I used to have a strong, powerful, forward horse - still have him, but he's a totally different horse now under saddle when jumping and doing CC. If you have to use a Gag in the arena during Jumper Shows, then perhaps you should go back to doing lots of flat work, incorporating Seat Into Hands Into Legs To Soften.
I had big issues when I first got my TB gelding *Big 16.3hh guy* who was very powerful, very forward, very strong when we would go over fences. Thanks to Dorothy Crowell *CIC**** n CCI**** Eventer* whom I cliniqued with - she taught me how to utalize my seat and my legs to bring him back down to me, to become that smooth, soft, supple horse that is definately needed in the Jumper Ring.
I do use a 3 Ring Elevator Bit with him ONLY when we Fox Hunt. Reason being, is we are surrounded by 10 - 30 other horses, hounds, horns, lots of activity and I need that extra something to keep him under control while surrounded by all those other horse/rider teams so we don't get into trouble.
I find the gag makes her chuck her head up at an arkward angle when doing sharp turns in jump offs at shows, however the half cheek french link isn't quite enough sometimes at shows.
Yes, the Gag does this- - because not only it is putting pressure on the horses lips, it is also doing the NutCracker effect onto the top of your horses mouth, putting pain and pressure there. This causes your horse to throw their head up.
Then the reins, while being pulled and yanked - is putting allot of pressure onto the horses Poll - which makes the horse bring their head down.
So now your horse is confused, in pain and has no clue as to what their rider wants. "Head down? But I must throw my head up to escape the pressure."
The reason why the Full Cheek isn't working, is because both you and your horse need to go back to training, to learn how to incorporate your seat, your legs and how to use them to bring your horse down to you.
I wanted to get a full cheek bit as people have told me when you use them with the keepers they give you slightly more control and are very good for turning, what are other peoples experiences with this bit and do you think i should get a french link full cheek or a single joint as she goes well enough in both???
This is hogwash - the Full Cheek Snaffle Bit was designed to sit a certain way in your horses mouth, and the Full Cheek Snaffle must be used with the Keepers for the bit to remain properly positioned while in use.
When you do not use the keepers, the bit is no longer positioned the way it was designed to rest in the horses mouth, which means the bit isnt doing it's' job.
The keepers are there only to ensure the bit is positioned properly in the horses mouth.
The issue isn't the bit. The bit is only a quick fix to momentarily mute the real problem - Missing links in the Training Scale for both horse and rider.