Any sort of gag is a combination or hybrid bit; with the rein attached to the large ring, its just a snaffle. With the use of the leverage cheeks and the rein through the smaller rings, it becomes a curb bit. The leverage action causes the horse to raise his/her head. In theory, this gives the rider more control with a horse who likes to take the bit and ignore the rider (such as in habitual runaways, or easily excitable, strong horses).
If the horse goes in the bit on the snaffle setting, the owner may use it just because the horse goes well in that bit due to the size, thickness of the mouthpiece, whatever. If the horse goes in the bit on the leverage setting...I'd watch out. As far as I'm concerned, it just indicates a shortcut in liu of good training.
It seems that many of the horse people I've met from Friesland use this type of bit, but only on the snaffle setting...I've never seen any of them use it as a leverage bit.
To cut it straight they are horrible bits!! :roll: You see the bit on most Thoroughbreds, or bigger horses. Because they are strong in the mouth, a Dutch gag, works as a leverage and it works on the pole. As you pull the reins the top ring goes anticlock wise (a lil) so in theroy it pulls on the top part of your bridle. Sara, acually the dutch gag helps get the horses head down, you think if some one puts pressure on you head what do you do? You put your head down to escape the pressure?? Also some ott Thoroughbreds tend to boar (put there head to there chest and just run, you have no control), this bit works to don't let them go under the bit.
I sold a ASH, just recentally and he has to be ridden in a Dutch gag after cattle, he would just get so hyped up you had no control!!
My advice, ask the owner "Why do you ride him in a Dutch gag"?