My experience with bits came from riding my 17-year-old Thoroughbred. For two years, he regularly bolted, shook his head and ”ran through bits” as part of his routine, not due to maliciousness, but to his history as a racehorse and eventer, as well as his spirit. After a lot of expense and frustration, I was ready to try something different.
A friend introduced the Bitless bridle to me in 2003. I was surprised at her choice because she was a traditional rider. After some research, summoning of courage and opening my mind, I changed my riding relationship with my horse and never bought another bit.
Although all horses need time to adjust to changes, the difference in my own horse was evident within a week. It took me longer to adjust my thinking.
My experience with the Bitless Bridle was quite different. I first purchased my Bitless Bridle after my 10-year-old gelding was diagnosed with headshaking syndrome.
I was surprised at how responsive my horse was to it. The light contact was amazing, and my quiet boy felt lighter and more energetic. My daughter competed successfully in the jumper ring with it, as well as in hunters and equitation at a few shows with understanding judges.
Given the controversy on its use in the show ring, your article may also make it hard for it to find acceptance there as well.
I purchased my gorgeous Missouri Fox Trotter 4 1/2 years ago. The previous owner was thrown by him twice. The horse came to me with his bit, an instrument of torture with a high port, eight-inch shanks, and a curb chain. No wonder he was thrown! After one ride, I vowed never to use this bit again.
When I found the Bitless Bridle, my equine friend no longer threw his head or fought rein pressure. He also went immediately into the gait that I requested. Lateral flexion was vastly improved, and he stopped on a dime. I have since convinced several riders to try the Bitless Bridle, and they all love it.
Please expand your research on the bitless to fields other than dressage. I use the Bitless Bridle exclusively. My horses are old, young, wild, off-the-track, and trail horses who are compliant and willing. A ”$200 experiment” became a lifetime commitment for me. I encourage everyone to give it a go. It can be returned.