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Turnado Full Cheek Gag

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  • Turnado Full Cheek Gag

    Hello - has anyone ever used this bit?

    I got it in hopes to have a little more brakes foxhunting (or cross country. I haven't decided which bridle to put it on yet.)

    My 17hh 4yo horse is not a puller, nor a leaner, and in fact he has an easy quiet gallop. That said, fairly often when jumping cross country he shoots out of my hands like a rocket and I cannot steer/ control pace without significant effort (even with my 2 ring which is what we are using now.) When we are cruising along he is perfectly fine.

    I think I am pretty quiet with my hands and would only "use" the bit when I needed it. I will admit that with the 2 ring, when I have really had to put the brakes on, he tends to go straight up--not rearing, just very elevated front as we work out our pace.

    I want to keep the bit as mild as I can, yet still get control when I need it.

    I am wondering if this one is a good bit to try. I might be having a little buyer's remorse. I would love any feedback!

    Thank you!

  • #2
    What do you use now? A 2-ring?

    I've not used the turnado mouthpiece, but I've used a full-cheek gag, which, regardless of the mouthpiece (I have a rubber and a regular snaffle) is a pretty serious bit. It has a different type of leverage from the 2 ring--it doesn't produce the "nose to chest" tendency that the bubble bit does.

    One thing I like about the gag (used with double reins of course) is that you can control your use of the gag function/extra brakes independently.

    It seems like a lot of bit for a four year old, but if you've tried other things, maybe you will be able to get him to respect your extra brakes and then be able to ween him off it? If the two-ring gives you too much "up" this may too though.


    • Original Poster

      I'm thinking it may be too much of a bit too. Hmm. I am currently using a HS 2 ring, putting the rein on the lower ring for xc only. I originally bought this bit (the 2 ring) for my TB who was super fast and I needed constant control of his speed. My TB did not do the nost to chest thing, but I had heard the bit could cause that.

      My young horse, OTOH, started curling the last time we went out, on the straight away gallops. I wasn't really 'using' the bit (just light contact), so either he discovered a new way of going, or he is extra sensitive to the contact.

      While I think my hands are pretty quiet, I honestly don't think I am quiet enough for 2 reins. At least not without more practice. I was hoping that if I was easy on the 'whoa' and half halts that he wouldn't really feel the leverage unless I really needed it. (Talking about using one rein here.) But sounds like I am wrong?

      Gosh, bits can be pretty complicated. I hate to use more than I need. (And I hate *buying* more than I need! )

      Thank you for your input BMU!


      • #4
        Luv gag bits with two reins on them, hate them with only one rein (the gag rein). With only one rein, you have no direct contact with the horse's mouth, only the pulley rein. Not good, especially for steering. Put two reins on a gag, so you can control the amount of gag action that you use. No different from using two reins on a pelham. You will get used to it. I do not know what mouthpiece you are talking about, I always use the softest mouthpiece, plain snaffle. The gag rein just changes the action to "up" onto the corners of the mouth instead of onto the bars. Works well for some horses, especially those who want to pull down and take pressure onto the bars, and tow the rider.


        • #5
          I don't like riding with 2 reins on xc either (for me, it is picking them up after the drops that kills me, especially if there is a skinny ahead . . . ) but for leverage bits like the gag (or even the 3-ring imo) you have to use both sets of reins for proper effect. Otherwise, you are using the "leverage" part all the time, instead of just as-needed, and it ends up harsher yet, plus your steering is compromised.

          If you want to stick to 1 rein you could try to up the mouthpiece a bit? Maybe a waterford or a slow twist? Or a regular snaffle with a kineton?


          • #6
            I have the bit you are talking about....not a cheap purchase!!

            The mouth piece is just a plain snaffle but it is the HS version of a single joint snaffle that doesn't have the nutcracker effect. It is the way the joint connects.

            Anyway...I would be very VERY hesitant to put it on a 4 year old....same with the two ring bit you are using. I did use mine on a greener horse...7 year old moving up to prelim...to help balance her on gallops. She went a bit down hill. I used it with two reins (and leather sliders).

            It just sounds like your boy is a bit green jumping and you need some more work with grids and...hate to say it...dressage. But if you are fox hunting and need the control...you need the control.

            How does he run through your hands....is he pulling down, out, up?
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


            • Original Poster

              I know! Actually, I got it for $90 at the Dover Basement, a sorry addiction I have at making these impulse purchases.

              I DO need a bit, however, and it is sounding more like I may have chosen the wrong one. Don't be surprised to see it in the tack classifieds! If anyone needs a 5 3/4 inch...

              Anyway... he comes up and out of my hands with a huge powerful stride(s) and pops that damn shoulder. (No doubt the likely source to my problem.) Coupled with his absolute determination to go where he wants to go. By the time I get him back, probably 4-ish strides later, he is up-up-up, almost a big canter in place. I wonder if that is his reponse to the bar pressure from the 2 ring?

              We do lots of dressage, but frankly not enough jumping with a trainer. It is my weakness, and BornFree, you have hit on a point. He and I both need to work on more grids (and dressage) to help ease his response, so to speak, and for me to control his shoulder.

              You bring up another great point, which is that the original need for a new bit is for control while foxhunting. A) We managed to pass our field master this season, thank you very much, after jumping a stone wall. (Don't worry, they were easy on me, but it still cost me a bottle of scotch!) And B) The 2 ring makes my hunt bridle a little too big.

              Truth be told, the 2 ring is actually sufficient (despite the passing the FM thing), but I noticed he has started to curl his head in (not pulling, not a lot of contact, just his preferred way to gallop). So I wanted to find something with similar braking power, that doesn't take up all that space on his cheek like the 2 ring, and doesn't have the curling effect that the 2 rings can have. The gag and wonder bit came to mind. Its hard because other than his reaction to a really 'fun' fence, he is quiet, quiet, quiet.

              Believe me though, I am a believer in less bitting for my young horse, and until now, I always thought the 2 rings were only 'strong' if you were goofy with your hands.