As you all probably know, I cheerfully work with people who use bits as well as people who prefer bitless and I prefer riding bitless myself. By helping the rider become consciously aware of their connection to their horse, the horse is able to bring their own preferences and priorities to their riders’ attention with perfect timing.
Virginia sent me a brilliant Youtube this morning that I wanted to share with you. It demonstrates brilliantly with 3D graphics the action of the bit in the mouth.
Way back in my racing course, we had a dentist bring about 40 bits into class and he demonstrated the action of all the bits in the mouth of a couple of skeleton horse heads. To my staggered surprise, the bit that I had been told was the gentlest – an eggbutt snaffle – was just about the worst bit that you can put into a horse’s mouth. Arno’s graphics in this video demonstrate that brilliantly.
There’s lots of food for thought here for all of us.
I do not recommend products lightly. My friend Cynthia Cooper from Natural Horse World has developed a bitless bridle that I am seriously impressed with – so far it is the ONLY one I have been seriously impressed with.
It’s action is very direct. When I lift the rein, the horse feels the lift and can elevate their front end in response.
When I am sitting in my magnetised riding position – that incredibly stable riding position that I teach in the Fast Track program – it enables the nuances, the tiniest bit of movement in my body to mean something to my horse. So when I rotate my body slightly for a circle to the left, the action on the bridle is directly to the left too and in the same tiny signals – not pulling downwards like sidepulls or over the top of the head like some others. The action of the bridle if you are using two reins for more collected work is even and direct too.
And God forbid that you should ever have to actually pull a one rein stop with Cynthia’s bridle – but if you did have such a necessity, Cynthia’s bridle exerts a very strong “oh shit” action that WILL bring you to a stop. As I said though, I would not like to even be in such a position as to want to use that kind of leverage, let alone need it.
Most importantly of all – when I release my hand, the bridle releases.
AND she has invented a great little gadget that turns your beautiful old bridle into a bitless bridle and most people don’t even notice what you are riding in.
She even has a DVD talking about training your horse to the new feel of a bitless bridle. Gosh I feel like a walking ad this morning – but I REALLY like those bridles!
If you go to buy one, tell Cynthia that you read about them here, because for every bridle or bitless gadget sold, she is contributing here to my scholarship fund that I am setting up. And when we have some money in that account, I have some exciting plans for it!