Racehorse equipment question:what are these? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-26-2012, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Racehorse equipment question:what are these?

Okay so I was just on a page for a photographer friend of mine on facebook looking at preakness photos and I'm interested, i see the majority of horses being walked around with chains or ropes through their mouth...What are these called, why do they use them through the mouth instead of over/under the chin like a normal stud chain? Is there a purpse I'm missing?

Tiger Walk wearing the chain:



Optimizer wearing a...string...?



Then I'll Have Another has a sort of thicker chord something in his...




Okay next question, looking at the racing shots, Bodemeister has something wrapped around his bottom jaw that I don't quite understand what that's all about either.



And finally, I know I have asked and gotten this question answered before, but I forgot so here we go again. What is the white thing on I'll Have Another's headstall that goes across his face in sort of peace-sign formation attatched to the bit guards?



Excuse my ignorance....I'm not good witht he function of the racehorse tack besides the saddle, reins, and bit.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-26-2012, 06:24 PM
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I don't know any thing about race horses....

Bodemeister looks to be packing a ring bit, which I believe race horse people do use.

The others look to have their leads ran up on their gums for control. Not so much as a reprimand/pain deal but when you "pop" a horse in the gums(not their teeth) it releases "happy, calming" chemicals in the brain.
I am making assumption s though....
cuious about a real answer.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-26-2012, 07:35 PM
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The horses are being led in a lip chain, some just use a regular chain end shank and some cover the chain with vet wrap.

I'm not too sure what the white cord is, may be a war bridle? I think it is used for the same reason/idea as the lip chain is used for. I'm not 100% sure on this one though, so hopefully someone else may give some input on this one.

The bit is a dexter ring bit being used with a tongue tie.

The white rubber bridle attachment is called an Australian cheeker or a bit holder, it keeps the bit held up in the horse's mouth to help to keep them from getting their tongue over the bit, it can also help to relieve some tongue pressure. I have also heard that some people believe that it has the psychological effect of backing a horse off if they are very strong in the bridle, not too sure if that is true or not though.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-26-2012, 11:18 PM
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The chains are there for some extra control. Some TBs are very hard to handle once they get on the track
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-27-2012, 01:00 AM
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I just took a closer look at the white rope/cord that they are using on Optimizer. I don't think it is a war bridle, now that I have looked more closely at the picture. I'm pretty sure that they are using the white rope/cord for the same reason they would use a lip chain on a lead shank, but because he isn't wearing a halter over his bridle, they are using the white rope instead, I'm not too sure how it is attached around the bridle though, and whether or not it is attached to a lead shank on the other side. Too bad there wasn't a picture showing it from the other side as well!

Using a lip chain can be more effective than using the chain over the nose or under the chin on some horses.

I didn't really explain the use of the tongue tie in my last post. The tongue tie keeps the horse from putting his tongue over the bit. It also keeps the tongue positioned forward in the horse's mouth keeping the horse from "swallowing" his tongue, it keeps the tongue from closing over the throat opening during swallowing and keeps his airways more open.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-27-2012, 01:25 AM
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Optimizer - the only thing I've seen similar to that is a string place over the nose and then goes around the poll. It is used for when a horse pulls that hard it places pressure on the poll and it drops its head. Really cant judge on just one photo - shame you didnt get another.

Bodemeister - simple. Tounge tie, in this case a rubber band. Toungie ties are either rubber bands or stockings cut short. HorsesAreMyPassion explained the use of tounge ties above really well, so I wont explain it.

I'll Have Another - rubber bit lifter. The rubber circles are on the side to protect the horses mouth eg might be prone to cuts or rubs. The bit lifter lifters the bit in the horses mouth to stop the horses tounge going over the bit. I find in strong horses it gives you more control - but thats my personal experience.

All other photos are just like stud / stallion chains to give the strapper more control at the races. In Australia you will find strappers using a chain is quite low - only even seen a few times and I know the barrier attendents use one, but only when the horse needs one.

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post #7 of 8 Old 05-27-2012, 01:50 AM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

The chain/rope going over the gums is like a twitch, it causes enough irritation and pinching sensation that the horse 'zones out' when a lot of pressure is applied. That way they become more easily managed to move around. Its similar to a lip twitch.


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post #8 of 8 Old 05-27-2012, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boldstart View Post
Optimizer - the only thing I've seen similar to that is a string place over the nose and then goes around the poll. It is used for when a horse pulls that hard it places pressure on the poll and it drops its head. Really cant judge on just one photo - shame you didnt get another.

Bodemeister - simple. Tounge tie, in this case a rubber band. Toungie ties are either rubber bands or stockings cut short. HorsesAreMyPassion explained the use of tounge ties above really well, so I wont explain it.

I'll Have Another - rubber bit lifter. The rubber circles are on the side to protect the horses mouth eg might be prone to cuts or rubs. The bit lifter lifters the bit in the horses mouth to stop the horses tounge going over the bit. I find in strong horses it gives you more control - but thats my personal experience.

All other photos are just like stud / stallion chains to give the strapper more control at the races. In Australia you will find strappers using a chain is quite low - only even seen a few times and I know the barrier attendents use one, but only when the horse needs one.
Dead right about the low usage of chain. I remember we had one sitting around the tack room and one of the guys used it on a colt. I had never seen Anthony (Cummings) yell at staff before that day. I had work for him for about 4 years at that point. We never used them at Freedy's either.
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