07-19-2012, 04:29 PM
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Chains are a very controversy topic.
In my experience horses either LOVELOVELOVE chain bits or HATE them. The chains I have in my tack room are not small chains either, they are thicker, smooth links. They conform to the mouth. The horses I have ridden that love them are so soft, so supple, wonderful to ride in. But, if horses don't like them, they let you know. I definitely do not go to a chain first thing but it's always an option for me.
Sure, they're plenty cruel if you have someone who is yanking and pulling and tearing off their horse's face. But ridden lightly, no problem. Just sitting in the mouth doesn't hurt the horse at all, nor does a little touch with your hand.