We call it BETTER because of How and Why I developed the bridle.

By Zoe C. Brooks

My dream of owning a horse started as early in my childhood as I can remember, and became reality over forty years later when my husband and I bought a 500 acre farm just west of Sudbury, Ontario in 1997.  Like so many first time horse owners, we listened to everyone’s wise advice to get older horses and professional help and then, went out and bought beautiful young horses to grow up with and love.

Over the years, my husband, son and I became enthused with an assortment of natural training methods. Meanwhile, we had decided to begin raising Canadian horses.  I was thrilled when Hazel, a big opinionated untrained six year old Canadian mare would join and follow me in the round pen.  I could even ride her around our 500 acre farm with only a rope halter.  We began to develop the loving trusting relationship from the little girl’s dream.


Zoe Brooks, Designer with Hazel the Canadian who started it all!

The next logical step was to put her in a bit and bridle. When I tried that one step forward, we quickly took two giant steps back!  The horse that was happy and working so beautifully with me was suddenly unhappy and working against me.  So I took the bit out and began my quest for a bitless bridle.

The bitless bridles I found (I tried a few designs) did not work as well as Hazel and I needed. I loved the idea of riding bitless, but the designs I tried would not give me the control I needed for Hazel.  She, and my mare Lady, and a couple other horses I tried, simply would not turn or stop well.  But the idea was great … if only the design was a little better.

I started by researching all available designs on the internet, listening to the problems reported in the chat groups, and began to tweak and turn until I could hold Hazel back even if she really wanted to run off with her buddies.  So, with a lot of help and input from my husband and son, I perfected a design that answered all my complaints in the other bridles, and received final testing and approval from our horses. In 2005 we filed a patent application and, with my sister, created the company Nurtural Horse. (Did you know that a search of the US patent database at that time would only reveal 12 patents for bitless bridles?)

When people at the 2005 Royal Winter Fair in Toronto asked us to show them the pressure points, all we could say was “It’s designed out of love, not science.”

Since then, we have learned a great deal about pressure points and the science behind the magic. All bridles work on pressure-and-release. When fitted properly, the Nurtural Bitless Bridle works better!

  1. The Nurtural is the opposite of any traditional headstall since it’s not holding something in the mouth, therefore can and must sit loosely all over the head. We recommend that you be able to slide your flat hand easily under every strap.

  2. The Nurtural has a solid poll band so that no direct pressure reaches the sensitive poll area.

  3. The Nurtural has the patented Circle-X to anchor the crossing of the straps under the cheek – preventing reinstraps twisting or becoming uneven, making the bridle place gentle pressure on the front of the face and as pressure is applied creating a whole head ‘hug’ for calm, consistent signals.

  4. The Nurtural has a ‘grippy’ noseband  – contrary to popular surmising – the grippy noseband actually helps seat the noseband in the hair of the face to prevent the bridle rubbing and chafing.