Says Dr. Cook (Developer of The Bitless Bridle)...
"The Bitless Bridle provides safer and more effective control than the bit. By comparison with existing bitless bridles, it is healthier than a Hackamore, better than a bosal and smarter than a sidepull. Cook thinks of it as providing a benevolent headlock. He considers it to be the best thing to have happened to the horse since man first placed metal in its mouth, 6000 years ago. It outstrips the invention of the stirrup, which was solely for the benefit of man, as the bitless bridle benefits both man and horse."
How About Slowing or Stopping With The Bitless Bridle?
Pressure on both reins or quick alternative pressure on each rein applies a gentle squeeze to the whole of the head and triggers a 'submit' response. The mechanics of the braking effect may be attributable to the calming effect of a whole-head-hug; to initiation of a balancing reflex at the poll; to the stimulation of areas of special sensitivity behind the ears; or simply to painless pressure across the bridge of the nose. Whatever the mechanism, the "brakes" are more reliable than those provided by the bit. First, bit-induced pain causes many a horse to bolt rather than brake. Secondly, at no time can the horse block the rider's ability to communicate by placing the bit between its teeth or under its tongue and so deprive the rider of all means of control. Unlike the mechanics of the bit, Hackamore, bosal or sidepull, braking is not dependent on pain, poll flexion, and obstruction of the airway.
A Necessary Explanation
Until recently, 'aversion to the bit' has been assumed to be a syndrome characterized by half a dozen different problems. But Dr. Cook's research has now shown that the bit is the cause of over a hundred behavioral problems. Each one of these problems has been repeatedly solved by removing the bit and using the Bitless Bridle. The bridle's very effectiveness, however, brings with it a curious dilemma when it comes to advertising. Anyone who describes the problems solved or the benefits gained from using the bridle runs the risk of sounding like a snake-oil salesman and a charlatan, as the list is so long and so surprising. Nevertheless, many users have volunteered comments such as "The bridle does everything that is claimed for it." So confident that we are not guilty of false advertising, let us proceed.
The Five F's
A bit frightens a horse. It causes pain or the fear of pain. Fear is manifested by one or more of the five F's; fright, flight, fight, freeze or facial neuralgia (the headshaking syndrome). Each one of these sub-headings has its list of symptoms. Collectively, the hundred or more symptoms are expressed by their interference with just about every bodily system. Interference with systems that are vital to athletic performance, such as the nervous system, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and cardiovascular systems, means that the horse is not only in pain but is also additionally handicapped. For example, the presence of a bit in the mouth leads to obstruction of the airway in the throat. As striding is synchronized with breathing, anything that interferes with breathing also interferes with striding. A horse that is unable to breathe or stride properly cannot run and jump satisfactorily or even safely.
Listed below are some of the bit-induced problems that the Bitless Bridle has solved.
First the Five F's:
Fright: Difficult to catch in the paddock, difficult to put the bridle on or take it off, unfriendly in the stable, difficult to mount. At exercise, anxious, unpredictable, 'hot,' nervous, fearful, shy, spooky, panicky, tense, stressed, sweats excessively, unfocused, a restless eye, shows white of eye, slow to learn,
Flight: Difficult to slow or stop, bolting, running through the bit, puts the bit between teeth, jigging, prancing, rushing, fidgeting, hair-trigger response to the hand aids, runs wild on the lunge rein
Fight: Bucking, rearing, spinning, aggressive, argumentative, confrontational, resistant, bossy, cranky, surly, resentful, adversarial, angry, hard-mouthed, pulling, heavy on the forehand, difficult to steer in one or both directions, refusal to rein back, pig rooting, yawing, crossing the jaws, reluctance to maintain canter, stiff-necked, refusal to lead on the correct leg
Freeze: (responses to pain or fear that are particularly likely in mules and donkeys, but occur also in horses): Refusal to leave the herd, refusal to go forward (napping), backing-up, muscle cramps, lack of courage and confidence, refusing at jumps, lack of hind-end impulsion
Facial Neuralgia (the headshaking syndrome): At exercise, open mouth, head tossing, flipping the nose, above the bit, star-gazing, behind the bit, overbent, rubbing muzzle or face on foreleg, striking at muzzle with foreleg, rapid and noisy blinking, sensitive to bright light or wind or rain, sneezing and snorting, grazing on the fly, attempts to bite horses alongside or grab the shank of the bit or the rider's boots, watery eyes, nasal discharge, grinds teeth, tilts head. At rest, head shyness, difficult to clip or hose head, twitching of the cheek muscles.
General Unhappiness: Lack of finesse in control, 'lazy,' dull, subdued, 'ring sour,' tires prematurely, ears pinned at exercise, heads for the stable at every opportunity, tail swishing
Breathing Difficulties: Excessive poll flexion, elevation or dorsal displacement of the soft palate, thick-winded, roaring, gurgling, choking-up, tongue over the bit, tongue behind the bit (swallowing the tongue), epiglottal entrapment, deformity of the windpipe (scabbard trachea), asphyxia-induced pulmonary edema ('bleeding' or exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage), coughing at exercise, small airway disease.
