Gag bit mechanics - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Gag bit mechanics

I was reading everywhere about how gags on a bridle work. And I realized something- The bit never moves with my horse! I was experimenting with the bridle physics, and no matter what rein I pulled on (while in the horse's mouth) the rope and bit would not move (except back.)

What's the use of a GAG if its not doing the GAG ACTION?
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 06:13 PM
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There is no gag action when using one rein alone. When you use both reins; the gag cheeckpieces slide through the bit; the bit rises in the horse's mouth, and extra pressure is exerted at the poll by the crownpiece of the bridle.

The pressure at the poll is really the primary effect; along with a secondary nutcracker like effect as the bit rises and the poll pressure increases.

Sorry, don't mean to sound stupid, but are your reins attached correctly? They shouldn't be attached to the bit, but to the ends of the gag cheekpieces. Sorry to ask!
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 07:05 PM
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As Maura says, the reins are attached to the small ring on the rope or leather that slides through the bit ring. The ring seems to stay put in the horse's mouth. It usually stays in the groove between the teeth. It doesn't often go up into the horses mouth passing the teeth. The real effect is that it pulls through the bit ring pulling down onto the crown piece of the bridle. It puts pressure on the poll nerve getting the horse's attention.

I hate the word "gag" as it really misrepresents how the bit really works. It does not cause the horse to gag.

This is a full cheek gag that I have used on a couple of advanced level event horses. It is not as harsh a bit as many will tell you. Read Teresa Sandlin's explanation of gags with a grain of salt. She is not a fan and makes the bits sound awful (sustainable dressage).

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Ohhh its a BOTH reins action. I was trying each rein individually.

Yes its attached correctly. O-ring has one rein, and the leather bit has the other.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-05-2010, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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But wait, shouldn't it work with just the gag rein?

Also, maybe gag is based off that pitiful face the horse makes when you pull on a gag rein too hard, aka, "HOLY COW WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY FACE?" I saw someone riding "my" horse and they made that face with a noise combined and it was horrid...
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 09:16 AM
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One rein may cause the bit to rise on that side but will not produce the pressure at the poll.

Riding in a gag bit with two reins, one attached to the gag cheekpieces and one attached to the bit is fine; a good idea, even. You use the gag rein like a curb rein and only engage the gag when you need it.

Not sure what face and sound you're referring too; someone must really have been abusing the bit for that to happen.

I actually prefer an elevator or three ring bit, ridden with two reins. You get the pressure at the poll effect without the bit rising in the horse's mouth.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maura View Post
One rein may cause the bit to rise on that side but will not produce the pressure at the poll.

Riding in a gag bit with two reins, one attached to the gag cheekpieces and one attached to the bit is fine; a good idea, even. You use the gag rein like a curb rein and only engage the gag when you need it.

Not sure what face and sound you're referring too; someone must really have been abusing the bit for that to happen.

I actually prefer an elevator or three ring bit, ridden with two reins. You get the pressure at the poll effect without the bit rising in the horse's mouth.
Thanks maura.

Yeah, they were abusing it a lot. They were saying "Oh the horse was out of control so I had to pull hard..." Its the same idiot who acts like they know the horse I ride all the time more than I do.

I don't really use the curb rein much. When I'm just going on the flat, I purposely keep it really loose so that I don't even accidentally use it. I shorten it up a little more for jumping, but I'm not going to go into that.

Thanks for all the help, everyone.
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