Different Styles & Types of Bitless Bridles
Firstly a word about the amazing Dr Cook range of bitless bridles, that I imported from USA and sold in UK and Europe for many years…
The Dr Cook Bitless Bridle (BB) will always be my first choice and in all the years of selling them exclusively; using them in our riding school; converting many, many bitted horses to the joys of bitless using the Dr Cook BB and backing many horses to be bitless from day one in a Dr Cook BB, we are very sad to have it confirmed by the current owners & manufacturers of Dr Cook bridles (PHS Saddlery) that they are just not interested in having a UK agent.
So we have been researching and trialling a few alternative bitless options and have also managed to source some very nice handmade leather copies of a Dr Cook – currently we have cob & full size and only in black – they are made in Spain from Spanish leather, nicely padded – the difference in price between these and a genuine Dr Cook padded leather bridle imported from USA only serves to accentuate the many air miles travelled by a leather bridle made in UK from English leather to USA and then back again; compared to the Spanish leather version making the simple journey to UK from Spain.
Leather Sidepulls – Diego (Western) | Rebecca (Bling) & Pardoes (Basic)
We are currently offering some nice leather bitless bridles from FRA including three different sidepulls – probably the most basic bitless bridle using direct rein pressure on the nose (compared to the Dr Cook, which has a more indirect action with the crossover design initiating a whole head hug).
Hackamore style Bitless Bridle Options – Calli Love & Calli Rose
Offering a slightly more sophisticated type of direct rein pressure bitless options are the FRA Calli Love and Calli Rose, here is our Section D cob Hari trialling the Calli Rose (excuse the rather unkempt mane, he came in from his ‘au naturel’ lifestyle on the track to try it out) – he was bitted in a previous life and has gone very well in a Dr Cook BB for many years. He took to this straight away; tried it first on the side ring – he was very light and responsive, but didn’t seem to quite understand when asked for halt – we swapped the reins to the bottom ring and he was totally fine with that, came to a halt with minimal rein pressure.
This is available as a simple noseband attachment, which you can easily attach to a bitted headstall (in the photo that is a cob size Calli Rose attachment in havana padded leather, paired with a simple Zilco brown cob synthetic headstall. Hari is quite a large cob and the Zilco full size synthetic headstall would have been a better fit. The Calli Rose noseband on the other hand was a very generous cob size. Rosemary is also trialling this bitless bridle on her lovely warmblood mare Fleur – watch out for her findings coming soon…
We are offering the Calli Rose as a complete bridle & reins too, with the additional fancy leather cheekpieces and under jaw strap offering stability, (instead of the throat lash of a standard bitted bridle) & leather reins – image right.
The Calli Love is very similar but with a shorter shank and only one option for attaching reins – again available as a leather bridle & reins or as a simple padded leather noseband attachment so you can use an existing bitted headstall for a quick and easy transition to bitless. We are trying this one out with Rory and the saddle chariot – watch this space…