10 Best Bitless Bridles for Horses (Buying Guide)

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When my daughter started endurance training with her horse, the first thing we did was to buy a bitless bridle for it.

Endurance training requires synthetic bitless bridles but you can also get them in other materials.

In fact; the variety available in bitless bridles can be confusing to first-time buyers.

To make matters easy, I’m sharing 10 of the best bitless bridles based on my experience.

Let’s start with a quick look at our top picks, then keep reading for all the glorious details.

Related: Best Comfort Bridles for Horses

Bitless Bridles Top Picks at a Glance

If you see the value in these products and choose to purchase via my referral links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Preview
Editor's Choice
Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
Best Budget Buy
CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Sidepull Bridle Reins Brown 77RT07BR-F
Best Cross Under Bitless Bridle
HORZE Genuine Leather Cross-Under Bitless Bridle | Includes Web Reins with Hand Stops - Black - Horse
Best Flower Hackamore
Lift Sports Hackamore Bitless Horse Bit English Western Adjustable Flower Padded Leather Bridle Equestrian
Best English Bitless Bridle
Wonder Care Genuine English Leather Crossover |Crossunder Bitless Bridle Headstall with Reins - Brown- M
Top Benefit
Soft, well-oiled, and consists of several strategically placed knots on it
Great quality, beautiful craftsmanship
Comes with beautiful web reins with superior grip
Very well-made
Well-made and long-lasting 
Editor's Choice
Preview
Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
Top Benefit
Soft, well-oiled, and consists of several strategically placed knots on it
Check Latest Price
Best Budget Buy
Preview
CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Sidepull Bridle Reins Brown 77RT07BR-F
Top Benefit
Great quality, beautiful craftsmanship
Check Latest Price
Best Cross Under Bitless Bridle
Preview
HORZE Genuine Leather Cross-Under Bitless Bridle | Includes Web Reins with Hand Stops - Black - Horse
Top Benefit
Comes with beautiful web reins with superior grip
Check Latest Price
Best Flower Hackamore
Preview
Lift Sports Hackamore Bitless Horse Bit English Western Adjustable Flower Padded Leather Bridle Equestrian
Top Benefit
Very well-made
Check Latest Price
Best English Bitless Bridle
Preview
Wonder Care Genuine English Leather Crossover |Crossunder Bitless Bridle Headstall with Reins - Brown- M
Top Benefit
Well-made and long-lasting 
Check Latest Price

Top 10 Best Bitless Bridle Reviews – 2021

Let’s start with my absolute favorite and work our way down.

#1. Winner – Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle

Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle

Compared to regular bridles, a bitless bridle can improve communication between you and your horse. That is the main reason why so many riders approve of the Justin Dunn Bitless bridle.

It is soft, well-oiled, and consists of several strategically placed knots on it. These enable you to control your horse using gentle pressure instead of painful force.

Justin Dunn and Weaver Leather are two well-known brand names in the equestrian industry. So you can expect the best hardware and materials from their products.

This bitless bridle does not disappoint: it uses hand-rubbed, soft well-oiled harness leather and its shiny buckles are rust-resistant. You can rest assured that this is a durable and long-lasting bitless bridle.

Here are some more features of the Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle:

Features

  • Made with weather-resistant, hand-rubbed leather that gets better with age
  • Available in three color options and 2 sizes
  • Premium rope nose with strategic knot placement for better responses
BenefitsDrawbacks
Allows horses to graze and water comfortablyA bit pricey
Attractive – your horse will look great in it!Some complaints about buckle placement
Nice spread-out leather straps that won’t float around your horse’s face.No “give” in the reins
Soft – does not cause rubbing or chafing
Silver buckles look attractive and are rust-resistant
Fits well for most horses and has enough ‘give’ to suit different head sizes

Expert tips

The tack is a bit stiff in the beginning but you can soak it in Neatsfoot oil to soften it a bit.

How it compares to others

Justin Dunn himself used this bitless bridle at the 2016 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in Denver. Weaver Leather™ and Justin have worked to give us this beautiful bitless bridle and boy are we glad!

Not only will your horse be better behaved, but it will also look great thanks to this bitless bridle. Granted, it is a bit on the higher side price-wise, but it is worth it due to the high-quality materials used.

Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
  • Durable, weather-resistant harness leather
  • Dipped in oil and dressed with butter
  • Leather is hand Rubbed for a great feel
  • Two strategically placed Knots encourage horse to give to pressure and seek release

#2. Best Budget Buy: CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Sidepull Bridle Reins Brown

CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Sidepull Bridle Reins Brown 77RT07BR-F

If you want lighter control of your horse, then a sidepull bridle is just what you need. Use gentle hands though – else you might end up making your horse insensitive even to the bitless bridle. 

