Bitless riding is a very popular riding style in both Western and English disciplines. There are many horse trainers who train with bitless bridles. It is a highly debated topic..to bit or not to bit??
Below is an excerpt from natural horse trainer Farah DeJohnette on the benefits of using bitless bridles on bitted horses.
Bitless for Bitted horses
This week, I wanted to talk about Bitless Bridles for Bitted horses. As someone who competes and trains, I do have to train horses to ride in a bit because some shows do not allow Bitless Bridles as legal tack. Also, some of my clients prefer to use bits and that is their choice so I work to educate their horses to the bitted bridle while schooling in my Bitless Bridle. I will start a young horse in the Bitless Bridle and allow them to carry the bit with no reins attached while learning to take direction from my body language and position on the ground or mounted.
I have had a good bit of success taking even the most heavy and un-supple horses back to light and soft in a Bitless Bridle. What happens then when they go back to the bit? They are much more responsive and soft in it.
Now this is also just plain good horsemanship as I frequently remind my students. How the horse rides in the bridle (Bitted or Bitless), is how he is riding in his body and mind. What is on my horses head has little or no relevance to me unless the equipment is very wrong for the horse or the horse has injuries or mouth problems out of the ordinary. This is why I find using the Liberty rein so easy. Because I have learned to focus on my communication and my horses mind and body more then his head control.
Read more here
This is great picture of Farah DeJohnette
Playing with a Bridless Piaffe
The exercises I use are centered around Liberty and my Liberty rein because they allow the horse the freedom to show me where they want to carry their posture. They are trained from where they tell me to start.
See Natural Outline Liberty rein exercises at the FDHorsemanship Virtual Clinic
Buckaroo Leather is proud to manufacture several styles of the Bitless Bridle. All are handcrafted in the USA from Hermann Oak Leather in the good ole’ USA.
Django sporting a Bitless Bridle with Leopard spots!!!
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