Bitless bridle - the great freedom for the horse's mouth

It's hard to believe, but domesticated horses have actually had a kind of gag in their mouths since before Christ. These were antler horn or even animal bones, which people worked at the time and used to "steer" their domestic horses. These early mouthpieces were sometimes even sharpened. Not pretty. It was not until quite a few eras later that a metal bit in the shape of a bar developed. They were incredibly clumsy and did not look very much like the snaffle we use today.

Today, metal is more often dispensed with in equestrian sport. Is there a change in thinking?

Yes, there really is a kind of revolution going on. Since the publication of the work of the clever American university professor Robert Cook, many snaffles and double bridles have been abandoned. He linked behavioural disorders and pathological changes in the bone substance to the snaffle.

This made people sit up and take notice and the "run" on the bitless bridle began. We would like to introduce you to some of them.

The cavesson

The cavesson has been used traditionally for a very long time. It is used for lunging and working on the ground.

But it can also be used for riding. It is very important that the bridle fits the horse's head well and tightly. Unfortunately, there are many unsuitable, ill-fitting models on the market. This has almost ruined the reputation of this bridle. But many professionals remain loyal to it and swear by the useful work that is possible with it, especially when training young horses.

Wheel of Fortune

A wheel of fortune on a horse? A very interesting bitless snaffle. The idea behind it is as simple as it is practical: cheek, nose and chin straps as well as the reins are attached to a six-spoked wheel (there are now also flower shapes). Depending on the setting, this turns more or less. The effect varies, so to speak. Either it works like a gentle sidepull or over the neck as a lever (additional shanks can be buckled in). With the wheel of fortune, the horse can be ridden flexibly. Just as you need it.

The Equizaum

The Equizaum is a multitool for the rider. This bitless bridle can be combined and equipped in a super variable way with extension pieces. The easy-care biothane material is infinitely adjustable and can be easily adapted to any horse's head. Practical, for example, if you want to work with several horses.

You can train very flexibly with this bridle. Whether you want to lunge like a cavesson, ride bitless like with a sidepull or do raised lead work in hand - no problem at all. The robust piece can even be ordered in your favourite colour. Thanks to biothane! In any case a cool piece!

Bosal (Hackamore)

Now it's getting exotic. The bosal on a horse is a bitless bridle originating from the old Californian riding style. On the outside there is usually a weave of rawhide and the core of the classic noseband was also made of rawhide.

IMPORTANT: The bosal must be fitted to the horse and its nose as precisely as possible!

The bosal also includes a mecate (reins that are preferably braided from mane and tail hair and promote neck reining due to their scratchy texture).

You surely know that horses are very sensitive about the skin. Keyword: fly. A fine communication is therefore possible. The effect of a bosal should only come from applying the reins, which are attached to the lower part of the bow. If the animal does not react, the bosal is applied to the nose via the rawhide bow. Instruction or training sessions by a professional are sensible here.

Bitless Bridle and Star Bridle

In the Bitless Bridle, the throat straps cross and continue to the rider's hand through a ring guide as reins. There is more of a push on the left side of the horse's head when you want to ride to the right, for example. There are voices that criticise this variant because of its time-delaying effect. In fact, it has to be said that riding does not only involve the hand, but also the thigh and the weight. Or what do you mean?

The Star Bridles with their metal levers act like a hackamore. That means on the nose, the chin and the neck area. There are three adjustment possibilities on the lever. You can therefore make it act softly or much sharper. In any case, this bridle should be handled with care! You should not underestimate its effect! It only belongs in advanced, knowledgeable hands!

Last but not least - the Hackamore snaffle.

This snaffle is made up of its lever-like pulls. It is actually also called a mechanical hackamore. Even the lightest pull puts pressure on sensitive parts of the chin, the nose bone and the neck. This hackamore bridle can and should only be used with one hand and belongs in "expert" hands! A steady hand and good riding practice are prerequisites.

Happy bitless - cheers to equestrian sport!

As you can see, a lot has happened in the field of bitless bridles. And yes, bitless riding has really enriched the equestrian sport. Whether it's a cavesson, an equitation bridle or a horse's wheel of fortune - every bitless snaffle is a step into a world of sensitive communication between horse and rider. Especially young horse work and correction horses benefit from the versatile possibilities of use.

Finally, however, it should be said once again that it should not be ridden just like that. Good preparation and the guidance of an expert are absolutely advisable in order to firstly put on the bitless bridle correctly and secondly to use it properly. Consequently, nothing stands in the way of happy teamwork.

Do you also give your horse a snaffle bit break? Whether purely for a change, or as a conscious extension to the "everyday", absolutely recommendable!