Did you know you can have safer rope halters and bitless bridles with a simple breakaway point?
Have you ever thought about what would happen if your horse caught their rope bridle or halter on something solid – like a gate latch, or a hitching rail, or tree branch?
Rope bridles and halters without a break-away point are a serious wreck waiting to happen!
I’ve seen horses almost drown from getting a leg caught up in their reins while swimming, and a horse strike their hoof through another’s reins and join the two together in a serious tangle until the rein clip broke.
I’ve known two horses that plunged off a narrow cliff trail when one slipped and dragged the horse who’s saddle he was tied to, with him. Fortunately, the rider survived and was able to euthanise both horses.
Rope hackamores used by Natural Horsemanship trainers and riders have a solid rope rein that can be deadly if caught up. And what about the horse that escapes with un-breakable rope reins dangling? Imagine the serious wreck when a front or hind leg steps through those reins, especially when still around the horse’s neck.
The same goes for a rope cordeo or neck loop that has no breaking point. If it falls close to the head a hoof could potentially get caught in it. Using something like this breakpoint tether will help keep the neck rope in place.
And how many neck and back injuries are caused by pull-backs when tied solid? We’ve all had those and perhaps changed to a different method of tying, or used a releasing gadget or a piece of twine!
Obviously, it’s best to educate your horse to stand tied but you still can’t account for needing to tie your horse somewhere different, or that sudden scare factor.
You can make your own break-away tab with scrap or re-purposed leather.This all paints a horrible picture but can be avoided by using a break-away tie on the headpiece of your rope halter/hackamore/bridle. You can make your own as demonstrated here on Horse Nation.
Or buy a ready-made break-away latigo from Natural Horse World here.
How to use a leather latigo as a breakaway tie: Many rope halters come with a leather latigo attached under the jaw so here’s how to remove that and use it as your break-away latigo.
Here’s a video to show how it’s done:
LightRider Bitless Rope Bridles are the first to include a breakaway latigo, as are the Supersoft Knotless Rope Halters sold exclusively by the Natural Horse World Store.
To celebrate World Bitless Horse Day this Saturday - 7th September, we're having a 10% off all bitless bridles sale.
Plus 50% off older style bridles - English and Stockhorse in brown biothane, warmblood size nosebands in brown biothane and some leather bridles in warmblood size.
These bridles are brand new - they just have the older style cheek pieces without the extra buckle to fit a bit or remove the noseband. https://www.naturalhorseworldstore.com/categories/Bitless-Bridles/
Win a LightRider Bitless Noseband by sharing your review on the LightRider Facebook page to go in the draw for a Bitless Noseband of your choice - value $55+ (includes shipping).
WORLD BITLESS HORSE DAY - SEPTEMBER 7TH
See all the activities listed here and find out more about this day here.
Win Bitless Ambassadors Rosettes to 3rd place. *** SPECIAL PRIZE *** for first place! Enter your bitless horse photos here.
WIN A LIGHTRIDER BITLESS NOSEBAND
We invite you to share your review on the LightRider FB page to go in the draw for a LightRider Bitless Noseband of your choice - value $55+ (includes shipping).
Recently the World Bitless Association ran a campaign to find their ‘Champion Bitless Ambassador' with LightRider Bridles being one of the 4 brand sponsors, each also awarding their own brand ambassador from the entries submitted.
Exmoor Pony gelding Monseiur Chapeau with owner Dawn Westcott won the LightRider Champion Bitless Ambassador. The pair were also awarded overall runner-up to the World Bitless Association Champion Ambassador, Karen Inkster and Connie from the UK.
Karen has chosen a LightRider bitless bridle as her prize for the award.
Coming second to Dawn and Monsieur Chapeau in the LightRider Champion Ambassador Award was Kallie Zeinstra from the United States of America, while Australian Leah Sharp took third place.
L-R: Kodiak Ridge (Kallie Zienstra), Breo and Leah Sharp, Connie and Karen Inkster.
Monsieur Chapeau was rescued from the moors by Nick and Dawn Westcott as an orphan foal in 2014. He was nearing starvation and suffering from pneumonia but recovered well and now helps socialise other wild-born foals and ponies as part of the Exmoor Pony Project near Somerset in the United Kingdom. He enjoys liberty walks, equine agility, connecting with visitors and has even been to London to appear live on ITV This Morning with his best friend, Lady Stumpkin Pumpkin. His story is told in Dawn’s best-selling book, Wild Pony Whispering.
Dawn has trained her wild-born Exmoor stallion Bear (Wild Stallion Whispering) to win two world championships in international horse agility and he is ridden bitless where possible.
“Once I discovered the English style LightRider, it literally changed our lives here,” Dawn commented. “Before, there was such a contrast between working with head collars or halters – and then having to switch to bitted bridles for the show ring and ridden competition and activities.
I’m delighted and honored to be an ambassador for this work. A big thank you to Cynthia for everything she does to make things more comfortable and enjoyable for horses and ponies."
“I love how the World Bitless Association recognises that bits are part of many people’s journeys – particularly in competition – and puts emphasis on empathetic, considerate riding, whether bitted or bitless. That’s the key – working towards the lightest possible riding and handling whatever equipment you’re using. I’m very pleased to be representing and supporting such a great association and this progressive step forwards for empathetic horsemanship globally. Along with a great opportunity to promote the Exmoor pony breed.”
If you ride bitless and are proud to do so, you can share your photos and story on the Why Not Bitless – Rosettes for Bitless Ambassadors Facebook Page where the new Bitless Boasting Board Competition is now taking entries until March 31st, 2019.
LightRider Bitless bridles approved for dressage competition in the Netherlands
Official news - Sarah Joosten reports: the KNHS (Dutch Sports Federation) approved the bitless LightRider Bridle so it can be used as a bitless bridle at competitions in the Netherlands!
