I don't disagree that there are a disproportionate number of heavy-handed yahoos in barrel racing that have absolutely no clue about proper bit selection. But my beef is that a lot of people see a bit, and just because it has a long shank, or a lot of gag, or a chain mouthpiece, or a noseband, or whatever, they automatically assume it's harsh and even. Not so. You'll see just as many educated, experienced, humane riders using those bits as you will see backyard jackoffs. The key is in how it's being employed. A lot of the bits that look horrible are not, and a lot of innocuous-looking bits are actually far harsher.