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[RC] bitless bridle- late night musings about bridles and bits from a designer - Paddi

It is interesting on how fast the bitless bridles have caught on. A riding instructor in our area has been using them for a number of years on all horses. Jumping , balanced riding ect in her classes.
The concern most voiced is stopping power on a run away. Yes a horse will go through a bitless bridle on a run away but they will also go through a snaffle , hackamore , curb .....the list goes on. No piece of equipment can replace training.
Personally we have had about a 200% increase in sales of the bitless bridles. They are fast catching up to the halter bridles.
I have made them from pony size to draft horse size.
Only one has been returned. The reason her riding instructor did not like the bitless bridles and told her it would not work.
Every horse is unique and reacts different to different bridles and bits.
Every riding instructor and trainer has different ideas on what to use.
I personally have quite the collection of bits and hackamores ect.  gathered up over the years. It is fascinating when you do the research to see how every detail of a bit effects the bridle pressure. In the past bit making was an art. Now most are made from factories and sold for under $20 . Sad some of the great designs have dissappeared in the interest of saving $$$ in production.
How many riders really understand the bit and the bridle and the way they work together.
Endurance riders are one of the most educated group of riders in the world.
I was out riding today watching how the halter bridles work.( After 9 years of making them I thought I had them figured out) I was riding in a western headstall and my friend was in a halter bridle combo. The bit straps attached onto the Dee rings at the cheek seem to effect the way the bridle works. It actually seemed to lessen the poll pressure on the bridle by allowing the bit to move on the dee rings.
I notice I get a more collected headset faster in the western headstall or English headstall then I do with a halter bridle. My young gelding does not like the halter bridle combo preferring the more traditional bridle. I think he is not used to the give and movement the halter bridle allows. I ride him in a hand made loose ring sweet iron snaffle. Put him into an eggbut or dee ring snaffle and you have problems. He sure knows what he likes.
Just food for thought. Once again I realized that the more I learn the more I don't know.
The study of bridling and bitting horses is amazing. (or not bitting them)
Happy Trails
I am off to work a ride this weekend so I will be pondering this bridle thing as I watch what everyone is using.
Paddi Sprecher
Canadian Distributor for Dixie Midnight No-Sweat Vent Pads
EasyCare Canada
Biothane Tack, Skito Equalizer Pads
Yacht Braid Horse equipment