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Question on this bit

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  • Question on this bit

    http://www.horse.com/item/ss-double-...gag-bit/WBE65/

    What kind of leverage/effect will this give? What's the difference between this: http://www.horse.com/item/ss-sweet-i...bit/SLT731327/ and that one (obviously the mouthpiece, but what difference will that make)? My horse regularly goes in this: http://www.horse.com/item/korsteel-c...fle/SLT900228/ on the flat, but needs something a little more for jumping. Would that be a good option?

  • #2
    The gag will add poll pressure and raise the mouth piece higher in the mouth. It will work on the corners of the poll, lips, bars and tongue.

    Your regular snaffle does not have poll pressure, and moves back with the reins, working on the tongue, bars and lips. The gag will have less action on the tongue and more corners of the lips.
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Ohh, okay. When the bit is raised higher in the mouth, what does that do?

      Comment


      • #4
        The bit you have first has leverage--every little contact with the reins is amplified. AND it has gag action--think of it as every movement to take in rein makes the headstall noticeably smaller all of a sudden. It is not just that the bit sits higher in the mouth, but the bit is pulled up and the poll feels a pull down, squishing them together. With the leverage a little pull ends up making a lot of squish.

        [edited to add: The mouth piece on this bit slides up and down the large bit ring. Thus rein tension to the back with the lower ring pulls more bit ring through the mouthpiece, dramatically shortening the headstall size.]

        If you were specifically needing a gag bit, the first level of gag bit would be (oversimplified because of attachment issues) like having one big rein that goes through the simple snaffle's bit rings, up over the poll, back to your hands. All the tension from your hands runs the bit up the corners of the mouth and puts pressure exactly downward from that on the poll.

        This bit adds the element of leverage to that action.

        [Aside: It is nearly the same in function to a 3 ring elevator with a rein on the bottom ring. If you see a 3 ring elevator with a free-floating mouthpeice in action, the ring attached to the headstall ends up rotating way front (pressure down on poll)--which I did not realize until very recently.]

        I have a horse/rider combo that has this particular bit in use as a bitting-up bit. Ideally you would ride it with two reins--one on the snaffle ring and one on the bottom loop--and ride with just the snaffle rein until the bitting-up is needed. I would only put it on for a rider with excellent soft, fully independent hands that is organized enough on a course to basically never bump a horse in the mouth (almost never--I don't know anyone truly never). The horse in this particular duo is a forward and front-heavy haflinger with the strongest head/neck/mouth in the world who uses rooting at the reins as a strategy. She is going nicely and softly, without rooting, in this bit for foxhunting and cross-country.

        (Well, okay, there is nothing "softly" about the way she goes foxhunting, but that has nothing to do with the bit.)
        Last edited by trabern; Mar. 25, 2012, 02:50 AM. Reason: to explain that mouthpiece floats, why there is leverage, and to spell better
        At all times, we are either training or untraining.
        Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          This would be my bitting up bit, I would only use it for jumping and shows. I do tend to have a softer independent hand, so maybe this would be good. I would use two reins when using the bit, and be using the top rein most of the time and the bottom when necessary. When the pressure from the bit is pushing down on the poll, that effect is only in play when the bottom rein is used, correct? Or is that poll effect also in use when the top rein is being used?

          Comment


          • #6
            I like this bit much more then a 2 or 3 ring american style gag.

            Mine is older, copper mouthed and from a wester store. I've used it on the odd very very heavy, dragging type here and there and it works beautifully.

            "When the pressure from the bit is pushing down on the poll, that effect is only in play when the bottom rein is used, correct? Or is that poll effect also in use when the top rein is being used?"

            The poll is affected when either rein is used as the main snaffle ring is not fixed but slides- although significantly less so then when using the bottom rein.

            I would personally try with just one rein on the major snaffle rein- this is often enough, however i have used on just the bottom portion/with two reins as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              The rein through the big ring attached to the mouthpiece would act more like a loose-ring snaffle (direct action on the mouth) but not fully like that, as JustThatSimple wrote, because the headstall is not also attached to that ring but separately above it (like a Boucher with a sliding mouthpiece). The gag action is there but would be very mild, however.

              The gag action with the rein on the bottom ring is the one that is really powerful with just subtle rein movements--it has like +/-3" more leverage.
              At all times, we are either training or untraining.
              Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JustThatSimple View Post
                The poll is affected when either rein is used as the main snaffle ring is not fixed but slides- although significantly less so then when using the bottom rein.
                Wouldn't the poll be affected less when using the snaffle rein and not the bottom rein?
                "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
                Blog | YouTube

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JumperTurns View Post
                  http://www.horse.com/item/ss-double-...gag-bit/WBE65/

