Alrighty, lifter bits.... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Alrighty, lifter bits....

So.

Just recently I've been talking about bits with a friend of mine. She insists that anything with a lot of gag is a better lifter bit, than something without.

Now, I've been operating under the knowledge that something with little gag and more purchase is going to "lift" better.

So I just figured I'd ask the barrel racers on here. I'd hate to be totally wrong. It's worked for me but hey, I can always be misinformed. I assumed bits with a lot of gag encouraged more dropping of the head.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 02:27 PM
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Alrighty. I dug out my September issue of Barrel Horse News.

This is my favorite line of the whole article: "Attempting to save a horse's mouth by under bridling is hogwash because using a bit that the horse can push on and ignore just programs him to become evasive."

Off topic, but it's still my favorite line.

Gag bits are used to lift the shoulders and encourage vertical and lateral flexion. Gags work on the corners of a horse's mouth by slipping upward.

A shank will give you more rate. A longer purchase will have more lift. Shanks that have more bend or curve encourage flex, versus a more straight shank.

A straight bar off of the purchase of the bit can help keep a horse more square going into a barrel turn.

Combination bits are good for horses with too much bend or young horses just learning to help their frame through a run. The lower the noseband, the more nose pressure.

But horses can get pushy in a gag bit, and often times other aids like a German martingale can be used to times to keep a horse responding well in a gag.

As far as regular curb bits (no gag), low leverage (short shanks) gives you more lift in the shoulders and high leverage (long shanks) gives you more rate.


Soooooooo, based on that article, they're saying that gag bits are much more for lifting. Not that you can't get lift from a short shank curb bit, but that lift is better from a gag. And of course, leverage is based on the shank to purchase ratio.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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I can see that, since it slips up and takes hold of the corner, but I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone so I've been winging it.

If that is true, I wonder why most lifter bits look like the pozzi ones, with no gag? I don't get it. More marketing mislabelling?

Brittany Pozzi Lifter Series - Twisted Wire Snaffle

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 04:27 PM
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Personally....I find a horse that needs lift most often will slowly start to ignore the gag action and blow you off. I find more lift in a bit with very little gag....

Gags offer a "heads up" and slowly builds up to getting the response...where as a bit with little gag you get their attention A LOT faster then you would in a gag. If I ran my mare that dropped shoulders in a gag lifter....oh how I would have so many more scars. With the CJ Lifters I could HOLD her their and keep her shoulder up as I had that contact. Where with the gag I would have had no response from her because it just wasn't getting the message delivered fast enough.

Lifter bits come in both, but the better lifter (with lots of experience) is the bit with less gag. And yes a bit with a longer purchase offers more rate and lift.

Did that make ANY sense lol?
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yes it did, because that's pretty much the same way I've been operating.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-22-2012, 08:36 PM
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[QUOTE=beau159;1728116]Alrighty. I dug out my September issue of Barrel Horse News.

This is my favorite line of the whole article: "Attempting to save a horse's mouth by under bridling is hogwash because using a bit that the horse can push on and ignore just programs him to become evasive."

Sorry, this is off topic, but what do you mean? I'm running my barrel gelding in a smooth, thick d-ring snaffle. Will he push on it and ignore it?

It should be horse listening, not horse whispering
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 01:08 AM
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[quote=Horsealot;1728650]
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Alrighty. I dug out my September issue of Barrel Horse News.

This is my favorite line of the whole article: "Attempting to save a horse's mouth by under bridling is hogwash because using a bit that the horse can push on and ignore just programs him to become evasive."

Sorry, this is off topic, but what do you mean? I'm running my barrel gelding in a smooth, thick d-ring snaffle. Will he push on it and ignore it?
Most likely talking about horses that people try to put something light and make it work when it clearly isn't and they are doing the opposite of what they want.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 11:43 AM
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[quote=Horsealot;1728650]
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Alrighty. I dug out my September issue of Barrel Horse News.

This is my favorite line of the whole article: "Attempting to save a horse's mouth by under bridling is hogwash because using a bit that the horse can push on and ignore just programs him to become evasive."

Sorry, this is off topic, but what do you mean? I'm running my barrel gelding in a smooth, thick d-ring snaffle. Will he push on it and ignore it?

Just saying that there is a difference in putting your horse in the bit that works, rather than thinking you are keeping them softer or being gentler to their mouth by putting them in a less advanced bit that causes you to pull more just to get a reaction. It's not that bit that makes them ignore or push against it; it's the constant pulling the rider does that makes them ignore or push against it. Long explanation short: Do not be afraid to use a more advanced bit on horse if it gives you a great response (and in turn, light, quick hands and cues).
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 12:02 PM
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Weeell. I don't mean to take over for a minute but I'd like to say Lark is a PRIME example of the "Softer bit may not work" deal... Especially after our incident Sunday.. I've worked her for a year in a snaffle then bumped up to a hack combo..She does fine with it slow but now that I pushed her and got her up to speed she completely ignored me and even though I was trying absolutely as hard as I could to stop her the bit did nothing..Heifer is probably getting bumped up into something else. And I'm usually not for bitting up at all, but after a year with light bits and then she runs away with me and could have killed both of us..That calls for a tad of a harsher bit for me. I'm looking into putting her in a gag, or even Nikki's combo bit, so we'll see..
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 01:53 PM
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Yeahhhh...riding Rosie in a snaffle is just silly. Trail riding with a halter? Sure!! Wanting to lope nice circles in a snaffle? HA! "This obviously means that you want to go really fast and look like an idiot. Right??"
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