Natural horsemanship and riding bitless often go hand in hand. At Country Quest our horses welfare is our number one priority. I take pride in showing people my horses are happy in their work, they are easy to control, well trained and respect their riders as their leaders.

I do not advocate controlling horses by force or fear – horse weighs half a ton, and with the average person weighing only a fraction of that, it is easy to imagine who comes out second if forces are put to the test.

What I do however support, is clear and natural way of handling horses. Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult – this a very good principal to follow. Together with positive reinforcement you will have easy and soft horses that you don’t need to control with pain caused by metal in their mouth.

I do not see bits as evil, in the right hands even the toughest bit can be very light. However, in a set up like ours, where many people ride our horses we cannot trust everyone to have soft hands. This is one reason why I do not attach anyones hands directly to my horses mouth.

Horses are sensitive animals, they can feel a fly landing on them. We do not need force or power to control them, we simply need to teach them to listen to our light aids and we are halfway there.

In the wrong hands bits cause pain and at Country Quest horses are not under any circumstances subjected to pain – this is why we ride bitless!


Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.