Well it's the boring bit (hehe) for me...just a list to remind me where we are in October 2009, lots of bitless options out there in the world and with price tags from 20€ to 200 € you need to choose wisely.
Let's start with the cordeo which is basically just a rope around the base of the neck. It can be used for cuing/aiding but it has to be a very refined system. I will be using this regularly but I doubt for hacking!
Halters which can be very effective yet very simple, the bosal, rope hackamore (the original hackamore) and the next one on the list for me to try...the australian Enduro bridle (not really a bridle but more of a halter with uni-lateral rein possibilities PLUS a lifting under the jaw when the hands are raised together) has reins attached on both sides of the nose piece whereas the bosal/hackamore have one place rein attachments under the chin.
Sidepulls allow you to 'place' the head with unilateral rein aids rather like a noseband with reins...there are many different brands out there made from rope/leather/synthetic materials. Some have a direct 'pull' whilst others attach to the nose piece via a ring to give a firmer pull across the nose/behind the chin like the Scawbrig. There are others that cross over the nose and allegedly are good for pokey nosers (mmm, don't like the sound of that one).
The Dr Cook bitlessbridle specially designed to move the whole head to unilateral rein aids, the crossunder cheekpieces give a 'whole head hug' feel that I didn't like but then Moo doesn't like to feel enclosed around the head and to be fair this bridle is highly recommended by many.
Mechanical bitless solutions like the English and German hackamore are often the first step to bitless and sometimes used for horses that are showing obvious problems when ridden bitted. Their leverage action is believed to be rather severe but the English hackamore, in the right hands, is in my opinion like a curb bit and can enable some precise aiding. I am going to add the LG bitless in here although to be fair the leverage option is only one it offers.It has a 'wheel' type attachment which can offer a rang of aiding possibilities acting on either/or the nose/poll/chin area. I would certainly give this a try.
Here are some names you'll find in the marketplace just google away.
Dr Cook's bitless bridle
The Micklem Multi bridle (can as others do, take a bit or not)
Dually (more a training aid)
The LG bitless bridle
The Nutural Bridle
The Be Kind bridle
Barefoot range of bitless bridles Walnut, Amber etc (nicely made and super kid's sidepull to get them started young!!)
Oh the list is endless and more products are coming on the market all the time, please let me know if you hear of new concepts (I'm waiting to learn more of Cabruze's) and I'll add them to the list.