This is a collection of scientific studies on bits and bitless riding. Please contact us to submit a new study.
Original Article: www.horsemanshipnetwork.com/
Further Information On Friendship Training by Chuck
“I always recommends to prospective students a preliminary if not greater in-depth understanding of equine culture and normal herd dynamics in their natural environment that can only be gained from equine research scientists and ethologists (NOT the anecdotal musings of ‘trainers’). As you continue through the Levels, various other reading/study requirements are strongly recommended in addition to the required study curriculum. more »
Paschel: Dr. Cook, some people call you “the father of bitless riding” but would it be more accurate to call you a researcher on the bit and bitless riding?
Cook: Yes. Bitless riding was first discovered by pioneers about six thousand years ago. They probably first used a noose around the neck (today’s neck strap) and then a simple halter. In time, the bitless approach led to the bosal, hackamore and sidepull; all of which are less painful methods of communication than the Bronze Age bit. The word ‘bit’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon ’bite’ but horses don’t need to be bitten to respond to a rein-aid. They can feel a fly landing on their face – touch is enough. Pain is overkill and a barrier to partnership.
My contribution to equine welfare and rider safety has been to ask the question, ‘What does a bit do to a horse?” Realizing, late in my career, that a bitted bridle was the cause of avoidable pain and accidents, I developed a more humane and safer alternative.
Paschel: As bits are depicted on old Greek vases, has man gone astray for centuries? more »
The question of whether or not certain head and neck positions make horses uncomfortable has received a lot of attention and research, but has anyone asked the horse? That’s what a team of German equitation scientists set out to do–sort of. more »
An article by Carley Sparks, published in the June edition of Horse Sport magazine. The article as pdf can be found here: www.bitlessbridle.com/CarleySparksBronzeAge.pdf
This is the pre-peer-review version of the following article: “Damage By The Bit to the Equine Interdental Space and Second Lower Premolar” published in Equine Veterinary Education, 23, 355-360, 2011.
The pdf document can be found under www.bitlessbridle.com/DamageByTheBit.pdf