What’s so special about going bitless?
I asked myself that as I was wondering what makes people who choose to ride with without a bit different from the rest?
I came to the conclusion that we are people who choose to put the relationship with our horse first by choosing non-harmful equipment.
We are also people who are willing to step away from the norm, who listen to our intuition and be strong enough to stand by our horses, not conforming with rules and traditions that have long outworn their usefulness.
So well done to all of you – you have taken that first step in realizing your horse is a living, thinking, feeling being and much more. Give yourseleves a pat on the back and continue the journey on the road to ethical horsemanship.
Here is one lovely example of starting a young horse to harness bitless. Glenn Wilson is an experienced driver, but his Percheron X Standardbred 4yo gelding MacGregor, is the first one he’s started bitless (blinkerless too), using the LightRider Natural bridle. Glenn bred MacGregor so has developed a trusting relationship from birth that made the job so easy. This photo shows him on his first session put to the vehicle looking quite happy about it all. Well done Glenn!
Bitless Directory – Can You Add to it?
I am developing a resource that lists Clubs/Organisations/Instructors and insurance companies that accept Bitless Bridles – if you know of anyone I can add, please email me their name and location – town/state/country and contact details if you have them.
The list is open to people worldwide and eventually, it will become quite a resource on a dedicated website. You can currently view this list at www.naturalhorseworld.com/bitlessridinginfo.htm
More new additions to the Bitless Info listings:
Clubs: The Breakaways (Bitless, Barefoot, Treeless) – Northern NSW – Ph. Mandi on 02 66771865.
Bitless Buddies Groups: Albury Area – Coordinators; Kelly Bick and Glenn Wilson, NE Victoria, 02 6071 0210 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bitless Buddies: Sandy Rawlings – Whatawhata, New Zealand. Ph: 07 8298476 or Mobile: 021 748448 or email email@example.com
Dressage Day allows Bitless Bridles.
A Club called NAGS (NorthCoast Active Riders Croup) are having a Dressage Day on the 21st of August that allows bitless bridles. It is being run as a protocol day but should be a lot of fun. Click on the link to see the details and if you live in Northern NSW take advantage of this opportunity to compete in dressage using a bitless bridle.
Want to see some high level bitless dressage? This video of Le Noir, an 11yo black Holstein stallion by Leandro x Caletto I, and his rider Uta Gräf at home training some Grand Prix movements with a bitless bridle. They were a recent highlight at a classical dressage symposium in Germany.
LightRider Video Competition Extended:
Judging from the number of entries received so far, it hasn’t been easy to video horses at the start of spring/summer (Nthn Hemisphere) or winter (here), so you now have until September 30th to film or edit existing video.
To win a LightRider Bitless bridle of your choice (to the value of $200) send me your best footage of riding or driving with a LightRider Bitless Bridle. The video must be less than 4 minutes and uploaded online for viewing if possible (send me the unlisted viewing link) or post your DVD to Natural Horse World, 46 Wattle Lea Rd, Golden Valley. 7304, Tasmania, Australia.
Tips for filming:
- If you haven’t got a video camera, most digital cameras have a video function that will work quite well for a short video.
- If you don’t have someone to film you, set your camera on a tripod or somewhere secure and mark the boundaries of the filming area with some cones or buckets.
- You don’t have to show anything too fancy – it can even be the view from your horse while riding (so long as its safe for you to hold a small camera while on the move) – include your horse’s head in the picture.
- Try to film with the sun behind you to get the best picture and keep in mind the background – lots of clutter detracts from the overall picture.
Petition to continue growing.
The Petition to the FEI to allow the choice to use Bitless Bridles in all competition had been going for a while but is still growing. I really think this is an important cause, and I’d like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It’s free and takes just a few seconds of your time. You can sign the petition here.