Striding Difficulties: Tense neck, stiff or choppy stride, short stride, incoordination, stumbling, heavy on the forehand, interfering with hind hoof, inverted frame (high head carriage, hollow back), toe scuffing, refusal to maintain canter, false collection, lack of self-carriage, breakdowns and limb bone fractures arising from premature fatigue and shortage of oxygen, leading to false steps and falls
Mouth and Dental Problems: Fractured jaws (from falls or other accidents), star fractures of the bars of the mouth leading to the shedding of dead bone (rare), periostitis leading to bone spur formation on the bars of the mouth (common), sore mouth, cut lips, lacerated or amputated tongue: lip sarcoids, erosion of first cheek tooth, sharp enamel edges leading to cheek ulcers, loss of appetite, reluctance to drink on trail rides leading to dehydration.
Effect of All of the Above on the Rider:
Use of a bit or bits makes riding unnecessarily complicated, difficult, and even dangerous. Being unaware of the cause of these problems and, therefore, not knowing how to tackle them, riders become discouraged in a number of different ways. They may, for example:
* Persuade themselves that they simply do not have the skills to become good riders. Instead of blaming their tools (the bits) they
* Develop a sense of frustration with their apparent inability to master the art of equitation, or
* A burgeoning annoyance bordering on anger with the horse, or
* An increasing reluctance to exercise the horse on a regular basis and the generation of displacement activities (excuses), or
* They despair of ever achieving that harmony between horse and rider that is the pinnacle of equitation, or
* They cease to get pleasure from riding, or
* They lose confidence, become afraid of riding, and consider giving it up altogether, or
* They decide to sell a horse that appears to have incurable problems and buy another, or
* They experience economic embarrassment from doomed attempts to overcome the problems by means other than removal of the cause (the only logical approach to treatment), or
* They suffer personal injury (anything from a fractured collar bone to sudden death)
The Bitless Bridle Is Kinder To Your Horse
Apart from avoiding the negative aspects of the bit, the benefits of The Bitless Bridle enable you to be kinder to your horse; improve your horse's welfare and its mental and physical balance; avoid confusing your horse by expecting it to eat and exercise simultaneously (the effect of using a bit); have better "brakes"; enjoy smoother transitions: lengthen your horse's stride (and, therefore, increase its speed); have less fidgeting, a calmer horse and one that listens better to the aids; reduce the stress of exercise for you and your horse; dispense with tongue-ties and dropped nosebands; enable your horse to get more oxygen and generate more spirit, vigor and stamina; obtain better performance; improve your own safety and that of your horse: gain more control; avoid so much lathering-up, foaming at the mouth and slobbering; allow your horse to develop a more graceful action, with a more rounded outline and better engagement; reduce the likelihood of foreleg lameness and breakdowns (from hypoxia, fatigue and heaviness on the forehand); reduce the likelihood of bleeding from the lungs and sudden death at exercise (caused by upper airway obstruction); put a novice on a fully-trained horse without fearing that its mouth may be damaged, and so enable a trained horse to teach an untrained rider; establish a better partnership; obtain more cooperation and have a happier horse.
A Few Comments From Bitless Bridle Users
From Dan Sumerel of the Sumerel Training System
"I really liked it! The horses responded very nicely, and with no resistance. No sign of resentment when asked to give to the bridle. Very easy to get a head-set and side pass was more responsive."
"I have been using The Bitless Bridle since this August, and can hardly believe the difference in my six year old Paint mare, GRACIE. For the 2.5 years I've owned her, she's been fussy and defensive about her mouth and, having a white nose/mouth, tends to get very badly sunburned in the summer time and wind burned in the winter. Now her fussing has stopped, she is more confident to move forward, and even thrusts her head into the bridle when I hold it out to put it on."
Ursula Minnich-krause, Germany
"Since last year I am riding three Thoroughbreds using your bridles only and I am very happy with them. Even in long-distance-races and mass starts it is absolutely problem-free to keep my horses under control."
"I wanted to write in and tell everyone how wonderful this bridle has been for me and my 12 year-old QH gelding. My horse was a reining champ when he was 7, and was always in a high port bit. Trail riding is all I do these days and I wanted him out of the high port and into something easier to pack. However this horse has never been a beginner horse. Some of his stunts included: rearing, bucking, and jigging. I thought some of these problems came from the bit, so I changed to a medium port but it was a mess. I could buy a different bit everyday and spend a fortune and still not find the right one for him.
I got on the Internet and started a search of hackamores and found that there are as many choices as bits. There was, however, some info on "The Bitless Bridle." After reading everything on the site, and going in some chat rooms to discuss it with other riders, I decided that I should try it. It made sense, and it had a money back guarantee. Once I got the bridle, I had my husband come out with me to the ranch since I was trying this out on the trail (don't have a round pen) and wasn't really sure how he was going to act. I rode him first in his bit, which he hates and then put the Bitless Bridle on and his head came down and he was totally a different horse.
I read all the testimonies and have to say I thought it was to good to be true. I have been having a great time trail riding with him since. I have had him in it for one month now and he has never bucked or reared or jigged, even though I ride him out by myself (always been nervous without a buddy). Happy Trails Again."
Why Wait? Order TODAY!
Why wait to start helping your horse reach his/her full riding potential? Eliminate the pain, get better control, and help your horse to reach his fullest potential. Prices range from $69.95 to just over $200 at ValleyVet, DoverSaddlery, JeffersEquine or you can call us directly to order!
Contact: PHS Saddlery
5220 Barrett Road
Colorado Springs, Colorado 80926
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