Manufacturer: Dr Cooks (View all products by Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle)
Model: Bitless Bridles (View all Bitless Bridle reviews)
Category: Western Bridles
Purchase: I bought a bitless bridle through bitlessbridle.com. I bought it because as a trainer, I had started to come across enough horses with bit problems. Bits were either misused, the horses were overbitted, or there was a medical issue (one horse had never had her teeth done and had a mouth full of ulcers. Another had had a cracked tooth and a very bad bucking episode, thus would get very uptight at the sight of a bit) I paid $79 for the beta bitless bridle.
Likes: I like that this bridle has helped me help the horses who have had bad bit experiences, get over their fear of being ridden very quickly. The bridle is simple to slip on and simple to slip off (hint: grab it by the side straps and the crown piece, shake it until all 4 rings hit each other, then the entire bridle will slip very easily onto the horse's head) I've gotten further faster with using this bridle with these horses, than I had gotten with a bit. I've got nothing against bits that are used properly, but since I've found out about the bitless, I prefer to use that instead. I can also use the bridle as a halter. You put the two rein rings together and can tie the horse up. It's great. I love the pushing action...I pick up the left rein and the right side of the horse's face is pushed to the left. I have found this is much more clearer to horses who start out very resistant (due to former bad handling). I feel safer with this bridle than I do with a bit. If you want to talk control, well, there's nothing like knowing you have the horse's entire head in your hands. Compare that to just having a piece of steel in the mouth. I've been able to successfully one rein stop any horse (bolting horses)and gain collection and headset and all the fun stuff that others would do with a martingale and all that 'stuff.' I also notice that once the horse gets to relax and accept and understand how to get the release of pressure, all I need is very light cues, just using my fingers to open or close....and the horse responds very quickly and calmly. And Yes there IS a 100% release of pressure when you use this bridle. I've heard otherwise and can attest that it's not true that it gives no true release. I've ridden in the arena and on the trail with this bridle.
Dislikes: The cross under does get twisted at times, although it has no ill effect on anything. It's still workable. It just doesn't look pretty. It does take a few rides for the horse to get used to it. This isn't necessarily a con....I don't mind....but when trying to show someone the benefits, riding a client's horse for the first time with the bitless, and their horse is tossing his head and arguing with the bitless, it doesn't help any. lol. Luckily, it's always worked out that I show them the progress (the longest it's taken is 3 rides) and then the horse is just fine from them on. No more trouble.
Quality: Long lasting, great quality, no complaints. The beta is very easy to clean and it molds to the horse's head quickly. I'm guilty of not cleaning it regularly....but it really doesn't need it. I don't have to oil it. It stays soft and supple on its own.
Summary: I would highly recommend this bridle to anyone who's got a horse. If you do buy one....remember, give it time. You also can not continue to be heavy handed if you already are. With a bit, you are just pulling on the mouth, but with this bridle, you are hugging the whole head (when using both reins)....if you overuse pressure, you will have problems. So...basically, if you are willing to change your bad riding habits or are just looking for an alternative to a bit (and have good riding habits)..... Then by all means, try this bridle.
Author: I. Gutierrez
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
7 reader(s) voted.
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