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Dr. Cook (#22099)

Dr. Cook® Beta Bitless Bridle

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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just request a return with a FREE SmartPak return label from your Order History within 60 days of the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

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Why We Love This

The Dr. Cook® Beta Bitless Bridle was developed by Dr. Robert Cook after years of research, inspiration, and perspiration! The Dr. Cook® Bitless Bridles are marketed all over the world and used in all disciplines. It is the most accepted and trusted 'bit free' bridle on the market. The Bitless Bridle allows the rider gentle, effective control and clear communication with painless pressure that is distributed around the whole of the horse’s head. Made from beta, a leather-like synthetic material that is composed of a nylon core with a vinyl coating, this bridle is impervious to dirt and sweat and will give you years of use with no maintenance required.

Made in the USA.

Dr Cook's Bitless Bridle Beta Reins sold separately.


Favorite Features

  • Allows you to communicate effectively with your horse via gentle pressure instead of a bit
  • The most accepted and trusted "bit free" bridle on the market
  • Beta material is durable, requires no maintenance, and has an attractive, leather-like appearance


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The reviews provided on this website represent the experience of the individual posting the review. We do not adopt, edit, or endorse any of the submissions posted within the reviews section. Rather, the reviews are part of an online community of animal owners that desire to share their particular experience with other individuals. These reviews are not a substitute for discussing the health of your animal with a veterinarian.

SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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 Sizing it Up

Available in sizes Cob (Small), Horse (Medium), Oversize (Large)

