Cypress Lodge

Cypress Lodge
Promoting Humane Training and Treatment of Horses



Rope Halters

Halter technical article


Leadropes Tech Article

Hackamores & Bitless Riding

Enduro Bitless Bridle


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Enduro Bitless Bridle




The  Enduro Bitless bridle was originally designed for endurance & sports riding but has become very popular with horse starters, trainers, trail riders & Natural Horsemanship students. 

The bridle has a coiled noseband, similar to our popular 1/2 bosal riding halter, to reduce slip and movement on the face and improve responsiveness.  At the same time, produce the minimum amount of pressure on the nasal area.  The coiled noseband has minimum contact, allowing air movement and cooling.   Bridle has a throat latch and the poll strap is shortened to reduce any chance of getting caught up, all with the sport rider in mind.

We dont perscribe to the one size fits all attitude of some makers,  But this bridle can be adjusted to be used on a range of horses and can be made in pony, cob, full and warmblood sizes. The coiled noseband has a knotted chin piece that can be adjusted to suit your horse.  This is the real benefit of this design.  You set the noseband size so that it provides a nice comfortable fit for you horse.  The knotted chin piece only comes into effect if the horse tries to run thru the bridle, when it then makes contact with the jaw.  This pressure is released immediately the horse comes back online.  Riders using this type of setup have told us that a horse quickly learns to respond to the more subtle cues and communication improves. 

Here is an email we recently got from an ebay customer (thank you for the kind words, paul, they were appreciated)


hi guys

I tried out the enduro today on my young stallion who i am in the process of starting and WOW is about the only word that does it justice the respose was absolutly fenominal to say te least within ten minutes we were out in the big paddock like an old trail horse no head shaking ears forward the lot . wonderful product highly recomend to anyone . we shall be doing more buisiness in the near future for sure .  


once again a huge thank you


Please note: At LodgeRopes we dont believe that tack solves problems, training solves problems.  The results this customer experienced has a lot to do with the good work they did with the stallion, our bridle just opened up communication.  Dont buy this item if you expect the bitless bridle to cure every  problem known to man & horse, as claimed by some bitless bridle makers........BUT it will give you the chance to remove the bit, establish clear & concise cues to request a desired response and provide a comfortable bridle with minimum pressure.


The bridle is custom made from 100%  Aussie 6mm Marine Double Braid.

The Reins are 9ft long single loop rein (our sports rein)100% Aussie 1/2" marine Double Braid.   We have fitted solid brass snaps to the reins.

Price AUD$65.00 

Mix and match any of these colours!!!          

Black, Red, Blue,  Pink, Purple, Green,  Brown, Beige, White / red fleck, Black/ blue fleck, Black / purple fleck, Black / red fleck, Black / pink fleck, Black/beige fleck, Pink /purple fleck or our new Beige/Brown and Pink/Purple zig zag pattern.

The 2nd & 3rd pics show custom versions, email anytime if you would like any specific modifications with reins or to add a matching leadrope to have a mecate style hackamore version..


LodgeRopes Enduro Bitless Bridle Info


General Background:

We came from a Parelli start in Natural Horsemanship, so our horses are started, trained and ridden in standard Rope Halters or Rope Hackamores.  Pat Parelli made the Rope hackamore popular in Australia and there is often some confusion over this style of tack.  A Rope Hackamore is a rope headstall with a 22ft mecate rein tied to make a loop rein and permanently attached 12ft lead rope.  Some clinicians promote aspects of the design mainly based on convenience but we see the major benefit of a hackamore is the ability to easily add or remove a wrap of the mecate rein above the fiador knot to adjust the weight and overall sizing of the headstall.  This enables a rider to ‘tune’ the hackamore so it hangs in a pressure neutral position, this fine tuning was important with the traditional braided leather Bosal Hackamore on which the rope hackamore is based.


Most of our rope gear sort of evolves from what we experience with our own horses.  We rode in rope halters and noticed that there was a lot of halter movement around the horses face before the horse felt pressure when a direct rein cue was given.  Sloppy cues meant sloppy responses.  We added a coiled noseband to our regular halters and created the LodgeRopes Half Bosal Hackamore.  The coiled noseband greatly reduced the sloppiness and resulted in better responses to rein cues.  The horses did only what they had been trained to do, the Half Bosal is not magic, but they did it with much less rein pressure and that is an ideal situation.  The Half Bosal is still a rope hackamore and depends on the horse being trained to give to pressure around the nose and follow cues.  With Natural Horsemanship, this is developed on the ground with a series of training exercises done with a rope halter & 12ft lead rope.  Once the horse will go & whoa, move in all 4 directions and maintain a gait on the ground, it is ready to progress to basic riding in a hackamore style bridle.



