Regarding bitless, last summer our greenhouse supervisor, Hector, decided that he was no longer afraid of horses and started climbing on our three young stallions. I told him that I didn't care, as long as he didn't get hurt. I already knew that he was learning to be calm and gentle around them.
Soon, he was riding them everywhere around the farm. Beside pastures full of mares, neighbor's horses, other livestock, barking dogs, etc. The subject of Native Americans came up. He thinks he is of Mayan descent. Anyway, I half teasingly stated that real wild Indians, rode bareback with only a jawstrap. In my head, I was trying to figure out, exactly how they did this, but two days later, Hector was out bareback with only a jawstrap. He had concocted a jawstrap out of doubling a soft nylon cord and tying it rather loosely around the lower jaw. To this, he snapped in his reins and hopped on. After a few times, he said the horses reacted better than to a bit.
Milt & Mary Decker