Bitless Bridles have been accepted for official dressage at the lower levels in the Netherlands since April 2014.
If you're in Europe and want to try a LightRider Bitless bridle, check out Sarah's websites: www.Equi-Focus.nl or www.Equi-Focus.com
Bitless Ambassadors Rewarded
A new initiative to reward bitless riders for competing successfully has just been launched. 'Why Not Bitless: Rosettes for Bitless Ambassadors" is being sponsored by 4 of the major bitless bridle companies (LightRider, Transcend, Circle X and Orbitless) to raise awareness of the achievements of bitless riders worldwide.
Bitless Riders who compete using genuine modern bitless bridles (that blend in with regular bitted bridles) are eligible for an Ambassador rosette when they win or place in approved mainstream equestrian events such as dressage, eventing, jumping, endurance, showing, working equitation, driving, western reining etc. (no rodeo or racing for eg.).
A list of acceptable events is being drawn up and will be published on the website www.whynotbitless.org as soon as it goes live.
This international campaign will raise awareness, be good PR with the equestrian associations and bitted riders, support the bitless riders and allow optimum media opportunities in individual countries as rosettes are rewarded.
It may also encourage other clubs, shows and organisations to allow bitless bridles when they see entries from bitless riders could boost their event numbers.
Here's how to enter:
From 1st June to 31st December 2018 Rosettes will be awarded to any bitless competitor for a win or a placing in a genuine modern bitless bridle* - one rosette per person per show.
Post your best picture from the event, with your rosette or certificate, with details of the event, date, and organiser, on the FaceBook page “Why Not Bitless: Rosettes for Bitless Ambassadors”
Please supply your address by Private Message to Sue Thomas until the website goes live for a formal entry.
A beautiful Rosette will be sent to you, then you need to take a picture with your horse wearing the new Bitless Ambassador rosette.
WNB Rosettes will not be awarded & pictures will not be accepted if the horse is BTV (behind the vertical) or if the horse is in clear distress, or if the tack is causing discomfort.
Each bridle manufacturer sponsoring this initiative will also award a year-end prize for the best win in their bridle so let's see your entries posted soon!
*no rope, shanked hackamores, copies or other harsh bridles.
Your Bitless Story competition
What’s YOUR Bitless story? Have you gone bitless with your horse? What were the challenges, and what have you accomplished? We’d LOVE to hear! Send in your story for a chance to win YOUR CHOICE* of these great prizes:
- 40” Equi-Spirit™ Ultimate Cordura Ball from Equi-Spirit Toys.
- Missy Wryn All-In-One Bitless Bridle and DVD set.
- Star Wheel Hackamore from The Horse's Hoof.
- LightRider Bitless Noseband in Leather.
*Prizes: 1st Place will receive their choice of 2 prizes from above! 2nd Place will receive their choice of the 2 remaining prizes, and 3rd place receives the final prize.
All 3 receive a 2-year subscription to The Horse’s Hoof Magazine, and their story published in next issue!
Suggested story length: between 600-2000 words, and include at least 2 photos. The story can be text or a doc file. Save photos as jpeg and email all to email@example.com - include your full name, contact info, and your horse’s name. By entering this contest, you agree to give permission to The Horse’s Hoof to publish your material. Thank you for supporting bitless horses!
Hurry, the deadline for Contest submissions is August 31, 2018!
All winners will be announced in our next issue, Fall #72.
Click here for PDF flyer with instructions: http://thehorseshoof.com/pix2/BitlessContest.pdf
We get so many testimonials like this - Go Bitless!
"I just wanted to let you know that I received the bridle and love it! My horse Blue also loved it. We went out on a big bush trek (after test driving the bridle in the round pen of course). I could feel he was much happier in himself and so responsive to the feel and listening to my seat and legs.
I'd been having trouble with him resisting the bit and not listening to other aids so the bridle went down a treat."
Hallie in New Zealand.
Pony Club Australia (PCA) are FINALLY starting to move with the times in allowing bitless bridles on a case by case basis for their rallies.
Only certain types of bridles may be used and it looks like the LightRider Bitless Bridle may be accepted as its very similar to the two bridles approved already - a crossunder bridle with sliding straps, and a sidepull.
I'd say the more traditional bridle styles such as the LightRider English, Euro, Dressage, Stockhorse and bitless noseband would be the most likely to be considered acceptable going by the styles not permitted eg. bosals, rope bridles, hackamores and crossunder bridles with no release (Nurtural).
I hope lots of Pony Club members apply and it becomes an option that is not even blinked at in the future!
I know I've had many queries about whether bitless bridles can be or ever will be used in Pony Clubs, and frustration from many who found that until now, they weren't allowed.
From the feedback I've received from parents with children riding bitless, its been the best thing for them and their ponies/horses as they learn the riding skills and gain an independent seat.
This is the news that appeared in the PCA February 2018 Newsletter:
The National Coaching Committee (NCC) has considered the use of bitless bridles over the past 12 months.
There is sufficient evidence that bitless bridles work very well and the PCA Board believes it is important that Pony Club policies keep pace with evidence.
In some cases there are veterinary grounds for their use.
Pony Club members are under supervision at rallies which gives the rider a good opportunity to evaluate the suitability of the bridle.
In consultation with the NCC, the PCA board has decided that approval for use of bitless bridles should be granted on a case-by-case basis for the member and the specified horse for use at rallies.
The approval form can be found on the website, with final approval given by the Zone Chief Coach or equivalent. PCA will monitor take-up of this option by riders, however states should welcome these applications and assess them on their merits. B
Here is the link to apply to use a Bitless Bridle if you are a PCA Member.
Hi, I'm Cynthia Cooper - inventor of the LightRider Bitless Bridle.
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