Melissa Guest and Bucky from Western Australia and Karen Inkster with Monty from Scotland, UK.
Melissa and Bucky
Bucky was 10 this year. He is a purebred Morgan gelding. His official name is Hodgson Park Buckingham. Bred by Rachel Whan in the Swan Valley.
Bucky came to me when he was 16 months old and settled well into our herd of four.
I started Buck slowly, slowly, first by ponying him out for short bush rides building up as he grew older. Everything we did together was slow and steady; he was and is an eager learner.
I have been riding bit-free for around 20 years. Two of my horses, both Arabians, prior to coming to me, were ridden with bits, including a worried little endurance horse who was a serial bolter. Both transitioned well and happily to bitless.
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 LightRiders, practical, soft, and easy to clean.
I have tried several bitless bridles but always came back to the LightRider. 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 chinstrap, once understood, gives a clear, softer direction. Buck is ridden in a leather stock horse Light Rider.
As bitless riders, we are restricted to what we can compete in. 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, all Buck and I thoroughly enjoy.
There are many complex moves in both Working Equitation and Western Dressage, the LightRider is clear, and kind and encourages the horse to work in a healthy frame both in body and mind.
Karen and Monty (photo credit: Craig Cantwell).
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. Very quickly I replaced the bit with a bitless hackamore attachment.
The more training I did with her and the better rider I became, I replaced the traditional hackamore with a LightRider 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, shows, and competitions.
I love the rope Performer Bridle as it is 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 doing long-distance trails as it takes up no weight and packs down really well.
Monty is a 12 yo, Spanish Mustang and sadly a very damaged horse. He came to me aged 7 and over the next few months, it became apparent his behavior was extremely challenging.
Doing some research, I found out he had been to approx. 15 different homes. He is a great liberty horse and loves doing tricks and working and he is also a good pack horse.
At the moment he isn't ridden, but I hope one day to be able to ride him, but only if he is happy with me doing so.
Karen also uses the LightRider bridles on her mares Connie and Jess.
Connie is a 17-year-old standardbred and is my soul mate. I can ride her without a bridle and just in her LightRider Bareback Pad. Connie's main love was cross country, and we were just getting up to British Eventing standard when she was sadly diagnosed with bone spavin. I used to love it when she was placed 1st wearing a bitless bridle when others were wearing harsh bits and still struggling to hold their horse.
Jess is a 12-year-old appaloosa and came to me after being rescued and in bad shape.
I spent 12 months doing groundwork with her and ponying her out with my main mare Connie before backing her. She is now becoming a wonderful ridden horse and it's so nice knowing her whole ridden career has been bitless!
If you want to be considered as a LightRider Ambassador post some great pics/reels featuring your LightRider Bitless Bridle and/or bareback pad, 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. 🙂
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Hi, I'm Cynthia Cooper - inventor of the LightRider Bitless Bridle.
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