To Use A Bit or Not
To suggest that using a bit is not natural or causes pain and therefore, should not be used, misses the point.
Whether you use a bit or not is your choice but there are important considerations. See below...
As we were saying, whether you use a bit or not, it is your choice.
Ok, we accept that some horses are hurt by the bit. Also, that it is 'unnatural' but so too is using a saddle (by the way, bareback riding can hurt the horses' back but that's another subject in itself).
The reality is that if a bit hurts a horse, it is not the fault of the bit, it is the rider! It can be caused from either incorrect bit choice, poor riding style or lack of dental care.
Many of our clients need to use a bit for pony club, adult riding and competitions and so bits often have to be used. However...
If you follow our guidelines, you will not hurt your horse!
Step 1 Make sure your horse has had proper dental care
Step 2 Learn how to use a bit correctly, many riders and instructors, do not
Step 3 Use the kindest bit in the world. Click here to see it
Step 4 Learn how to ride without a bit, then use a bit
Step 5 Avoid bitless bridles or hackamores, until you know how to ride with and without a bit. You will find why below.
You will be shown how to ride successfully without a bit.
By doing this, you will improve your riding skills immensely.
Most bit-less bridle and hackamore riders are ill-informed!
The idea that a bit-less bridle or hackamore, is automatically kinder for the horse than using a bit, is a myth!
The reality is, you can easily damage the cartilage of your horse's nose.
Pulling back with both reins to slow or stop your horse can damage or cause pain.
The picture shows a broken cartilage.
The good news is, we will show you how to use a bit-less bridle properly.
You will learn how to stop or slow, without pulling both reins!
The nose cartilage
It is so thin and fragile, a torch light can shine through it.
When using a bit-less bridle or hackamore, this cartilage is at risk of damage when both reins are pulled back.
BRIDLELESS RIDING - Bridleless, as you could imagine, takes longer to achieve than riding with a bit or bit-less.
It is not an essential skill but it sure is fun.
However, bridle-less riding should not be attempted without proper instruction and preparation.
Fortunately, we can teach you!
The Bottom Line
Education is the key. Where to get that can be a problem. We see a lot of horse owners doing their best but a lot of deficiency in the available instruction and understanding of what is required.
We suggest you do yourself a favour and take advantage of our training. Even if it is just one 2-hour lesson, you will be amazed at how much you will learn.