Challenger Store horse tack is a reputed brand loved by equestrians. We are sure you will love these western leather beaded bitless sidepull and so will your horse.

Features

  • Attractive and colorful
  • Padded noseband for comfort
  • Made with a soft harness well-oiled leather
  • Double stitching for durability
  • Reins included
  • Available in full Horse size
BenefitsDrawbacks
Great quality, beautiful craftsmanshipLimited size choices
Fits most horses well
Very comfortable for horses
Affordable and value for money.

Expert tips

The reins are a mix of English and western and a bit long. You might have to fix it.

How it compares

These are well-made bitless options from a reputed brand. The price is great and you get quality and craftsmanship with it.

CHALLENGER Horse Western Leather Tack Beaded Bitless Sidepull Bridle Reins Brown 77RT07BR-F
  • Horse
  • Brown/Beaded
  • Sidepulls are perfect �bitless� training aid for horses that are not bit ready. Great for horses with sensitive mouths or have had an injury.
  • Hand crafted from quality harness leather, double stitched and oiled for durability. Features a padded crown, browband, and nose for comfort. Browband and noseband are beautifulty accented with a beaded pattern inlay.
  • Heavy reinforced�stitching for durability

READ MORE: Bosal Vs Hackamore Differences

Check out this video to learn about the size of a cob bridle.

#3. Best Cross Under Bitless Bridle – HORZE Genuine Leather Cross-Under Bitless Bridle

HORZE Genuine Leather Cross-Under Bitless Bridle | Web Reins Included

Cross under bitless bridles is more humane as they apply even pressure on the side of the horse’s head and not on its fragile nose bones or mouth.

This gets better responses and can improve horse owner communication with their horses. HORZE is also a well-known brand for horse tack and this bridle won’t disappoint.

Features

  • Made with genuine, supple leather
  • Available in black and US horse size
BenefitsDrawbacks
Attractive and well-madeLimited size and color choices
Easy to put togetherBit stiff upon arrival.
Fits thoroughbreds and most horses 16 hh
Comes with beautiful web reins with superior grip

Expert tips

  • Needs breaking in to reduce its stiffness. A few applications of leather conditioner will have it supple and soft in no time.

How it compares

HORZE is a reliable brand name in horse tack. Most users are very happy with this bitless bridle for their older horses or those who hate bits.

The lack of sizes and color choices could be a hindrance for buyers. Price-wise, it is a great bridle under $100 and comparable to most entries here.

HORZE Genuine Leather Cross-Under Bitless Bridle | Includes Web Reins with Hand Stops - Black - Horse
  • ✅ Cross-Under Bitless Bridle: Cross-under bitless style applies gentle and painless pressure evenly distributed around the horse's head, preventing pain and discomfort. This bridle is great if you have a horse with a sensitive mouth, or who won't tolerate a metal bit.
  • ✅ Made With Genuine Leather: Soft, supple leather provides exceptional comfort to your horse. Use good leather care to maintain the quality of the leather.
  • ✅ Includes Web Reins with Hand Stops: Everything you need to start using the bitless bridle, the cotton webbing and leather hand stops give you excellent grip.
  • ✅ Raised Noseband and Browband: Crafted in an attractive, classic bridle style.
  • ✅ Easy Care: Wipe clean with a damp sponge. Do not saturate with water or chemical cleaners. Use leather cleaner or conditioner to maintain the suppleness and sheen of the leather.

#4. Best Flower Hackamore – Lift Sports Hackamore Bitless Horse Bit English Western Adjustable Flower Padded Leather Bridle Equestrian

Lift Sports Hackamore Bitless Horse Bit English Western Adjustable Flower Padded Leather Bridle Equestrian

Flower hackamores give you a lot of versatility as you can adjust your reins higher or lower in the ‘petals’ to increase/decrease the pressure.

As with any bit, a hackamore can be gentle in gentle hands and rough in rough hands. With the Life Sports floral hackamore, you can train your horse faster and without pain.

Features

  • Made with soft, genuine buffalo leather and the flower parts are made with stainless steel.
  • Available for full-size horses: the noseband is 10-inches, belt length is 28-inches. Fully adjustable.
  • Available in black color.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Very well-madeThe noseband is huge.
Decently priced

Expert tips

  • This floral hackamore from Life Sport needs adjustments – you might have to punch extra holes in the noseband.

How it compares

The flower hackamore from Life Sport is reasonably priced and very well made. There are a few size issues but most users were able to work around them.

#5. Best English Bitless Bridle: Equitem English Leather Bridle with Web Reins

Wonder Care Genuine Leather Crossover | Crossunder English Bitless Bridle Headstall with Reins

English riding needs high-quality English bridles although you can interchange the tack used for western and English riding.

