This section is where we will present news items for those who would like to hear about recent developments. Vistors are invited to submit items of news relevant to The Bitless Bridle for possible inclusion by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first harness horse to race in Dr. Cook's BitlessBridle with bit bypass straps placed second at Bollnas Racetrack in Sweden on 11th September, 2011. Fritiof Piraten, a 3-year-old colt, was trained by Susanne Richter for owner, Stall Bjornberget and driven by Kajsa Frick. After trailing the field, the horse produced an astonishing burst of speed in the last 400 meters. He finished in 1 minute 14.7 seconds to win prize money of 50,000 SEK (about $7,700 US).
In standard equipment, this horse is a hard puller and frequently bleeds from the mouth during work. Because of a couple of false starts in a race three weeks previously, the horse had incurred a lacerated tongue that prevented further training in a standard bridle. At this stage, Susanne Richter was introduced to the Harness Horse BitlessBridle by fellow trainer, Kerstin Keml'n, a recently appointed Bitless Bridle Associate Clinician for BitlessBridle Inc. USA.
Keml'n has taken a special interest in harness horse problems and solutions for 40 years. For the last two years, she has worked with Dr. Cook to develop a crossunder bitless bridle for the harness horse and test the bit bypass straps. During 2010, she trained several horses in the Harness Horse BitlessBridle at Boden racetrack. She is currently translating Dr. Cook's 2003 book, "Metal in the Mouth" into Swedish. .
July 2011 Congratulations to Cathie Hatrick Anderson!
Are you one of the many riders who would like to compete bitless but cannot because of FEI, national federation or Pony Club rules that mandate one or more bits? Here is a way in which you can signal your protest. Click here for more.
Dressage riders who would like to compete bitless can now do so if they are able to travel to Holland. The Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation (KNHS) have approved a rule that allows riders to compete bitless for the next three years. If this trial period is a success, there is a good chance that the rule will be made permanent and serve as an example to other federations, including the USEF. A Dutch rider has already competed three times bitless and gained promotional scores. So if you have bitless friends in Holland, please encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity. With the help of our contact person in Holland, USA riders could obtain a permit to compete in a KNHS competition. Write to Dr. Cook at email@example.com and give him the dates of your visit, location and dressage level.
"The warming-up ring is now referred to, I see, as the training arena. Perhaps it has always had this designation. Silly me. I had assumed that horses were already trained when they arrived and only needed to be warmed-up, a process for which 15-30 minutes is surely adequate. But if they still have to be trained, no wonder that such prolonged and draconian "techniques" are to be employed at the ninth hour.
To name the warming-up ring as the training arena seems to exemplify the short-cut training philosophy apparently being condoned by the present-incumbent-administrators-of-the-FEI (PIAFEI ... pronounced "piaffy"). Never mind! If one hour of training is not sufficient, the PIAFEI have thoughtfully made provision for this to be doubled or even tripled. Three hours should do it. Away with the need for those boring years of preparation."
Read the entire article by clicking here.
10th ANNIVERSARY OF THE IRON-FREE HORSE
In the year 2000, the horse industry first became aware of two welfare advances. Both freed the horse from metal accessories, bits and shoes. Since then, many thousands of equestrians, worldwide, have carried out what can be regarded as a natural experiment. Each horse has acted as its own control. The 'de-metalling' experiments have confirmed that the crossunder bitless bridle provides a painless and safer alternative to the bit and that barefoot management vastly improves the horse's quality of life. The removal of these metal artifacts has revealed that they are the cause of many accidents and diseases.
Dr. Cook was interviewed by John Bonner for Veterinary Practice magazine. The article is available in our Articles section, or by clicking here.
If you would like to sign the petition, cllick here.
Nancy Hohmann sent us this story of the success they have had with the Bitless Bridle at their therapeutic riding center. An exciting update to the story is that Nancy has been named Therapeutic Riding Instructor of the Year by the NAHRA, and ALL of their horses are now using Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle. Click here to read the article in PDF format.
Sharon Small writes about her own experience switching to The Bitless Bridle. Click here for the story.
Endurance Competition in Kuwait
The Bitless Bridle comes to an endurance competition in Kuwait and fares rather nicely. Click here for the story and photos.