I've created the Ambassador program to inspire others to choose the bitless path with their horses. These riders lead by example showing us you can participate and compete in a variety of equestrian events 'bit-free'.
Introducing the LightRider Ambassador Team
Melissa Guest and Buck (official name: Hodgson Park Buckingham)
"My first bitless bridle was a crossunder with my first Arabian, Harry. Starting him in endurance I thought it more practical to ride without a bit allowing him to eat, drink and breathe better. I never looked back. For endurance I used the rope Light Riders, practical, soft and easy to clean. I have tried several bitless bridles but always came back to the Light Rider. My horses went well in them. They worked and my horses were willing and happy.
When starting Buck I used just the rings for the side pull, then progressed to the chinstrap rings. I find he is softer, goes kindly and is responsive using the chin strap, once understood, gives a clear, softer direction. Buck is ridden in a leather stockhorse LightRider.
Through being bitless, my eyes have been opened to several exciting and challenging disciplines that embrace bitless horses. Horse Archery, Working Equitation and Western Dressage, are events Buck and I thoroughly enjoy.
There are many complex moves in both Working Equitation and Western Dressage, the LightRider is clear, kind and encourages the horse to work in a healthy frame both in body and mind." Melissa lives in Western Australia and Buck is a purebred Morgan horse.
Karen Inkster with Jess, Connie and Monty "When I was a teenager, I read a book about a lady who did endurance and cross country without a bridle and I thought WOW! It got me thinking about what a bit may feel like to a horse, how we traditionally control a horse and what type of relationship you could achieve without the use of a bit.
When I returned to horses some 20 years later and got Connie, she came with a snaffle bridle. I hated putting the bit in her mouth and it made me quite uncomfortable. I very quickly replaced the bit with a bitless hackamore attachment. The more training I did with her and the better rider I became, then I changed the traditional hackamore for a LightRider bitless bridle. I love having such a good relationship with my horses that I can ride in a side pull and never feel out of control.
I love the LightRider bridles as they come in so many different options and are so kind to the horse. I use the Western Bitless Bridle for western riding, including shows and competitions. I love the Performer Bridle too as it's so versatile, you can use it as a headcollar or use it as a bridle with the reins attached underneath or clip them on the side of the noseband. It's my go-to bridle, especially when trail riding and do long distance trails as it takes up no weight and packs down really well." Karen lives in Scotland and runs Equine Unlimited - a friendly equine centre promoting barefoot & bitless riding with positive reinforcement training.
Linda Merrilees with Quilla and Fuji (The Fugitive) "I discovered LightRider bridles (through my coach) after unsuccessfully trying other styles, and my mouthy, sensitive boy said "YES!" Since I start all my horses bitless, it was a smooth progression to riding with a mindful connection that the rope halter just didn't offer.
The versatility of being able to purchase a bitless noseband to fit an existing bridle is great! I have two western bridles and the match has been perfect and I get plenty of positive comments. The quality and softness of the leather and the workmanship is first class.
After a 'former' competitive riding career consisting of Pony Club, Western (with the AQHA), Eventing and Dressage I took up horsemanship nearly 25 years ago and have continued learning and evolving from being more skills based to becoming more interested in connection.
These days we enjoy the trails, Clicker/trick training, regular Ladies Days and the occasional dabble into Working Equitation and Western Dressage with perhaps some Mountain Trail and Ranch Riding in the future. I'm really looking forward to sharing the joy and understanding I have with my horses by being a Light Rider Ambassador! Linda lives in New South Wales, Australia.
Seraya Sigsworth & Issy "I started my journey with Issy 7 years ago, she's a 12yo traditional cob and together we enjoy a bit of everything! Dressage, show jumping, eventing (our fave!) western, trail riding and we've even dabbled in archery and working equitation - all bitless!
4 years ago, we hit a hurdle in our training, Issy started being tense, spooky, I was losing my confidence and all we kept hearing was "more leg, more hand". I thought about using a stronger bit, then realised something in our foundation was wrong! So I turned back to natural horsemanship and adventured into bitless riding, the change was amazing! Issy was instantly relaxed, and we could have a conversation with each other. We've been completely bitless now for about 3 years and I've never looked back.
The LightRider was one of the first bridles we tried and although we played around with a few different styles over the years, we always came back to it! I love that you can ride off a feel and subtle cues. Lots of other bridles lose the feel because your rein isn't connected to something that gives a pre-signa (the sliding chinstrap) l. The LightRider has a lovely feel without having to be heavy-handed, we can whisper in the LightRider rather than shout!
Issy's wonderful temperament has made her a great example of what you can achieve bitless, from dressage to jumping to western! Our bitless journey has also created a level of sensitivity in our work that means we can even ride completely tackless, something I never thought I'd be able to do! I feel very blessed to have her around and hopefully sharing our adventures shows how much fun you can have bitless!"
Seraya lives in North Yorkshire, UK
Are you a LightRider Bitless Ambassador? If you'd like to be considered a LightRider Ambassador post some great pics/reels featuring your LightRider Bitless Bridle and/or LightRider bareback pad on social media, and use the following hashtags: #lightriderbridle, #lightriderbitless, #lightriderbitlessbridle, #Lightriderbareback so we can see you're flying the bitless (and/or bareback) flag. You are also welcome to send me a message. 🙂 To keep up with more Ambassador announcements follow us on Facebook or on Instagram.