Not for a permanent sleep because I can tell you for certain that I'll be boring you some more over the following months but for the moment it's done.
My conclusions (well Claire pretty much said it on her comment before) are pretty inconclusive, lol! I now need to study some of the options to take my own work forward but I've learned a lot (thanks to some generous people who have posted interesting stuff on the web) and I think the important thing I've learned is to let my horse follow his nose...quite literally if I can 'place' his nose (or head) then I can direct him, if I can place his nose I can stop him (if my voice and seat fail).
Working bitless in it's truest form (at liberty) takes a patience and vision for the future that not everyone can/wants to sign up to. I began this search thinking that these NH (still makes me shudder) types are living in cuckoo land and training horses that look drugged at best, turned off at worst. Of course there are bitless solutions that fall in the middle ground between bitted and liberty and I'll give an overview of the options available in my final post. What I think I've discovered (well in truth this is something I already felt but bitless takes you one step further) is that the true sense of horse training is finding the most simple solution to getting the best results; by stripping down your training system you can find it's weak spots BUT, most importantly, find a confidence within your horse/human relationship that is uplifting if not magical. So it is simplicity, clarity, confidence and sincerity that work WITH either bitted or bitless and your horse truly is an image of you, he is what you make him. Of course the old 'less is more' has never been truer.
Will I ever use a bit again...probably.
Do I despise bits and the people that use them...absolutely not.
Do I think the haute école movements are possible bitless...yes but it's only a gut feeling.
Will I bit my youngster Chapiro? Hopefully not.
Am I good enough to train my horses bitless, probably not but then if I can't do it without then I probably can't do it with.
I am so glad I started this I will never be the same but then hopefully that's a positive!
I'll finish with a round up of the marketplace tomorrow and may I say a big thanks for all of your input.