Bob Cook is a pioneering equine veterinarian and emeritus professor at Tufts University, working in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine, who has championed a reconsideration of how we interact and communicate with horses.

In his career he has identified many performance and medical problems which he was the first to attribute to the use of the bit.

I got to know Bob, through his work on headshaking in horses and his work directly inspired some of my own PhD on this topic (and coincidentally 2 other people I worked with also called Cook! another point we discuss in this chat)

I was therefore very privileged when he reached out to me quite a few years and asked if we could collaborate on some work he was doing. This was eventually published as: Cook, W. R., & Mills, D. S. (2009). Preliminary study of jointed snaffle vs. crossunder bitless bridles: Quantified comparison of behaviour in four horses. Equine veterinary journal, 41(8), 827-830.

Bob has been pioneering a move towards bit-free riding for many years and we discuss this at length, along with his concerns about the bit and so much more. We also discuss shoes and saddles. I hope you enjoy the discussion.

Watch the video here


Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their horse’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another. Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your horse is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life.

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