Hello! I have a question about hackamores. I'm going to be doing some competitive trail riding in the summer and I'd love to be able to ride my horse bitless to make it easier for him to eat and drink along the way. I have next to no experience with the seemingly infinite bitless options outside of the sidepull and a simple rope halter with the lead tied into reins, so I would appreciate some help. He normally rides in a Myler comfort snaffle. I have ridden him out with a sidepull, and while it wasn't exactly a disaster, I definitely didn't have quite enough control for my liking. He rides just fine with a sidepull in the arena (he does all his transitions, slows, stops and turns on a loose rein off seat and leg) but a competitive ride is a completely different situation. I've been looking for a mild hackamore that has more control than a sidepull would, but not something excessively harsh. Not looking for long shanks, hard rope or chain nosebands, etc. So far I've been eyeing the English hackamore and the Little S (with a leather noseband, not the rope one). He neck reins well and steers, slows and stops well off seat and leg, so direct-reining ability isn't really an issue. I know that a bit (or a hackamore in this case) doesn't make a horse safe, but I would like to have a little extra control if I do end up needing it. Better safe than sorry. Okay, I lied, I have more than one question. First, what would you recommend as a mild bitless option, a bit stronger than a sidepull? As well, I wanted to know how the English hackamore compares to the Little S, and which might be better suited to my needs. I like the design of the Little S shank, swept back to it stays out of the way for drinking or grazing, but I'm not sure if the shank of the English hackamore would even get in the way in the first place. Or should I just stay with what I know works (the snaffle)? I appreciate any suggestions!