Bitless Dressage with Douwe

I started riding my Friesian gelding Douwe in a cross-under bitless bridle and he is going really well in it! I am using Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle which can be found at: My mother-in-law Bethanne bought his bridle at the Equine Affaire 4 years ago and it has been in the bag ever since! I wanted to try it on her horse Rovandio because he has an old injury to his face and I thought that he might be more comfortable in the bitless. He did well in the bridle but I actually noticed a much bigger difference in Douwe. At first he was a little confused by the different pressure of the reins, they cross under the chin so the action of the left rein gives soft pressure on the right side of the horse's face. This actually helps to bend the horse and supple them at the poll because you are not pulling directly on their mouth but using more of a guiding action.  The bitless bridle immediately helped with his bend and balance, especially on his more difficult left rein. We were cantering circles to the left with more ease and Douwe seemed a lot more comfortable in his body. He is using his neck really well and he feels more connected through his topline. I was hoping to show him in the bitless bridle but it is currently not allowed in USEF competitions. I will definitely school him in the bitless and use it for performing until the rules are changed. I will keep my fingers crossed that it will be allowed in the near future.