What Customers Say:
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    Dr. Cook® Beta Bitless Bridle is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 75.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the purchase After 20 years, I am back to riding and have brought my family along with me. I purchased a horse for my daughter (age 9). During the test ride her horse had a Bosal on. He performed very well. We were told he would ride with a snaffle as well. Well, I was raised riding with bits so when we got him home we put a snaffle on him. Big mistake. He was actually so out of control that I was uncomfortable on him, and I certainly I wasn't going to put my daughter on him. I was sure we had done something wrong (the snaffle?). Not understanding bitless riding I decided to do my research. The short of it was that nobody recommended that a beginner (my daughter) and a bosal should be be put together. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin the horse. So, after several days of research I found the Dr. Cook Beta Bitless Bridle; after reading all the reviews on here and considering the research that I had done,I thought we should give the Beta bitless a try. Well, we are soooo glad that we did. My daughter is up and running with the horse. He is back to the horse we fell in love with. We highly recommend this. We may even outfit some of our other horses with this too.
    Date published: 2019-01-28
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful awful awful I got this for my sweet old man thinking it would be a reward for being so wonderful all these years. We rode in it for a week and, in that week, he's gone from being a happy, easygoing guy to being a total jerk. He hates this bridle! I've had him since I was a teenager and he's never once run from me in the field or been so reluctant to walk into an arena. He's started shaking his head violently and even reared a couple times. Today I switched back to our regular bridle and he's right back to normal. Next time I want to go bitless, I'll ride in a halter and leadrope
    Date published: 2019-01-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best bitless I have ever used! I have been training my 5 year old with only bitless since he was 2 years old. Sam has been through halters and side pulls but this bitless has been the best one! I have had the best responses out of him. Working on getting 2 more!
    Date published: 2019-01-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Huge Improvement My senior rescue horse was not reacting well to bits even after equine dentist work. I decided to give this bridle a try, and so far, he's a relaxed and happier horse with the bitless bridle. He is a walk/trot horse only, but I've had no issues with responsiveness and getting him to transition from a trot to a walk quickly. Easy to figure out even if you've never used a bitless bridle before.
    Date published: 2018-09-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My horse loves it as much as I do! He always tossed his head he just didn't like the bits so I gave this a try and we're both thrilled.
    Date published: 2018-08-28
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well made I really enjoyed using this bitless bridle. It was very well made.
    Date published: 2018-08-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good value Fits horse very well and working very good and very good quality
    Date published: 2018-07-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great product We've been using these in our therapeutic riding program for years and they are great! Easier on the horse with beginner and challenged riders yet give better control for the horses leaders.
    Date published: 2018-06-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! I love this bridle! If you show the crisp and stunning look will help ya in the ring! I have a hard mouth horse and dont like bits, i tried one of these, and it changed my riding game! 100 percent recomend for a hot or hard mouthed horse!
    Date published: 2018-04-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great for one of my horses Bought one of these for one mare who rode better in a halter than a bitted bridle. Works great for her. She's not real motivated to go. The other mare who likes to gitty up and go does better with a bit. More for a horse who is easy to please and do as you ask than one who has a mind of there own.
    Date published: 2018-03-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just what my horse needed I have been trying to find the right bridle for my newly purchased horse that was previously ridden in a rope halter. I felt like I needed just a little bit more control, but had no idea where to start. He wasn’t used to a bit, so this was not an option. I bought a bosal, but I immediately knew this was not what I needed. After doing some research, I came across this bit less bridle, and it is AMAZING! We had our longest ride yet, and my horse did so incredibly well! He was very at ease, and he responded immediately to the signals given to him. I am so happy I found this bridle! I don’t ever think I will use anything else! And... I bought it in red with the matching reins. It looks so flashy on my bay Arabian!
    Date published: 2018-02-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Transformation!! I just purchased a 7yo QH who previously sat mostly unused at a backyard one horse home. She was originally trained out West and I found a photo of her from a past owner showing her in a relatively severe western shank with a martingale. She hadn’t had a dental in at least four years (the backyard owner had no idea), and her daughter could only get the bit in the horse’s mouth with a bunch of treats. I decided to try the Dr. Cook bridle. I spent one session on the ground working on bending and giving to the pressure and then hopped on the next session. My mare was AMAZING! She allowed me to put the bridle on with no issues both times. She did not toss her head once. She wasn’t incredibly responsive and I could keep my hands soft. Stopped on a dime, turns were perfect, and transitions between gaits was smooth and easy! Never using a bit on her again. The beta material seems well made and easily cleanable.
    Date published: 2018-01-11
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from I think it's going to work good First of all, the reigns don't come with this. You'd think they would include them and I did not see the fine print that said they weren't included. So I was a little bumbed about that. Especially since I bought a red bridle! Now with my brown western reigns. But aside from that the horse seemed to accept it well. One time on a trail ride before we got started the horse broke the bridle and I had to ride in a halter. I was a little nervous at first because getting her broke was a bit of a challange. She originally couldn't handle a bit. She also is gaited but not a good gaited horse. But when I rode with the halter she seemed to gait better and had no trouble accepting the halter as her substitute bridle. Seemed more relaxed. That's what lead me to try this bridle. Plus the fact the bit would give her sores in the corners of her mouth. The only thing I don't know is how well a horse that wants to bolt would be controlled in this. I saw the manufactures website where a horse spooked in the ring and they said how easy it was to get it under control. Didn't look too easy to me, looked like they got lucky. But for what we do, just trail riding, I'm hoping it works out. The material seems nice. I also bought the synthetic because of complaints that the leather reign attachments would get stuck. Did not seem to have that problem with the synthetic.
    Date published: 2018-01-02
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Bitless! Love this! Bought the cob size for my POA and he rides 10 times better than with a bit and is much happier!
