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View Full Version : Tell me about this bit - French Link Gag



showhorsegallery
May. 6, 2010, 10:07 AM
http://www.horsetackinternational.com/images/210818-gag-bit.jpg

What's the reason for using a bit like this, is it considered a harsh bit? (Obviously any bit can be harsh in the wrong hands)

whbar158
May. 6, 2010, 10:16 AM
I wouldn't call it harsh per say, but it has a lot of power behind it if you have reins on the bottom ring. Personally I find the 4 ring ones (like the one you showed) are a little much for me, I have the exact same mouth piece but in a 3 ring and love it. The mouth piece its self is not harsh the the rings give it a lot of leverage and some horses will come way behind the bit in one. I find it works best of leaners or ones that I need help controlling their shoulders and it can be too much for the sensitive hot ones as all they do is go behind it.

jackalini
May. 6, 2010, 11:04 AM
I use this bit for jumping. I have a flat leather curb strap attached to the top ring (where the cheekpieces attach), and I ride off of either the large middle ring or the 3rd ring (just below the large ring). I have only once used the 4th ring.

I ride a front-heavy powerhouse of a mare who runs through/grabs hold of lesser bits, and I've tried quite a few of them. She hates single jointed bits (low palate, fat tongue). A pelham was too much :eek: (yes, with 2 reins). A baucher and other regular snaffles were not enough over fences. :no: This bit allows me better control while being able to stay soft, so personally (in my hands, on my horse) I don't consider it harsh. She wouldn't tolerate it if she didn't like it. :cool:

She's wearing the bit in my profile photo. :)

showhorsegallery
May. 6, 2010, 11:39 AM
She's wearing the bit in my profile photo. :)

Oh she looks very pretty and happy over the fence. Love her expression.

The reason I ask about this bit, is I've been using it on my mare for years and I think maybe it's a bit (haha) unnecessary and I'm wondering if maybe it was a bad choice to get this bit.

My horse is not hard to control at all, I ride her in a simple snaffle all the time. I just like the way she goes in this, the leverage helps with her head set. But now I'm thinking this is the wrong reason to use a bit like this. I have soft hands and I don't think I'm using it harshly. I am just concerned that my understanding on this bit is limited and after reading some posts in the dressage section there is probably a better way to get the head set I want.

tBHj
May. 6, 2010, 12:09 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread but why are the elevator bits sometimes called gags? Do they have the same effect as the gag bits with rope gag cheeks?

Hunter Mom
May. 6, 2010, 01:24 PM
I find it works best of leaners or ones that I need help controlling their shoulders...

You just described Mare! She can blow her shoulder out on a turn like nobody's business. The french-link 3 (or 4 I don't remember) ring worked like a charm at home to help soften her and me help her find her steering.

jackalini
May. 6, 2010, 01:46 PM
Oh she looks very pretty and happy over the fence. Love her expression.

The reason I ask about this bit, is I've been using it on my mare for years and I think maybe it's a bit (haha) unnecessary and I'm wondering if maybe it was a bad choice to get this bit.

My horse is not hard to control at all, I ride her in a simple snaffle all the time. I just like the way she goes in this, the leverage helps with her head set. But now I'm thinking this is the wrong reason to use a bit like this. I have soft hands and I don't think I'm using it harshly. I am just concerned that my understanding on this bit is limited and after reading some posts in the dressage section there is probably a better way to get the head set I want.

Thank you - she loves to jump. :yes:

I would say that if you've been using it for a very long time, and both you and your horse get what you need out of it (good communication), then I don't see a need to change. This goes along the lines of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." :winkgrin:

If she is swinging through her back, tracking up well and carrying the bit happily, then you have nothing to worry about. If you are accomplishing what you want with her, and she's happy - what else is there to fret about? :)

I don't think there is ever one super-specific, cut and dried method for training and working horses. If there were, we'd have 1 saddle, pad, girth, bridle, and bit available to purchase in many different sizes. But just like us, to horses, variety is the spice of life! :lol:

Tiffani B
May. 6, 2010, 01:51 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread but why are the elevator bits sometimes called gags? Do they have the same effect as the gag bits with rope gag cheeks?

Briefly. The mouthpiece moves upward when you use a slight pull on the rein, and produces poll pressure. After you engage the bit completely (strong pull) the bit acts more like a jointed curb, but with stronger poll pressure.

Personally, I don't think they work much like a normal gag headstall, so I don't think they should have the same name. But perhaps, since you'd never use this type of bit WITH a gag headstall, this is the closest thing to it? I dunno LOL.

whbar158
May. 6, 2010, 02:32 PM
You just described Mare! She can blow her shoulder out on a turn like nobody's business. The french-link 3 (or 4 I don't remember) ring worked like a charm at home to help soften her and me help her find her steering.

Yup that is my horse as well, he is a 15.1hh QH that was a barrel horse and has HUGE shoulders and he uses them how ever he pleases, I mean I can make him listen with just his KK bit but boy is it easier with the 3 ring! I figure thats better for us to use over fences than fighting for control with a snaffle. He also likes to lean on a pelham, I use a segunda for shows.