View Full Version : A bit confused about how to use this bit

ex-racer owner
May. 2, 2010, 11:14 PM
I was thinking about getting a baucher bit and talked with the lady at the tack store about it. I thought one hung the bit on their bridle by the small rings and attached reins to the large rings just off the side of the mouthpiece. The tack store lady said that one would use it the opposite way, so that it was like a Tom Thumb. To my way of thinking, if you did that, you would have none of the leverage/ poll effect that would be my reason for buying it. If you used the way she said, since there is no curb chain, all it does is rotate with no benefit to the rider (at least that I can see). I think the way that I believed it would be used at least would give the rider the benefit of some poll influence, in addition to the french link snaffle mouthpiece, in the model I was interested in. Also, the catalogs and suppliers show it in the way I think it goes in the horse's mouth.

So, which way is correct?

May. 2, 2010, 11:19 PM
Your way.

Meredith Clark
May. 2, 2010, 11:21 PM
http://www.sustainabledressage.com/tack/bridle.php :

Another bit with this function is the drop-cheek or baucher/fillis bit. This bit can look deceptively like a gag-bit but it is not, since the mouth piece cannot slide on the bitring, which is a prerequisite for gag action. In this bit, the fastening of the bridle side piece is done further up the side of the head. This makes the bit lie flatter to the side of the head, because anything other than would have to fight the "lever" of the arm where the side piece joins. This effectively stops the bit from being pulled into the mouth from the side as well. And horses usually like this kind of bit.

This bit is usually falsley described as creating poll pressure. Most baucher bits don't. In order for it to put pressure on the poll, the ring which the rein attaches to, needs to have a drawn-out oblong shape so that the rein stays at a certain position on the ring. If the ring is oblong, the rein will want to stay at one end, and thus pulls this end up towards the hand/rein. If the ring is round, so that the distance from the mouth bars to the rein is constant at all angles, the rein will slide.

It is also sometimes erroneously depicted upside down while called "hanging/dropped cheek". This use might be possible, but it really only turns into a strange jointed pelham without the lever effect. Just a rotating mouthpiece. It surely was not meant for this...

And speaking of "like"... I usually don't put a lot of personal aesthetic judgement into which equipment to use, and I'm not one for big name brands, but Sprenger have really succeeded in making a beautiful drop-cheek bit in their B-ring snaffle. But $120+ for a snaffle? Nah.

May. 2, 2010, 11:30 PM
Thank you for this information--and for the link to the blog!

May. 3, 2010, 02:36 PM
Actually, I used an upside down waterford baucher for a while- it was like a tiny little curb, not much leverage due to the short shank and the large ring. Because it was a waterford mouth, there isn't any right way up, which is why it could work without doing anything weird to the horse's mouth.

The right way, though, is small rings to the cheekpieces, large ones to the reins.

May. 3, 2010, 03:08 PM
As noted, the headstall attaches to the small rings and the bit to the large, side rings. This is actually a mild bit and has no poll leverage. You need a curb chain to get that. It's big advantage is that it hangs in the mouth instead of resting on the tongue and bars. Many horses like it better for just that reason. Some horses have very thin skin over the bars of their mouths and an ordinary bit that sits on the bars hurts. Some horses don't like the bit lying on their tongue, and this bit doesn't.

May. 3, 2010, 03:36 PM
The baucher bit does not provide poll pressure whether it is upside down or right side up. Compare this bit to the Pessoa gag bit. The Pessoa bit can cause considerable poll pressure because it has a fulcrum (the mouthpiece) and then the 2 levers; 1)the ring above the mouthpiece that the bridle is attached to, and 2) the rings below the mouthpiece that the reins are attached to. Pressure on the bottom lever (by the reins) causes the mouthpiece to rotate and brings leverage to the upper levers that attach to the bridle and create the poll pressure. Another example would be an elevator bit. This bit again has the fulcrum and the two levers but in this case the ring attached to the mouthpiece is fixed instead of sliding and the effect is quicker as any rotation of the bit immediately brings the upper lever into action. The baucher bit is missing one of the two levers so whether upside down or right side up, it can not create leverage and thus no poll pressure.

Additionally, poll pressure is not dependent on a curb chain but rather on having a fulcrum to create the leverage. Both the Pessoa and the elevator bit lack curb chains, but both create poll pressure. Similarly, a curb bit will still create poll pressure without the chain because it still has the fulcrum and two levers. A curb chain creates pressure in the chin area, not the poll.