The Orbitless Story
I designed the Orbitless especially for my mare Ember. She came to me as a badly started 6 year old. She was a very sensitive horse, very cold backed and bucked off anyone who tried to mount. Bucking was an understatement she would go into full bronco mode, it was very frightening. The first year I spent a lot of time calming her and rebacking her.It was clear, early on that a bit was not going to be an option for her. At first I thought is was because her teeth had never been seen by a dentist in all her 6 years and they were very sharp but even after her dental problems had been seen to and I had made sure her back and neck were alright, her discomfort continued. In a bit she was, at best distracted and drooling, at worst, she was spooky, fidgety, head shaking and throwing herself around dangerously. The day I tried her in a bitless bridle she stopped fighting and started listening, we have not looked back since.At this time there was very little information about bitless bridles and very few to choose from. I set about researching and trying them all. For a couple of years I rode her in the Dr Cook Bitless Bridle but after a while even though she was very light she became quite resistant to it. I felt that the action was too strong for her and after a ride she would try and get it off herself. The constant pressure from the cross straps was too much for her.
I needed something which allowed any pressure to release instantly. I tried a hackmaore but this was way too much, even without any weight on the reins she would put her head to the floor to relieve the pressure. I tried a sidepull but it slopped around on her head and had no finesse at all. I needed another solution.Around this time bits with half circles within the bit ring were becoming popular, this looked like it might work so I asked a bit maker if I could have just a set of the rings. Once I had added some straps across the nose and chin I gave it a go. This was much better, enough of a success for me to think I was on the right lines, but it just had one action, I wanted some variability and a choice of where to put the reins, I considered adding more rings but that didn't give me enough options for variability of how the bridle acts on the horses head. Also there was too much movement in the reins which gave a sloppy feel to the bridle.
After many discussions between myself (BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering) and my Husband (BA Hons Design and Technology) and many prototypes being designed and made by my husband we settled on the eliptical design with slots for the reins. The eliptical design allows for a different emphasis of the pressure on the horses head (see the action page for more information), the reins slots allow for the maximum choice of rein positions while minimising movement of the rein giving the Orbitless its unique feeling of finesse and lightness.
After filing an application for a patent I started to use my bridle out and about, we went to dressage competitions, non-competively, attaining high scores where previously in a bit we hadn't even manage to finish the test. We took part in Trec competitions and endurance pleasure rides.At this time I gave a few prototypes to friends to try out, the results were very positive it was clear I needed to get this into production.
A lot of effort when in the design, trialing and productionising of this bridle. Though a lot of hard work, time, effort and money I have enjoyed the process and believe in the product, I hope you do too.
The Orbitless is registered as patent number GB2481392