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View Full Version : Leather vs. Rope Gag Cheeks



PuraVidaEventing
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:36 PM
So...I'm buying a full cheek gag, and I was wondering should I buy leather vs rope gag cheeks? What do you use? And why? I like the look of leather better but if there's some major reason to use rope obviously I will...
Thanks!

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:42 PM
Leather....rope slides too quick/easily making the gag action more severe I believe.

KateKat
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:46 PM
yep. Leather doesn't have as quick an action as the rope does. I recently switched mine to leather and I like it a lot better.

GingerJumper
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:47 PM
In my experience with gags, I've found that leather is better when you need less of the strength of the gag, and rope is better if you need more of it. When you pull on the gag rein, the bit basically slides up the gag cheek. With leather gag cheeks (since the leather is a lot bigger than the rope ones) it's a little less harsh of an action, because it can't get pulled up as quickly or as far, since even super well conditioned leather is less flexible than rope cheeks. With rope cheeks, it's free to go up a lot faster and further so you can get more gag action with it.

Personally, I like the leather cheeks a little better... hold up a lot better and just look a little nicer. You do have to really break them in before you use them, though, otherwise it's like trying to get a gag effect using a gag bit and an iron rod :lol:

Babble
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:50 PM
When I used a gag on my mare, I used leather because I think it slips slightly more slowly than rope and is thus less harsh. I would say that unless you think you need a really strong gag, I would start with the leather and see if it gives you enough leverage before you go to rope. JMO.

BestHorses
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:51 PM
I use leather because that's what the horse was used to going in when I got him:)

The rope slides easier making the action quicker and more severe than leather. And I agree - leather looks nicer!

GingerJumper
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:53 PM
I use leather because that's what the horse was used to going in when I got him:)

The rope slides easier making the action quicker and more severe than leather. And I agree - leather looks nicer!

Good to hear I'm not the only one who thinks leather just looks a little better, hehe. Obviously if rope is what you need, then go for it, but if you use leather, then the "clean & tidy" look is an added bonus ;)

PuraVidaEventing
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:02 PM
Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to go with leather (:
Now one other question...Marys tack is giving me the option of 3/4 and 5/8....how do I know which to pick?!

Beam Me Up
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:08 PM
Thanks everyone! I think I'm going to go with leather (:
Now one other question...Marys tack is giving me the option of 3/4 and 5/8....how do I know which to pick?!

You want the same s your current cheekpieces, so the new ones will fit the same crownpiece.

FWIW I agree with the others on the leather vs rope, I've always done leather so I didn't get more brakes than I wanted--I think you see a lot more rope in the sj ring, perhaps because they want a more reactive bit?

baysngreys
Aug. 2, 2011, 05:41 PM
I can't believe every response is in agreement.

Holy Leather-Gag-Cheeks Batman, has Hell frozen over? LOL!!!

PS - here's another vote for the leather ones.

fordtraktor
Aug. 2, 2011, 09:44 PM
Ha! I'll be the voice of disagreement just to make sure we are not in perfect harmony. If you actually want immediate gag action when you use the reins, use rope. If you prefer gag action 10 strides after you start to pull on the reins and want the gag "look", use leather.

I like rope if my horse needs a gag. I use 2 reins and only pull on the gag rein if I actually want it to do something -- but when I DO pull on the gag rein, I want it to work (and to stop working as soon as I soften my hand). I find leather cheeks difficult to use with precision. I don't think they release quick enough unless you push your hand forward and I really hate flopping around like a chicken up there.

fernie fox
Aug. 2, 2011, 09:50 PM
Over 30 years old,made in UK.

I always use 2 reins with a gag.

Also always use a loose cavesson with it.

Hate to see drop nosebands and figure 8s with a gag.

The thing should be able to slide upwards when in use.

A tight noseband means you are slammimg your horse in the teeth[literally] every time you apply it.