Which bit is gentler? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-08-2013, 02:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South Wales, UK
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Oops - I'm going to tread on a few toes, here.

A Dutch 'Gag' is not a gag at all. Gags lift the head, whereas 3-Ring, 2-Ring or Single Ring (Pessoa) bits of the Dutch Gag type apply strong poll pressure by rotation of the large ring. So they lower the head, not lift it.

'Elevator' bits are supposed to lighten the forehand, which they do by forcing the horse to raise its head and neck.

The idea of both these bits is that once the horse becomes used to their action (ie. the rider gives when the horse responds correctly) it should be possible to dispense with them. However, horses get excited when jumping and galloping: they forget things, or think they know best - I'm sure we've all been there. You have to be able to stay in control or you become a danger both to yourself and others.

So keep on with the schooling, but if you need a stronger bit in more stressful circumstances then use one. In an ideal world we'd all be using rubber snaffles and cavesson nosebands, but that's not real life :)

The battle that never ends is the battle of belief against unbelief - Thomas Carlyle

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post #12 of 12 Old 06-08-2013, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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As to what is gentler, interesting question, and the older I get the more I believe it is up to the horse. You are looking at two different mouth pieces to start with, some horses will respond better to the single joint snaffle, some like the double joint.

I may get shot for this, but I am well used to schooling in a snaffle, but using a different/stronger bit for exciting things.Yes get the "fix the holes in training" but it is only part of the answer, and if a horse gets excited and strong while jumping for instance, I am happy to use whichever bit that they listen to, better to be giving lighter contact in a 'bigger' bit, than to be constant hauling on the snaffle.
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