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 

For the most up-to-the-minute news, check out our Facebook page Click Here 


October, 24, 2014  Good news from the UK. Team Dr. Cook's Quit the Bit took third place at Grafton Sulgrave and earned the first qualifying slot for the National Championships! Here is an excerpt from the article published in   Horse and Hound (Click Here)

July 1, 2014  (AUSTRALIA) Bitless Bridle Teven Clinic with With Suzy Maloney B.Eq.Sc. on Saturday, Aug. 9th  2014  8:30 am to 4:00 pm Click here for details

June 25, 2014  Public letter to the International Olympic Committee - Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the IOC; by Bernd Paschel University Lecturer, Sports Sciences (ret’d) Click here to read the open letter.

June 17, 2014    Dr. Cook's article "Pathophysiology of Bit Control in the Horse" has been translated to German by Rainer Pehlke. To read the article on Rainer Pehlke's website;  Click here.

April  14, 2014  (AUSTRALIA)  Bitless Bridle Clinic with With Suzy Maloney B.Eq.Sc. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 Click Here to read the Clinc Flyer 

March 26, 2014   Bitless Bridle seminar with Cathie Hatrick Anderson on April 1st.   Click Here For Details

February, 26 2014  Giveaway winners announced on facebook -   BitlessBridle, Inc, hosted a 10 free Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle giveaway on facebook to celebrate reaching 10,000 fans on "The Bitless Bridle by Dr. Robert Cook" FaceBook page. 10 lucky winners received the Dr. Cook Bitless Bridle of thier choice! Random giveaways will be held in the future.To participate in them, please "like us" on facebook!

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February 24, 2014   Australia petitions for change!  Bitless enthusiast and supporters in Australia have recently set up a petition on to submit to Equestrian Australia asking that horses in bitless bridles be allowed to compete in all equestrian sports alongside bitted horses. If you would like to help Australia evoke bitless change; here is the link to sign the petition: Click here to sign.


October, 16, 2013  BITLESS DRESSAGE INTEGRATED!   “Good news published on 10/11/2013” and followed by another item “Confirmation published by the KNHS on 10/16/2013.  READ MORE

KNHS Confirmation Press Release

October 15 2013  WRITE FOR YOUR RIGHT TO RIDE BIT-AND- PAIN FREE  Facebook campaign launched! 

 In 2008, after the crossunder bitless bridle had been thoroughly field-tested and convincingly validated for a decade, Michelle Guillot filed a rule change with the USEF seeking its approval for dressage.  In 2009, the proposal was ’tabled’ by the Dressage Technical Committee.  In other words, no decision was made.  On September 23, 2013, I wrote to the co-chairs of the committee and my letter, appended below, describes the history of the proposal and its stagnation.  To date, I have received no response.

But the rule change is still ‘on the table.’  If you feel, as I do, that a century-old rule requiring one or more obligatory bits for dressage is obsolete and needs updating in the light of new knowledge, please write to the co-chairs of the committee; Jayne Ayers at and Lisa Goretta at  Post copies of your letters on Facebook as an example to others.

As USEF rules are followed by the U.S. Pony Club, 4H and many other organizations, this particular rule has a baleful influence on the whole of U.S. horsemanship.  Whether or not you are a member of the USEF, your right to compete with a pain-free hand signal is blocked.  This degrades the welfare, safety and performance of all competing riders and their horses.  A painful hand signal is inhumane, unethical and unwise.  Bit-induced accidents are avoidable.  Much suffering, wastage and unhappiness will be prevented and the image of the sport improved if the crossunder bitless bridle is approved.

The Dressage Technical Committee has had ample evidence at their fingertips for four years.  The time has come to apply new millennium science to a Bronze Age signal. Let’s make horse history.  Read More....

Click here to read Professor Paul McGreevy's letter to the Dressage Technical Committee


September 2013  On September 21, 2013 Dr. Cook was [officially] inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame of the Tufts University, Veterinary Alumni Association.  To read a short bio that Dr. Cook was asked to provide for the occasion. Click here (PDF format)


August 2013
Dr. Cook recently attended the 2013 Annual Conference of the International Society of Equitation Science held at the University of Delaware in July.  He read his  paper entitled, “A Method for Measuring Bit-induced Pain and Distress in the Ridden Horse”  based on data from 56 behavioral profile questionnaires that riders completed between 2002 and 2008 as they switched from bit to bitless.  
The number of unwanted behaviors in each horse when bitted ranged from 5 to 60 with a median of 32.  The number when bitless ranged from zero to 16 with a median of 2.  Not less than 94% of the unwanted behaviors were caused by the bit.  The paper is believed to be the first time in 5000 years that the bit has been subjected to a numerical evaluation. 
Read the full text and discussion of the paper in our ARTICLES section.

