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Een artikel dat alweer 12 jaar geleden geschreven is. Er is veel gebeurd sinds die tijd en bitloos is allang niet onbekend meer en ook zeker niet meer onbemind. Voor de auteur is het echter nog een “new tool” 

Ik vond het leuk om te lezen en ik hoop dat jij het ook leuk vindt.

“Living with horses is a gift. Horses accept their existence on our terms, but they decide whether or not to carry out the tasks we assign them. We should not take for granted that special moment when a horse surrenders itself willingly to our touch.

Horsemanship has evolved over many millennia. Every decade brings new tools and skills but horsemanship is also steeped in tradition and sometimes stifled by it. If a new tool fails to follow tradition, horsemen tend to resist its acceptance even though the new tool offers important benefits for horse and rider. Some of our present-day traditions were established long before man recognized the concept of kindness as the key to communication. Use of the bit, for example, dates back at least 4000 years to the early days of the horse’s domestication. Its introduction was driven by primitive man’s fear of the horse and the assumptionthat he needed to master the beast by brute force. We should be constantly on the look out for the arrival of new ideas that stimulate us to reappraise our attitude to traditional practices ‘inherited’ from distant ancestors.

I have witnessed at first hand the use of a new tool, the rationale of which is founded on an understanding of equine physiology rather than on primitive man’s fear of a wild beast. This tool is a design so far removed from tradition that I have seen riders flinch with alarm at its very description. Yet these same riders have later agreed, after plucking up courage to test it, that the tool represents a landmark advance in welfare and equitation.

The tool is a bitless bridle based on a crossover design. Yes, it is bitless. No, it is not a hackamore, bosal or sidepull. Yes, it is very effective. It can be found on a research veterinarian’s website:

Along with the design, Dr. Robert Cook provides information from decades of his own research, feedback from users, a critique of the bit’s adverse effect on a horse’s behavior, and 120 reasons why the new design is compatible with the exercise physiology of the horse.”