View Full Version : bitless bridle experience?

17-09-03, 05:51 AM
thanks to yarramans interesting article pasted to the foamy mouth thread, I got side tracked to the bitlessbridle website.

Very interesting material worth a read, I didnt know horses wernt suposed to be able to swallow & gallop at the same time! makes you realise how much are we messing with our amimals.

So my question is has anyone used, seen used or owned a bitless bridle/hackamore.

why did you buy it and did it solve any riding problems, and where did you get it???? any stockist in Australia?

The bitless bridles advertised on the web site were in us dollar so a leather one would cost 4-500 dollars!! plus shipping. I guess you can spend that much on a leather ordinary bridle too but it would be better if you could actually feel the leather and see the bridle before outlaying so much cash(and that is alot for me, I wont pretend).
Still will be considering a nylon one(cheaper at around 150 aud) and go from there.

My horse dosent have MAYJOR bitting problems but I m always after that better Idea.

any thoughts around?

17-09-03, 05:57 AM
A cheaper version is advertised in Horse Deals Magazine, approx $160 haven't seen them on but sounds good.
Would love to hear more about them, my horse constantly chews!

17-09-03, 07:26 AM
I saw a 'plan' for a bitless bridle many years ago. It is very similar to the ones currently being advertised, but as they where not yet in Australia I used this plan and made my own. I just wanted to try it out. I put it on my laid back but occasionally naughty, 16 yr old TB who is lazy and easy to ride.

Well my initial experience was I didnt have any control !!! I had no stopping or turning power. I definately think a horse needs to be taught how to respond to one of these. I also think the price of these 'new items' in Australia is ridiculous !!! Fancy asking $160 for a bit of plastic - get real !!!

17-09-03, 08:14 AM
I tried a bitless bridle on my gelding just to see his response. He worked perfectly in it straight away - he stopped and turned on the lightest touch of the reins. We trotted and cantered and he pulled up as soon as soon as I asked.

Me on the other hand? Well I was freaking out!! :-) I *felt* like I had no control, yet he never put a foot wrong. It was a really weird feeling - almost like holding reins attached to air.

However, the horse seemed happy to work in it, and was ridden for about 4 hours in a round yard, an arena then out on a trail ride.

I sold the horse soon after and have not used one since. Given the chance I would try one again, and probably use one on my mare if she liked it. It would just be getting ME used to it that would be the problem :-)

17-09-03, 11:35 AM
A bit is not necessarily natural and a horse can be trained to anything. A bit just hurts the horse the most and gets the most attention.

One of the old guys around us recently broke in an anglo-arab, and is still galloping around the local backroads and doing dressage at the club grounds in just a good-fitting headstall. He hasn't got around to introducing the bit just yet...

Not that I'm advocating this as something for everyone to try.


17-09-03, 12:03 PM
Yup, just bought one on ebay, made from the same stuff as cord headcollars. A cross-under design although the girl also does other designs. Cost a lot less than the ones above too. I have only ridden in it twice so far. Feels odd like Shelby says, but horse is very happy in it, and very responsive to rein aids. I will probably use it to ride out (have ridden out in headcollar too and mine is a silly big TB) but still school in a normal bit as that is what I have to compete in.

18-09-03, 12:43 AM
I bought the bitless bridle off the website in america the nylon cost me about $130 but it was worth it, my horse is alot more relaxed. I would say though that I p[rob wouldnt buy the thin ones as they might be a bit more pressure on the poll than you'd put with the thicker type ones from the web, Its worth it though, as others say the horse loves but you freak out at first....goo ahead!!!

18-09-03, 12:54 AM
How does the bitless bridle work as opposed to riding in a normal headstall with the lead rope knotted up?
About once a week we ride our Horses bareback with just a headstall, trotting, cantering etc to work on our balance and to give the Horses a break from pressures. It can be a bit hard to pull up sometimes but they do go alot better without all the tack.

18-09-03, 02:39 AM
I ride one of my young horses in a bitless bridle - similar to the one Lorraine describes - just a "cowboy" one from Saddleworld. I've adjusted the configuration so it works better, adding a pair of reins etc. - similar to spanish cavesson (sits lower than a headstall),
If I'm riding outdoors, I still use a simple bridle as well but I use the snaffle bridle as my second rein (so you have to be able to ride with double reins) using it only if I felt I really need it.
Should point out that I think the bitless bridle is quite different to a Hackamore to use. You need to have the horse very good in it's in-hand/groundwork to the bitless bridle before you get on (just the same as it's good to have stop and turn established with a bit + bridle before you get on). I wouldn't advise just putting one on and starting to ride. You're likely to get yourself killed.

I starting using the bitless bridle for a retraining exercise where the horse had been badly broken in and had a habit of going too deep, too round and curling. It has been a useful tool in helping to fix these problems.