                  What kind of leverage/effect will this give? What's the difference between this: http://www.horse.com/item/ss-sweet-i...bit/SLT731327/ and that one (obviously the mouthpiece, but what difference will that make)? My horse regularly goes in this: http://www.horse.com/item/korsteel-c...fle/SLT900228/ on the flat, but needs something a little more for jumping. Would that be a good option?
                  Originally posted by JumperTurns View Post
                  Ohh, okay. When the bit is raised higher in the mouth, what does that do?
                  Originally posted by JumperTurns View Post
                  This would be my bitting up bit, I would only use it for jumping and shows. I do tend to have a softer independent hand, so maybe this would be good. I would use two reins when using the bit, and be using the top rein most of the time and the bottom when necessary. When the pressure from the bit is pushing down on the poll, that effect is only in play when the bottom rein is used, correct? Or is that poll effect also in use when the top rein is being used?
                  IMO,

                  If the question is about understanding the action, you might pose a more informative question by describing the type of action that you are seeking to create?

                  Is your horse getting heavy on his forehand and leaning on you?

                  The bit you are discussing can be described as a type of gag bit. A gag bit and an elevator bit can have similar action and are sometimes applied for similar purposes. Such purposes may include, but are certainly not limited to, the lightening of a horse who becomes heavy on the forhand. But it's important to remain aware that not all horses will respond the same way to the same bit. So a gag used on one horse may elivate the forhand, but the same bit used on a different horse may cause the horse to curl behind the bit, or perhaps even develop some other undesired type of behavior.

                  It's important to develop an understanding of the horses perspective when choosing a bit. In the example of the gag, a lifting effect may be achieved by the poll pressure aforementioned by another poster. Envision that gag bit in action and realize the horse may relieve that action (the poll pressure), by putting it's head into a position that "shortens the reins" and thus relieves the pressure on it's poll. The important differentiation to understand between a gag bit and some other types of bits, are that gag bits usually remain effective independent of any position in which the horse may place it's head in an attempt to evade the bit.

                  If the head is low, the gag may then encurage the horse to raise it's head to find releif from the action of the gag. The end effect is the horse assuming a posture where the rider may then ballance up the horse.

                  But a different horse may react to that same gag by curling his head behind the vertical to find relief form the pressure of the gags action. This reaction to a gag does not assist the rider in balancing their horse, and such an implementation of a gag may not be satisfactory.

                  Horses that try to evade the action of their bits, may try to do so in different ways, that might include, head position, tongue position, grasping the bit between teeth, fussing, locking the jaw, holding the mouth agape, bucking, rearing, rooting, excessively nodding, etc.........

                  What's important to remember is that the rebitting of the horse should serve to correct the issue that horse is having with the current bit, the question needs to be asked of how the current bit is functioning by it's action, or inaction, to either cause the horse undue discomfort, or allow the horse to evade the rider.

                  The choice of new bit should be a result of considering the action of the old bit, the horses behavior towards the old bit, the horses oral conformation, overall conformation, physical condition and imposing limitations thereof, athletic ability, and the desired behavior that the rider/trainer is attempting to achieve.

                  Then the new bit should be selected with an understanding of the type action that the rider/trainer is attempting to create, for a specific purpose in mind.

                  What is the specific purpose that you want a bit to have for your horse? How is your current bit not enabling that purpose?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A western oriented video, but provides an interesting visual demonstration of one horses reaction to one type of gag bit.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvscKhe2YXU

                    Also, in my opinion,

                    In the english disciplines (due to riding with contact), no gag or elevator bit should ever be used without the extra "snaffle rein". One should ride a gag bit with two reins only. Gags and elevators should never be used by an inexperienced rider unless under experienced supervision due to the potential for severe consequences if improperly used.

                    A bit converter should not be used with multi ringed gag type bits the way some might use a bit converter with a pelham.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AlyssaSpellman View Post
                      Wouldn't the poll be affected less when using the snaffle rein and not the bottom rein?
                      You are absolutely right. I thought what you said, and typed a very confusing sentence. Snaffle ring LESS gag than bottom ring.
                      At all times, we are either training or untraining.
                      Flying Haflinger blog: http://flyinghaflinger.blogspot.com/ Flying Irish Draught blog: http://flyingirishredhead.blogspot.com/

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by alterhorse View Post
                        A western oriented video, but provides an interesting visual demonstration of one horses reaction to one type of gag bit.

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvscKhe2YXU

                        Also, in my opinion,

                        In the english disciplines (due to riding with contact), no gag or elevator bit should ever be used without the extra "snaffle rein". One should ride a gag bit with two reins only. Gags and elevators should never be used by an inexperienced rider unless under experienced supervision due to the potential for severe consequences if improperly used.

                        A bit converter should not be used with multi ringed gag type bits the way some might use a bit converter with a pelham.
                        I would definitely use the snaffle rein as well, nor would I be using a bit converter. It really irks me when I go to schooling shows and people use Pelhams and elevators without the snaffle rein. I am by no means super experienced, but I wouldn't say I'm inexperienced either. Every time I would use the bit, I will be under the supervision of my trainer.

                        Comment

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