Gag bit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This has some good albeit basic information on gag bits. "Gag bits are used mainly for horses that are strong pullers or for horses that need retraining. Gag bits are most commonly seen in polo
(especially for cross-country), show jumping
, and hacking, mainly for increased control at times where a horse may be excited or try to run off with the rider." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martingale_(tack
) "A standing martingale may cause great pain to a horse if misused in combination with certain other equipment. If used in conjunction with a gag bit
, a standing martingale can trap the head of the horse, simultaneously asking the horse to raise and lower its head and providing no source of relief in either direction. This combination is sometimes seen in polo, in some rodeo events, and occasionally in the lower levels of jumping."
I know you use a running martingale, but I'm not sure why that would give more control. Maybe you could ask your trainer to explain her reasoning and pass it on to us? =) I'm always up for learning. But I would be hesitant to use any type of martingale all the time.
Regardless of all this OT stuff, I would say look to JDI for advice. See if you can get your horse collected in a snaffle. If you can't, I would seriously be wondering why. I can't imagine any horse NEEDING a gag and martingale for control all of the time. I'm not trying to slam anybody, and if someone has a differing opinion, please share. But it seems like your horse has been forced into position with equipment rather than taught to carry herself.
So I do want to tip my hat to you for wanting to teach her (or refresh her on)collection.