sparky4I just want to share my experiences with the bitless bridle. I own Sparky, he’s an irish draft x danish warmblood, about 13 yrs old. Sparky is a sensitive wee man and due to having a hard time in riding schools before I bought him, had become very unconfident and found it very hard to completely relax. On the ground he is a total sweetie to handle, there are monsters behind bushes but he is easy to calm.

However, when riding those monster grew. When hacking he would spook continually and when schooling the same happened. This meant that to get any soft, balanced work was a bit of a battle. My hands became very strong and I used to get so frustrated that he just never listened and trusted me. He is a horse with a very strong flight instinct and so if asked to perform any lateral or extended work would get extremely stressed, stiffen and move away from any aid given.

I have tried so many things over the last few years to try and help sparky. I just want him to be happy in his life and work and to trust that I am here to help him not harm him. I came across the Dr Cook’s bitless bridle and it sounded wonderful, made an order and tried it straight away. I find it very hard to describe the transformation in sparky, night and day kind of does it. He instantly responded to it.


I have never had a soft, balanced transition from walk to halt or trot to canter, it was as if the line of communication was cloudy and he just got stressed. Now they are amazing. I communicate with him through my seat and the response is instant. He is balanced, soft, accepting, forward and most of all seems happy. The spooking is reduced as he doesn’t get jabbed in the mouth when he sees a monster and he actually listens to my aids, which are a lot clearer now that I use my leg and seat, rather than my hands.

Obviously the benefits for sparky are clear to see, but it has also helped me as a rider. Because I am not caught up in this battle anymore I am able to think about my riding. As he is just happy to travel forwards and soft, I am just there to direct him and not force him onto the contact. I have realised how strong I am with my arms, but now that everything’s so relaxed I can concentrate on my softness and make conscious changes to my riding. It’s so exciting to think what we will be able to achieve as a happy partnership. A few riding clubs will let me compete HC and I can’t wait to go and show off my happy horse and hopefully spread the word about this bridle. Then eventually we might be able to legally compete in dressage.sparky1

I am aware that not everyone will get the same immediate benefits as sparky and I, but I think everyone should at least give it a go, spread the word!!!!

Katie Lee