Originally Posted by ponyboy
The pressure on the poll and chin that a curb provides is what puts the horse in the proper frame. Snaffles only pull straight back, which is why if you try to put a horse in a fame using a snaffle they will open their mouths, so you need a flash noseband to stop that. When you collect a horse in a snaffle you are literally asking them to "stop" and "go" at the same time. A curb makes the horse transfer their weight to the hind end and drop their head vertical, which is how they are supposed to be in dressage. It's about leverage.
My question is whether people think hauling on a snaffle bit the horse can't escape from (because of the flash) is still less harsh than using a double bridle.
I don't think I would agree with all of that. I've never used anything but a snaffle to teach a horse to go in a frame. You begin teaching a horse to go on the bit by teaching them to submit to it, which is very possible (and IMO ideal) with a snaffle. In fact, you would never start a horse using a double bridle! A horse should know how to collect and go on the bit in a snaffle by the time you start using a double. A snaffle can do quite a bit and the action it has on a horse is a lot more complicated then "pulling straight back", just like 'stop' is a lot more complicated then just pulling on your reins. Now a beginning level frame and a grand prix level frame are different and to get a grand prix level frame a double bridle is much more effective because of the curb, leverage, etc.
I honestly don't know why so many dressage riders use a flash. They aren't even allowed in the hunter ring, where opening mouths/evading the bit is also penalized. Anyone have an answer to that? I do think hauling on the snaffle with a flash is harsh! But hauling on any bit is harsh...