A lot of people who love riding, are not happy about putting a hunk of metal in their horses mouth for the few times they may actually need to control their horse by force. And when a horse is really afraid he will push through the pain of a bit and as the saying goes, “bits don’t stop horses”. When horses bolt, the bit makes no difference. Most times, if we build our relationship with our horse, he will happily ride out without the need for a bit. What’s important is the training and relationship you have with your horse, so you can avert issues before they get out of control. I’ve seen countless photos and documentaries where donkeys work not only without a bit, but often without any reins whatsoever.
Bits are a hangover from the war, where a large number of horses needed to be mobilised in a short period of time, and the way that was done was through bits and force. Before this, many cultures rode horses bridle-less – think american indian. Also early artworks show many Greek, Italian, and Egyptian horse riders with no bits. You can make a basic paracord bitless bridle yourself with just a few items (see below for places you can get supplies). Below also, are some youtube videos on how to make a few different bridles.
Please always transition your horse carefully to new equipment. If your horse is displaying signs he is uncomfortable, it may be for many reasons, but most often those reasons include teeth issues, pain, feeling uncomfortable, and poor communication. Always ensure your groundwork is sound before getting on your horse.
Convert your leather bridle to bitless
Below is a simple way to convert your leather bridle into a bright colourful side-pull bitless bridle using paracord, a small buckle, and “o” rings. I have also put some links at the bottom of the page for places you can find items you may need.
For those who are unable to ride or drive bitless, paracord offers a wonderful opportunity to totally customise your bridle. There are a multitude of styles and ways to give your horse or donkey a unique, personalised look. From the very basic, through to beads, tassels, and any number of embellishments. Paracord is durable, and washable. With an adjustable bridle you can remove the bit and put the whole bridle through the washing machine.