Nurtural Reviews

A customer review posted at

And a second one at

Cinch Magazine asked if we would provide some bridles for an independent study… four different horses, four initially skeptical new users!

Here is a brief preview of the rider’s comments before and after using the Nurtural Bitless

Note from Zoe:  We have done lots of ‘Bitless Challenges’ where Gerry and I are present to fit the horses and suggest corrections.  In these 4 cases, we have had no contact at all with the first time users.  This should represent what you could expect as a new Nurtural Bridle user.

Cinch Magazine Consumer Report

Base Price (not including shipping): Outstanding
Versatility (disciplines): Good
Quality of Materials: Excellent
Ease of Use (adjustments, riding): Excellent
Durability: Excellent
Cleaning: Excellent



The Nurtural is a cross-under bridle design, with several improvements over flaws of standard cross-under bridles with the use of rubber grips on the noseband, a solid crown piece and a patented circle-x.

With the Nurtural bridle, the hand cues are sent through the reins into the nose piece. As the cue becomes stronger, that signal funnels through the cross-under straps. If the cue is excessive, the horse will then feel the pressure across its poll. The Circle-X feature and solid crownpiece nearly removes all risk of the rein straps becoming uneven, a major plus when it comes to equal pressure and control.

The textured rubber on the underside of the noseband prevents the noseband from slipping out of place. This is a feature especially appreciated as pressure remained equal across the nose, helping to anchor the noseband in place- we never experienced a problem with it riding up the nose when properly adjusted. Because the cross-under straps cannot become uneven during riding, the bridle is especially safe and control is enhanced.

In Use:

The horses and riders responded well to this bridle. Hot horses were controlled and relaxed quickly in this bridle. The Nurtural proved to be able to handle the tasks of controlling horses through varied jumping and schooling exercises with control equal to, or greater, than in a bit.

While dressage work can be accomplished in the Nurtural, we generally preferred side pull style bridles for this particular discipline. Otherwise, this bridle was highly effective, never compromising safety or control.  It is ideal for western and english disciplines alike.


The Nurtural bridle is ideal for those who want to school without a bit or are avid trail riders. The design is extremely durable, and the hardware is top-notch. The bridle probably has the best control of the designs we have tested thus far, in the case of run-away or resistant horses.

Many riders will appreciate the variety of colour and material options available – truly an all-around bridle.

The Hot Horse Experiment

“I had already been introduced to the Nurtural bitless bridle riding one of the other test horses, and had had positive results .Though my previous beliefs would have otherwise told me to stick a bit in her mouth on her first ride in 3 years, I went with my gut and fitted the bitless to her. I have never regretted that move¦ ”

Her training has improved tenfold. She now jumps more confidently, is incredibly responsive, and will even begin to bring herself into an outline after a while.

I am happy to report after her short return to work, she is now calm enough to move completely off seat and legs, and will stop without any rein should you ask her. All this is thanks to a tool which I shunned just a year ago.


Horse Canada Review the Success of Bitless Bridles:

In 2005, Horse Canada author Leslie Smith Dow, reviewed a Dr. Cook’s style of bitless bridle with less than exciting results.

Their conclusion: “The Bitless Leading the Witless”

“The bitless bridle is a wonderful tool for training and for limited hunter-type arena jumping, particularly for learning riders and those rusty from a winter hiatus. Horses appreciate a break from the bit; riders can use the time to brush up on leg, seat and hand coordination.

Low key hacking at walk or trot over familiar territory (with a buddy and wearing a helmet) on a usually calm horse may be a reasonable place to use the bitless bridle; use your own good judgment. I won’t try the bitless bridle for cross country, or galloping or cantering on a hack again….. ”

Zoe followed this up with a letter to the editor to introduce her BETTER Nurtural Bitless Bridle and in fact shipped her first leather Nurtural Bridle ever made to Leslie Smith Dow for her to review.

Leslie Smith Dow Reviews the Nurtural Bitless Bridles

“All positive. When riding, I forgot I was using the Nurtural Bridle, since it feels so similar to a regular bit and bridle (though more leg and less hand are required, as with any bitless bridle). I finally feel my riding is progressing (also thanks to my super coach, Liz MacGregor) and intend to keep on using the Nurtural bitless bridle. I’m even thinking of taking it on an upcoming Hunter Pace.

And the update from Leslie, November 2005
I am still enjoying the Nurtural bridle and hack for hours in it, including long, crazy gallops in fields.  I can actually stop my horse faster with a Nurtural bridle than I can with a bit, since he tends to fight the bit….Leslie Smith-Dow, Horse Canada Magazine

We’re obviously pretty happy with her Nurtural Bitless Bridle Review