Bits: What is the point of a slow twist/cork skrew? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-08-2012, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Bits: What is the point of a slow twist/cork skrew?

I've seen many slow-twist and cork skrew bits over the past couple of years and they always made me flinch think about that in a horses mouth. I'm wondering what the point of having a slow-twist/ cork skrew mouthpiece vs. A smooth mouthpiece is?

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity ;P
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-08-2012, 12:53 PM
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The 'sharp' edges put severe pressure on tongue and bars because pressure on the reins is concentrated in a small area.

'Slow twist' is more severe than 'fast twist' (corkscrew) for the same reason - more turns per inch = less pressure per square inch.

Twisted bits go back to the days when accepted levels of discomfort (ie. punishment as opposed to reward) were higher than they are now. You still see these bits on racehorses and hunters in the UK, presumably because being able to stop a horse by the infliction of pain is considered better than being unable to stop it at all. Must admit that makes sense in terms of safety, but not a lot else.

Just my view.

The battle that never ends is the battle of belief against unbelief - Thomas Carlyle
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-08-2012, 01:56 PM
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Not sure what they were used for historically, but around my barn, they are a last-ditch retraining bit. If a horse has lost all respect for the bit and will not stop in an "acceptable" smooth mouth bit, they are but in a twisted mouthpeice for several short riding sessions. During these sessions, they are asked to walk and halt, walk and halt. When they're good at that, it's trot to halt and downwards transitions.

After they halt and transition perfectly in a twisted mouth peice, we move them back to a smooth mouth and do the same thing. A lot of the time, they respond better to the smooth peice than before. After some more work, they usually stop just fine.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-08-2012, 06:17 PM
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Simple answer: they're designed to hurt more.
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