The background of the Enduro Bitless Bridle is a little different.  A local endurance rider asked us to make her a rope bitless bridle for competition.  We looked at what was being used and noticed the popularity of mechanical hackamores.  Due to the leverage action of the poll strap and chain chin strap, it is often called a ‘nut cracker’.  We do not use or promote such tack as it can cause pain and relies on sympathetic and knowledgeable hands to limit the leverage action of the mechanical device.  A constrictive device can send an already emotional horse into a violent flight or fight response, neither of which is desirable.


While working with these endurance horses, we noticed that many responded to light cues for directional control but it seemed they waited for the jawline contact from the mechanical hackamores chinstrap to slow or halt.  We were familiar with using jawline contact as a cue from our use of braided leather Bosal hackamores, so this seemed to be the something that could be included in our bitless bridle design.


After working thru a series of prototypes, we developed the LodgeRopes Enduro Bitless Bridle.  The Enduro may at first appear just to be a simple side pull bridle, but there is a lot more happening with the design.  The bridles action is firmly based on Natural Horsemanship principles; here is a brief explanation of the action linked to the thought process that was the foundation of the design. 

It is based on the ask – tell – promise line of thinking that gets you to apply pressure slowly at all times, but release it quickly to reward the horse for giving the desired response to a specific cue.


Set Up Cue:  Just lifting the marine rope rein can be felt at the bridle, this acts as a set up cue to alert the horse that a request is about to be made and something will change.  This allows the horse to be emotionally and physically ready for the cue.


Ask:  The lightest pressure on one rein will open that side of the noseband and put slight pressure on the opposite side of the horses nose.  This asks the horse to give to pressure and follow the feel and make a directional change.  This aspect is much like riding with a rope hackamore, side pull bridle or even a snaffle bit.

Tell:  If the ask was ignored, any increase in pressure will open the noseband even more than with the ‘ask’ stage, but the reins snaps will pull back and oval out the rope loops that connect the noseband to the chin piece.  This will slightly decrease the noseband opening bringing the chin piece into contact with the lower jawline, although the pressure is slight, it will let the horse think about how much easier life is if it follows the light ‘ask’ request.

We do limit the amount of reduction possible by the size of the noseband loops, so it does not become a constrictive device.  Pain is a poor motivator and has no place in humane intelligent training.

Promise:  If the ‘tell’ is also ignored, holding the rein pressure will result in the noseband & chinstrap making full contact around the nose.  As we noted in Leather Bosal Hackamore training, the lower jawline is sensitive to pressure and the bridle will become uncomfortable if the horse continues to push thru the noseband and ignore the rein/body cues.  A common reaction is for the horse to break at the poll and dip its head, instantly releasing pressure on the nose as the noseband falls away.  This action in itself can help regain control in some situations.  The bridle will instantly release pressure the second you release the pressure on the rein or the horse drops its head giving to the noseband.  This instant release is the training aspect that helps the horse to quickly learn that life is great if it follows the initial ‘ask’

   These pics show an Enduro with various amounts of rein pressure.  The rein pressure ovals the noseband loops therefore reducing the overall noseband opening measurement.  

The amount of reduction is limited by the length of the noseband loops so unlimited constriction is not possible.  The amount of contact can be adjusted by the rider to suit each individual horse by simply loosening or tightening the chin piece.

Pressure is instantly released by releasing rein pressure or if the horse gives to the cue and dips or flexes its head.



Retraining:  Many customers have contacted us to let us know how their horse just accepted the bridle without any retraining.  We don’t promote this result, as there will always be exceptions, but prefer to remind people that all horses did not initially understand or accept a bitted bridle.  They had to be carefully trained to give the desired response to a specific cue, so it only reasonable to expect some retraining or at least a refresher needs to be done before you hit the trail.  We suggest that you take the time to establish cues in a safe controlled area, your safety and that of your horse is your responsibility, don’t take short cuts.  We like to start at the halt and get a good clean back up happening before we ask for any forward movement.  Then from the halt, we ask for forward movement at the walk without any directional control.  Simply walk on to get the go & whoa sorted out, then move to directional control and add lots of directional changes mixed with halts and back ups.  The next step is to repeat the exercise at the trot, please be aware that as the gait increases, so can the emotional content of the horses actions, so be aware of this and don’t hesitate to bring the horse down in gait to promote a slow walk anytime you feel any tenseness, this is a great way of gaining control of an emotional horse and it builds strong cue responses that help to make riding enjoyable.

Many riders are surprised when they realize how much of their cue originates from the body, seat and legs, not just the rein.

Email anytime if you need any specific info, it is never a problem.





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