View Full Version : Bitless riding

27th April 2010, 05:51 PM
I've been thinking of trying a bitless bridle for a while and I've read the info on the Dr. Cooks website but obviously that's a bit biased.

I don't know if I'm being thick but how can you take up a contact without a bit? Can anyone explain this to me In simple terms!) please?

Thanks v much.

30th April 2010, 01:26 PM
if you read any horse training book you will find that they say when a horse is 'on the bit' you can drop your contact and the horse will still be carrying itself, good riders use their legs, weight and seat before using the bit, if your horse is quite responsive then you should be fine.

i have a dr cooks and love it, i dont ride my youngster in it yet tho as she fights it... :rolleyes: and needs further schooling.

where abouts in east yorkshire are you? x

30th April 2010, 06:56 PM
I used to ride Neo in a bitless, used the "light rider" rope bridle and he went well in it. He's a youngster so doesn't really go on the bit. I now use a Myler bit and he seems happier in it. But the best thing I've done is changed his saddle. He's now much happier to round and accept contact that he was so shows its not all down to the bridle and bit!

1st May 2010, 07:59 PM
I am a huge fan of bitess riding. I assume you've been on the Bitless Bridle site, and of course they are going to be biased in favour of the Dr Cook's (there are other designs, of course, and different actions), but an important thing to remember is that if you do go for a Dr Cook's, make sure it's the real thing, and not a cheaper imitation, which won't be as well made.
In any case, they are not expensive if you compare the price with that of a good-quality tradtional bridle, plus the cost of a bit.
I dont believe people would give such glowing testimonials if they weren't good. I have two - aleather one for Paddy, because leather will probably last longer than anything else, and a webbing one for Susie because I wanted her to have a bright pink one! I do have a spare set of cheekpieces because where the cheekstrap goes through the ring on the nose/chin strap there is friction and this will be the first part to wear (eventually), and I wouldn't want this to happen whilst I was out riding. So I always carry a spare set in my saddlebag.

You obvioulsy won't have 'contact' in the way you would with a bit - but because the straps go all the way round the horse's head, you have an all-over contact instead of it being concentrated on one very sensitive area. The cross-over design means that the horse moves away from the pressure rather than towards it (the only way the horse can relieve the discomfort of the bit is to turn the head in the direction you are applying the pressure). When you are using the reins this feels exactly the same if you wnt to go right, you ask with the right rein, just as you do with a bit, and pressure is applied on the left side of the horse's face so he turns to the right. You will learn to rely on your legs and body more, too which can only be a good thing. Another good thing is that if somebody does snatch at the reins for any reason, it will not hurt the horse.

I could go on and on...