August 2013 

Arobridge-Equine First  - New Zealand Presents:  2 Day Dressage Clinic: Bridle to Bitless to Bridleless, Click here for dates and details. 

July 2013

Memorable first FEI event for Georgina: Georgina McKewan tackled her first FEI one star event, with her two home-bred horses, Del Pierro and Dimmatta.  Click here: FEI Event 

March 2012
Bitless Bridle clinic coming up in April

Cathie Hatrick-Anderson will be conducting a clinic on "Transitioning to Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle" on April 28 in Topsfield, MA.   
Click here for details

The Bitless Bridle is in The Yard

That's right, we got mentioned in the Letters section of the Your Horse website. Click here to see the article.


December 2011
Riding Free

It's all about a book, a bridle and the Eschbachs.  We have a short webreview from The Sweet Feed blog.
The book can be purchased in our online store.

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September 2011
Harness Horse goes bitless!

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. .

 For more information, contact Kerstin Kemlen at or visit her website at

July 2011 Congratulations to Cathie Hatrick Anderson!

We are pleased to congratulate Cathie Hatrick Anderson on her First Place finish at the Versatility Challenge at Ride Like The Wind Stables in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.  17 horses entered over 30 teams, and five of the top 6 places went to horses and riders using Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle.  The top six places went to:

First: Cathie on Ruger
Second: Carolyn on Angel
Third: Matt on Hildago
Fourth: Shannon on Ruger
Fifth: Helen on Violet
Sixth: Jeremy on CJ

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May 2011

Join the Red Rein Revolution!

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.

March 2011

Dr. Cook will be conduting an interview on Holistic Horse Radio on April 5 at 1:00PM concerning "Preventing Riding Accidents."  The interview will be available for download, after it airs, at Holistic


October 2010

Addressing the Bitless Bridle Question

In her letter printed in the British Horse Society magazine's September-October issue,  Janet Astley adds her voice to the call for the crossunder bridle to be allowed in dressage competition.  Click here for more...


August 2010

Cathie Hatrick-Anderson Featured in Worldwide Exhibit

Cathie Hatrick Anderson, an authorized Bitless Bridle Instructor located in Massachusetts, along with her horses and her Australian Cattle Dog, Scooter, have amazed and delighted live and YouTube audiences with their bitless, bareback, and trick riding. But now their work is literally going down in history: Cathie, her mare, Cachina, and Scooter are featured in the touring equestrian exhibit, The Literary Horse: When Legends Come to Life.
Click here to read her presss release.

June 2010

Go Bitless, Go Dutch

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 and give him the dates of your visit, location and dressage level.

Bitless Dressage Tests

Inge van der Haven, with her horse Tribute, gained her first promotion scores when competing bitless in a recent Dutch Federation test.  To read her report of the experience, click here.

The Warming-up Debate Heats Up

From Dr. Cook's article Cooling Down the Warming-up Debate By Raising The Heat: The FEI Does It Again, published in the May issue of Horses For Life:

"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.

May 2010


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.

Click here for the full press release...

March 2010

Joe Camp is offering a TeleWorkshop to present reasons why you (and your farrier) might want to consider letting your horse go barefoot.   Click here for more info and a link to his website.

February 2010

Dr. Cook was interviewed by John Bonner for Veterinary Practice magazine.  The article is available in our Articles section, or by clicking here.

December 2009

Another voice asking to allow the Bitless Bridle in competition

Tracy Wagg in New Zealand has started an online petition to allow the Bitless Bridle in competition.  Click here to read the article on


If you would like to sign the petition, cllick here.


News from the Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center

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.


Going Bitless, A Personal Experience

Sharon Small writes about her own experience switching to The Bitless Bridle.  Click here for the story.


April 2009

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.





Website Content and Material by Dr. Robert Cook F.R.C.V.S., Ph.D. Copyright © 2000 - 2018 The Bitless Bridle, Inc..