The difference is in comfort and it depends on your riding experience level too. If you need reliable and well-made English bridles and don’t mind spending a bit on them, then this one from Wonder Care is an excellent choice.

Features

  • Made with soft, pliable, thick Chrome-free vegetable-tanned leather and soft leather pad
  • Has straps with buckles for more adjustments
  • Stainless steel buckles and rings are rust-resistant
  • Available in two sizes and two colors.
  • Comes with reins
BenefitsDrawbacks
Vegetable-tanned leather is better for the environment. It lasts long and gets better with ageReturns are expensive and complicated
AdjustableSome sizes are a bit pricey
Excellent workmanship
Padded and comfortable for the horse
Value for money

Expert tips

Some users recommend punching extra holes for better adjustment.

How it compares

Wonder Care English leather bridle is extremely well-made. The use of vegetable tanned leather is better for the environment.

The soft, padded leather is also comfortable for horses and can aid in training. The price is slightly on the higher side.

Wonder Care Genuine English Leather Crossover |Crossunder Bitless Bridle Headstall with Reins - Brown- M
  • Material: 100% Vegetable Tanned (chrome free) Genuine Leather. Stainless Steel hardware. Soft Leather for browband and noseband padding.
  • Workmanship: Sewn on imported machines, finished and polished by hand.
  • Comfortable to the horse, safe, gentle and effective
  • Please refer to sizing chart before ordering. The bridle needs to be adjusted for the horse at the first application.
  • Provided with 3/4 inch wide full leather reins.

#6. Best Bitless Bridle for Sensitive Horses: Cooks Bitless Bridle

Dr. Cook Leather Western Bitless Bridle

Dr. Robert Cook needs no introduction. This veterinarian has spoken and written about the hazards caused by curb bit bridles and the harm they cause in horses.

His Bitless Bridle™ system is famous and no wonder Cooks Bitless Bridle is very popular among the equestrian community as well.

Features

  • Made from genuine English leather
  • All hardware is rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Multiple sizes available: pony, cob, full, and extra full
BenefitsDrawbacks
Reliable brand name.The size and color options on popular retail sites are limited.
Well-made and long-lasting 

How it compares

Slightly on the higher side but you get the experience of a popular veterinarian and high-quality materials.

#7. Best Competition Bridle: Rambo Micklem Competition Bridle

Rambo Horseware Micklem Competition Bridle, Black, Small Horse/Cob

If you are in Europe, buy the Micklem bridle from Horseware Ireland and if you are located in the USA, then buy it from Dover Saddlery.

Rambo Micklem bridle is designed from the inside out to perfectly fit the horse’s skull. It is the most comfortable competition bridle. 

Features

  • Soft and well-made with high-quality leather
  • Unique shape, ergonomically designed to prevent pressure on sensitive areas
  • Padded for comfort
  • Tongue protection clips
BenefitsDrawbacks
High-quality materials A few size-related issues
Versatile and adjustable

How it compares

This is a one-of-a-kind bridle designed by an expert. It is designed to reduce pressure on sensitive areas.

The noseband won’t interfere with your horse’s breathing and its multi-purpose design also allows you to use it as a traditional bridle too. Totally worth the higher price!

#8. Best Bitless Leather Bridle with Reins: HILASON Western Leather Bitless Bitfree Bridle with Reins 

HILASON Western Leather Bitless Bitfree Bridle with Reins Black

Designed by a German expert, HILASON western leather bridle is bitless and lets the reins cross under the horse’s chin groove in form of an X.

This simplifies use for the rider and increases your horse’s comfort. The price is also very attractive.

Features

  • Available in black and large size
  • Made using high-quality soft bridle (top quality harness) leather version.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Very comfortable Not enough size options
Attractive price under $75Limited customer feedback on Amazon
Comes with reins
Rubber padding on the head and noseband increases comfort
Durable and well-made

How it compares

HILASON is a great brand for horse tack and their popularity comes due to their high-quality materials and German designs.

This bitless bridle is designed from both perspectives: that of the horse and the rider.  The price is very attractive too. You won’t regret buying this bridle.

#9.  Best Adjustable: Custom Nylon Braided Bitless Bridle

Braided Nylon Bitless Bridle w/Reins

If you are looking for inexpensive, machine washable, and adjustable nylon bitless bridles, then this is a good choice.

Features

  • Available in various colors
  • The average full size has knots at the end.
BenefitsDrawbacks
The stretch and knots are well-placedCheek, throat latch, and nose pieces are sightly long. You might have to knot them.
Comfortable for both rider and horse
Economical bridles under $30

How they compare

Most riders found these bridles oversized. Other than this one issue, this is an economical, washable, and colorful bitless bridle for those on a budget.

