless bridles and the best part is you don’t have to leave home! All you need is someone to film your test and then submit it online.

More new additions to the Bitless Info listings:

Instructor: Deb Shearim KalEquine Services – Central Coast NSW Mobile: 0417268884

Bitless Buddies: Grace from Macksville, North Coast NSW –

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