Full cheek snaffle and keepers - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-07-2013, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
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Originally Posted by toto View Post
I dont think its common for people to use the keepers with a full cheek- but with a loose ring seems like itd make more sense to me. I know any snaffle type bit can pinch but if its a well made bit and its not loose enough to pinch im not gonna use keepers.
Toto...I think you are thinking of guards, not keepers. Keepers look like small leathers that you hook on the bar of the full cheek and attach to the bridle to keep the bit in place. My thought was to prevent unwanted movement of the bit and the possibility of the bar getting caught in the horse's lip.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-07-2013, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
I use a full cheek but never use keepers for them. It used to be that the bit was angled such that you had to use keepers to ensure the bit stayed in the right place in the mouth, however with more modern full cheeks they are angled such that you dont need keepers for them.
Infact, my full cheek is a french link and if you put keepers on it it would turn it into something akin to a dr bristol as it would alter the angle of the central link

Goog to know. Thanks.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-07-2013, 10:12 AM
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Location: southern Arizona
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The article says:
"The purpose of the full cheek is to give the horse something steady to balance against when ridden on direct contact...In essence, the full-cheeks give him something to lean against...Iíve found that trained horses that are switched to the full-cheek will often resent the extra pressure on the sides of their face and often will lean into itóleaning in the opposite direction that you are trying to turn. Besides that, the single-jointed snaffle (which most full-cheeks are) put excessive pressure on the horseís tongue as well as poking into his palate, making him very uncomfortable."
To be honest, that is NOT why we started using full-cheek snaffles, and it does not in any way describe how Trooper behaves after a few years using a full-cheek snaffle. All the horses I know who are using them are ridden with a slack rein, and none use the bit to pull against. The picture posted earlier is how Trooper is normally ridden, with plenty of slack.

There was a time when Trooper leaned against it, pushing his nose to the outside of the turn, but he did that in any bit (we have also used O-rings, D-rings & eggbutt snaffles, single and double jointed). But that was because of how he balanced himself in the turn, and he was wearing a full cheek when we trained him to balance himself better so that he no longer shoved his head to the outside of the turn for balance. It was a balance and flexibility issue, and probably partially an inexperienced rider balance issue - NOT a bit issue!

Of course, I don't see thousands of horses. My sample size might be 6-8 horses tops. And no one wants me to do videos to teach riding...

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-07-2013, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: manitoba
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They are to keep the arms close against the horse, properily oriented and stop stuff from sliding down the arm so things don't get hooked over them ie if the horse rubs etc.
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