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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA

    Default "Instant Gag" - It really works like a regular gag?

    The instant gag ( has come up a few times recently... it really works like a regular gag? I guess I had always assumed that the gag cheek running through both the top and bottom of the bit cheek piece was integral to the effect of the gag. Or does the instant gag in actuality have a bit "less" of a gag effect?

    I would appreciate hearing others' thoughts.

    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    It is very similar but not exactly the same feeling, just as a rubber gag is not exactly the same as a french link, etc. Before you buy one, try a plain rope and see if your horse responds well to it. That way you are out $3 instead of $50, or nothing if you use twine.

    The gag effect is quite strong because it slides so easily. Just like rope cheeks work more effectively than leather, the insta-gag can work even better than rope cheeks because it doesn't catch as much with no tiny holes to go through. Does that make sense?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2006
    Seattle, WA


    I think I was one of the people who recently said that an instant gag can give you the same feel as a real gag on your other thread. And the "rope method" fordtraktor mentions is something I've seen Greg Best do quite a bit in his clinics (he calls it a "check rein" and just uses a draw rein or something slightly longer than a normal rein...starts with the buckle over the crown, runs it through the bit, and back to the hands). I do agree with fordtraktor's explanation, and I think it very much depends on the bit you use it on.

    I rode my AO Jumper mare in her regular bit, a myler D-ring bit (with the hooks on the d-ring), with the insta-gag and it felt exactly the same as riding in the regular snaffle-mouth gag that I occasionally ride her in. But then that particular bit (the myler) utilizes poll pressure via the hooks, so it makes sense that it would feel very similar.

    I've also ridden my gelding in the instant gag with a myriad of different bits, and they all felt different from each other, and slightly different than the same mouthpiece in gags (I think I have everything known to mankind in gag bits at this point). But in general the instant gag created the same reaction as the gag bits as a group, if that makes sense.

    The easiest way to test it is to make yourself a cheap instant gag and see how it works on your horse.

    I have to say that my absolute favorite marketing point for the instant gag is this:
    The major benefits of the instant gag are the easy on/off and most important is the safety factor. With this piece there is never a need to remove the bridle's original cheekpieces. Therefore, if the rider's bridle should fail, the bit will still be held in the horses mouth by the instant gag.
    Like you might decide to use the gag as safety equipment in lieu of keeping your bridle in good repair (I know, I know, it's probably worth pointing out from a retailer's perspective, I just found it really funny when I read the little card on the instant gag when it showed up)

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