Braided Nylon Bitless Bridle w/Reins (Purple)
  • Bitless Bridle
  • Braided Nylon Allows for Custom Adjustment
  • Includes Braided Nylon Reins w/ Knot Ends
  • Available Colors: Purple, Lime, Teal, Pink & Black
  • For an Average Full Size Horse

#10. Best Style/Colorful Bitless Bridles: Tiffany’s Braided Tack Bitless Side Pull Hackamore

If you are looking for a colorful bitless bridle under $100 for your kids’ horse, then Tiffany’s braided side pull hackamore headstall is the one to choose. It is well-made, attractive, and gives you complete value for money.

Features

  • The nose lets out to 23-inches while the headstall lets out to 46-inches.
  • It is hand-braided using 550 paracord Nylon over the soft leather
  • Adjustable
  • You can even add a bit to it by removing the side pulls
  • Available in various colors. You also get pony sizes.
  • The seller also sells reins in matching colors.
BenefitsDrawbacks
Great quality at an amazing priceAs with nylon rope halters and bridles, this one could hurt a horse’s eyes.
Versatile enough to use with existing headstall
The seller is very responsive and addresses questions from potential buyers.
Attractive colors.

Expert tips

Adjust the knots so that they don’t hurt your horse in sensitive areas.

How it compares

Tiffany’s braided tack is a great brand in equestrian products – known for her halters, headstalls, etc. She provides quality stylish tack which is especially great for kids.

She is also very responsive to customer queries. This bridle is affordable and well-made. For most users, it also lasted for a long time.

Things To Consider When Buying Best Bitless Bridle

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a bitless bridle:

#1. Know the different types of bit-free bridles

Different types of bitless bridles include mechanical hackamores, leverage style hackamores, natural bitless bridles made of rope, cross under or cross over bitless bridles, and side pull.

When choosing from these, take into account the discipline or purpose of riding, the horse’s sensitivity, and its past history and level of education.

You may also want to take into account the activity you are using the bitless bridle for:

  • Opt for a traditional bitless bridle if you are showing or ride in a club
  • Endurance – go in for synthetic bitless bridles or as stated in the rules
  • Go in for a flexible bridle if you plan to use the same one on multiple horses.
dappled horse with bitless bridle

#2. Size properly

Different bitless bridles will exert pressure on different parts of the horse’s face, nose, mouth, or poll.

So, do ensure that the bridle you select does not exert too much pressure on the fragile nose bones and cause damage there.

As a general rule of thumb, select a bridle with a noseband that sits approximately 3-4 fingers below the cheekbones.

This will ensure that it does not interfere with the horse’s breathing. To measure your horse for bridle:

  • For noseband – measure about 2” up from corners of horse’s mouth and also the circumference of horse’s nose. For a full-size horse, this measurement is 21″-23″, for a pony, it is 18″-20″, and for cob, 19″-21″.
  • For headstall- from the point obtained above, run the tape measure to the top of the poll. Double this number to get the headstall size. This measures 37″ to 46″ for full, 33″ to 43″ for cob, and 29″-37″ for a pony.

#3. Choose the right material

Different bitless bridles are made with different materials. Some, like the mechanical hackamores and thin braided ropes, tend to exert pressure and mark the horse’s skin due to prolonged use. 

To overcome this, you can always opt for padded nose bands but the downside to these is that they could interfere with training and lead to slower responses.

Remember that the bridle you select must allow your horse to chew, yawn, eat, and drink. So, always account for its comfort.

FAQs

Are bitless bridles better?

Bitless bridles are considered humane as they tend to exert minimal pressure on the horse’s mouth. They are especially beneficial in regaining confidence in horses that have suffered mouth injuries. When used with gentle hands, they can be a benevolent method of communication between the rider and their horse.

What is the difference between a hackamore and bitless bridles?

A hackamore can be considered as a western bitless bridle. However, when most riders talk about a hackamore, they are referring to a mechanical hackamore.

Mechanical hackamore works on leverage but it exerts nose pressure on the horse without the need to add any parts inside its mouth.

On the other hand, the bitless bridle is a term used for describing other kinds of bridles that do not include a bit.

Final Recommendations

A bitless bridle, when used correctly, can help improve communication between rider and their horse and also benefit horses having sensitive mouths or those that do not work well with bits.

We recommend the Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon which is soft, well-oiled, and has helped improve responses in many horses. Do check out our other recommendations as well.

Weaver Leather Justin Dunn Bitless Bridle Oiled Canyon Rose, 1" Average
  • Durable, weather-resistant harness leather
  • Dipped in oil and dressed with butter
  • Leather is hand Rubbed for a great feel
  • Two strategically placed Knots encourage horse to give to pressure and seek release
lady smiling at his horse wearing the best bitless bridle

What are the best bitless bridles for your horse? Let us know in the comments below!

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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