    Date published: 2017-11-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent quality I waited way too long to buy this. I kept thinking my 8yo quartet horse just had attitude issues.... it was the bit! When I tried him with the bitless bridle it was like being on a different horse. It has totally changed our riding experience.
    Date published: 2017-10-30
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Bridle I am enjoying using it and my horse seems to be a "Happy Horse"! He likes and chews as we ride and afterwards!
    Date published: 2017-10-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Quality and Great Fit! I like the softness and of product instead of a stiff leather.Very happy with my purchase and so is my horse.Fits him very niely and looks great!
    Date published: 2017-07-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best bitless bridle I bought this for my horse Sophie. She LOVES it. It fits her beautifully and she is very comfortable in it. Well made and worth purchasing. A much kinder alternative to wearing a bit and at least for Sophie, it achieves the same goal.
    Date published: 2017-06-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Bridle I have been using Dr.Cook's bitless bridles for over 5 years now, and love them.I decided to try the Beta instead of leather this time, to see how I liked it.It will be great to use when we take the horses into the water, no worries about the care of the Beta.It is actually very nice looking .Just hose it off and you are done.
    Date published: 2017-05-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very good product Changed my horse the first ride!!! All I am going to write
    Date published: 2017-05-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great product and my vegan horse loves it! What a great bitless bridle. I like the soft pleather and I imagine so does my horse. The sidepull I bought has a chunky noseband and the edge was uncomfortable to my horse.
    Date published: 2017-05-04
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ugly but functional I purchased this bridle a few months ago for a horse I picked up thats an ex polo pony. He was extremely sensitive to the bit and would hold his head up high and hollow out to avoid contact and was frankly an unpleasant ride. His teeth were checked out and he had been seen by the vet and there was nothing physically wrong with him. I decided to give this bridle a try and cut the bit out of the equation completely. I chose the beta bridle over the leather version because of the price difference, and I regret it. I'm used to the pretty traditional look of leather bridles, so to me the beta looks tacky. You can clearly tell it's synthetic. However, I will say this bridle design (pressure on the poll and nose) worked wonders for my horse. He's calmer and happier to ridden. He now lowers his head and stretches into the bridle and lifts his back instead of riding around with his head in the air. He's far more comfortable. So functionally it's a great bridle, I just wish I had gone with leather. I'll likely keep this for trails and buy another Dr. Cooks in leather at some point for lessons and schooling.
    Date published: 2017-04-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still hard to believe! I bought this for my gypsy horse and instantly had better rides. He doesn't fight the bridle at all - not even a little turn away. He seems to appreciate that he can have a snack if we stop on a trail (although that confused him at first!). The BEST thing, though, was that I later tried it on my 19 year old quarter horse who I keep thinking I can't use. He has tried to buck my husband off countless times and only lets me ride, although I can lead him around with a kid on him forever. After a few good rides with him, I let my son (who is 5 and who this horse adores), get on him and I finally let go. It was AMAZING. Total cooperation and he was so gentle. I let him ride in a bit later to see what would happen and this horse wanted no part of it - didn't buck, but would slowly ease his way back to the barn with my son in tow. Put the bitless bridle back on, and instantly they were back on track having a nice little ride together. This video is the second time my son has ever ridden a horse independently and his first solo ride on this big guy. I am so happy to have tried this bridle on him. In all fairness, I admit I think the price of this particular brand is pretty high and there are less expensive options out there...but this is what I bought and I have happy horses and kids, so I still love it!
    Date published: 2017-01-09
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice and leathery looking I already had the nylon bitless and needed this new for showing. Not as easy to put on, and doesn't slide well through the side rings. Does the job, but would like it to slide better. Would like the reins connected differently.
    Date published: 2016-12-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this bridle! Absolutely love it! And the customer service is great too! Received the item in no time and then found out I ordered a too small size so I had to exchange it and it was no headache at all!! Nice ppl and always available for questions. Love riding bitless, great quality too! Thanks!
    Date published: 2016-10-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Happy horse I bought this bridle because my horse has a loose sensitive tooth that the bit would occasionally bump and cause discomfort. With the bit less bridle she is relaxed and responsive. She adjusted to it quickly and worked well in it the first ride. The Beta material is a bit rubbery feeling but cleans easily. My only complaint is there were no directions with it when it arrived and I had to figure it out by looking at pictures.
    Date published: 2016-09-19
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great Quality I was really satisfied with the quality and fit of the bridle. However, neither him or I liked the way it put pressure on his poll.
    Date published: 2016-09-19
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Small There was no oversize option available and the "horse" size was very small. Back it went. I was disappointed as I was really looking forward to trying this product. :-(
    Date published: 2016-08-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice quality, horse loves it I researched, read, and talk to other bitless riders for months and went back and forth on the Dr. Book bitless bridle. I decided to try it based on SmartPak's great return policy. I had nothing to lose while I tried on one of my horses who is just not happy in even a gentle bit. I knew the first time we put it on that it would be good for him. He was happy, didn't throw his head around, walked forward with no fuss and stopped instantly with the very lightest pressure. The plus is that it looks beautiful on him. I have more to learn to teach him how to respond outside the ring but so far, we love it. I gave it 4 stars for price - everything is expensive now but it's bit high considering I had to buy reins separately.
    Date published: 2016-08-23
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but... My horse responds very well to the bridle, he started to collect himself easily, turn on a little tug of the rein. But the worst thing about it is when the horse did something correct, you cannot give him a full release- the beta material sticks and the only way you can release the pressure on your horse is pushing the rein thru the ring by hand (you have to do this at walk/halt of course or dismount which is very uncomfortable)- you cannot just "give" the reins to your horse... this disappointed me a lot and I am now waiting on a leather one to try it out! P. S. it has a "dr robert cook" engraved on a beta plate on the top of the bridle which surprised me. The quality of the engraved letters is bad..
    Date published: 2016-08-14
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