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Function of rollers on bits

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  • Function of rollers on bits

    Just curious as I've never really known what the intended purpose is..what is the function of having bits with a roller in the center? To encourage lightness? Softness?

  • #2
    The rollers give the horse something to play with. This in turn encourages relaxation in the jaw and better acceptance of the bit.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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    • #3
      I find it keeps my horse from grabing the bit too. Big copper roller encourages saliva and keeps him happy and soft in the hunt field. The fat mullen-mouthed pelham just made him dry and hard-mouthed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 2tempe View Post
        The rollers give the horse something to play with.
        This is the stock answer I always hear as to the purpose of the roller, so I don't dispute you at all.

        But I've always wondered - can a horse really play with it? I mean...its laying across the middle of their tongue...it's not like they can fold the tip of their tongues backwards to give that thing a spin (nor we would want them to!).

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        • #5
          oh yes, they can play with it. Back in the dark ages I had a western horse that would not keep his mouth shut with a bit. I found a bit with a copper roller that he loved and relaxed with. The only problem was that this roller made a slight clicking sound when you moved it. He learned this and went to work on it, he could make so much noise with it that he sounded like a freight train. I had to find one with less noise to show in.
          Nina's Story
          Epona Comm on FB

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          • #6
            Trake, they sure can spin that sucker depending on the bit and how loose the roller is
            I use to show a wp mare that showed in a half breed with a hood and a roller and after the class in the line up you could here that sucker wizzing around, it was really funny, btw she schooled in a french link eggbutt

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            • #7
              In a jointed bit that rotates down on the tongue, the "roller" doesn't roll. Sometimes manufacturers put it there to stop the pinch of jointed snaffled, so it is more gentle.

              If you think about it, a jointed bit applies tongue pressure, essentially trapping the tongue, so a horse would not be able to roll it!

              I honestly think that rollers were invented because horse's mouths were busy because they were uncomfortable, so someone had the brilliant idea to give them a roller to give them something to do. Incorrectly thinking the horse wants to play with something....

              If a bit fits and the horse is comfortable the mouth should be quiet.

              This is for tongue pressure bits, my answer would be different for ported bits where a horse can move its tongue

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              • #8
                Originally posted by howardh View Post
                In a jointed bit that rotates down on the tongue, the "roller" doesn't roll. Sometimes manufacturers put it there to stop e pinch of jointed snaffled, so it is more gentle.

                If you think about it, a jointed bit applies tongue pressure, essentially trapping the tongue, so a horse would not be able to roll it!

                I honestly think that rollers were invented because horse's mouths were busy because they were uncomfortable, so someone had the brilliant idea to give them a roller to give them something to do. Incorrectly thinking the horse wants to play with something....

                If a bit fits and the horse is comfortable the mouth should be quiet.
                Are you talking about the sort of roller you see on a Myler? I believe a lot of the other posts were about bits with rollers on the mouthpiece.

                I've never met a horse that played with the roller on a Myler, simply because it wasn't really designed to function that way.

                ETA: It appears as though I'm the only one who thought this was about rollers on the mouthpiece. Whoops. I cannot read this morning...
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by GingerJumper View Post
                  Are you talking about the sort of roller you see on a Myler? I believe a lot of the other posts were about bits with rollers on the mouthpiece.

                  I've never met a horse that played with the roller on a Myler, simply because it wasn't really designed to function that way.

                  ETA: It appears as though I'm the only one who thought this was about rollers on the mouthpiece. Whoops. I cannot read this morning...
                  Yes I was talking about rollers on mouthpieces. Since this is mostly an English forum, many folks incorrectly think a jointed tongue pressure bit with a cover that looks like a roller is a roller, but I have seen actual rollers on tongue pressure bits that are really pointless. IMO

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