Bitless Driving Bridle

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Sep 12, 2005
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I spotted a Bitless Driving Bridle for minis on Ebay. It is the model Made By Dr. Cook. Does This aid in training a Younger mini to understand commands, or at least to issolate the issues (does it have a sensitive mouth, is it just the bit driving it crazy, does it not understand what I am asking of it?) The bitless bridle is suppose to use a side pull action to push the head one way or another, rather than the bit directing the animal. Let me know your thoughts,

I have ridden my big horses/ponies in the bitless bridle and both the horse and I like it much better than a bitted bridle.

Also have used the driving one on the bigger horses.

However, just a word of warning, Dr Cooks bittless driving bridle for minis only fits small "A" sized minis.

Ordered one a few months ago, and it was wayyy to small for my minis head.

I really wanted one for Maggie.

So might be a good idea to measure your minis head, and ask the buyer to measure the bridle.

One thing I do to get the horse used to the idea of turning is....

Take a Halter, the ones that you can adjust the chin on. Lower the halter 3 flat fingers from the edge of the nostril. Tighten the chin strap to one fingers width. Clip driving reins on the sides of the halter, and start your mini that way, in a round pen or enclosed area.

They tend to get the idea faster using this method. There is also less stress or confusion.

Once your mini is going well in the halter, which will be a month or more depending on the horse.

Can get Bit ring clips, and attach the bit to the halter, adjusting for the best fit of the bit.

Still clipping the driving reins to the halter, let him just wear the bit for a month or so or until he stops fussing with it.

Then you can move on to clipping the driving reins to the bit. But if he has problems, take a step or two back and start over with the halter.

Training is rather like a dance, 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

Good luck!
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I have ridden my big horses in Dr. Cook's bitless bridles. They are AWESOME. The horses go so much better in them.

I have not tried the mini bridle but he actualy sent me a beta (as in test) one to try, however, it was too small. This is about 2 years ago.

My qualms regarding using this on my minis is that for the shows, I think a bit and a check are mandatory, and for this reason, I have not really tried his finished mini driving bridle.

Additionally, for what it is worth, my big fear when using the bitless bridles on my biggies was if I could stop them. The importants of WOAH ability cannot be over rated! They stop on a DIME in these bridles. I felt more in control than with a bit, and the horses love the bridles.

For riding horses, these are the bridles I plan to use exclusively, but I don't ride nearly as much as I should.
I used to ride one of my mares in a drop nosed band, correctly adjusted, not right down on the soft part of the nose, with reins attached to the sides- we hunter trialled we evented we did everything in this. But then I could ride her on the neck strap of the martingale- nothing on her head!! I tend not to like "gimmicks" but I do start all my horses in a halter- no bit, for riding and driving alike, in fact in both disciplines the bit comes last unless the horse is a riding horse I am training to drive, in which case I tend to stick to what it knows. Unless your horse has something wrong with it's mouth I cannot personally see the point- and I have always found you can stop a horse as easily or with as much difficulty without a bit as you can with, it just depends on the horse!! I drove Rabbits Sire without a bit merely because, at the time (over twenty five years ago) I could not get one to fit him. He was always absolutely under control- well, mostly, anyway
and certainly in no way a danger- he just had a bit of a sense of humour, is all.

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