Should i use a dutch gag on her? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Should i use a dutch gag on her?

Should I use a dutch gag on my mare. At the moment I am using a D ring snaffle but it has brass rollers on it for dry mouthed horses. Lately tess has been getting hard in the mouth. Even when just trotting around and doing circle work.
Help please?
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:08 PM
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work with her for a little while longer and see how she goes, if there are no changes, then you may be able to work out what bit is right for her, or you may find out something else that is right for her :) use will get there :)
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:09 PM
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If she's getting hard in the mouth doing trot work with a d ring snaffle, a dutch gag will only make it worse in the long run.
If your horse gets hard in the mouth, you need to take it back a bit and start training them to give to bit pressure again. Make her listen to your seat aids as well.
If a horse gets hard in the mouth and you put a harder bit in, they're eventually going to harden up to that and you have to keep upping the bit until one day you have a horse that runs through everything with no where to do next.
Experiment with the different snaffle mouth pieces. Mullen, single jointed and french link. There are happy mouth, rubber bits, normal steel, sweet iron, copper, ones with keys and ones with rollers.
Lots of different snaffles that you could try before you feel the need to go to a dutch gag.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:12 PM
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Agreed. ^ Upping the bit will only create more problems in the future. Go back down to basic training, working on the whoa. Lots of downward transitions to whoa. This isn't a bit issue, it's a training issue.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:19 PM
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I have to agree with the others. If she seemed unhappy with the snaffle that would be a good reason to start playing with your bit. If she's just ignoring your signals, you need to rethink the way you're asking.

I always use the winter to work at the slow gaits with my horses. Lots of walk-trot transitions, serpentines, halts, turns, etc. My goal is to get them working off of my legs/seat with my bit/hands just used to lightly guide. I can almost shut Soda down from full spook now with my legs/seat. That isn't an easy thing either, he's one of those "OMIGOD, do a 180 and bolt" in about 2 seconds horses. We're not perfect yet, but I've managed this with a double jointed snaffle. Sometimes he tries to brace or ignore it, but if that happens I start working circles and direction changes. I keep my hands light on the reins and get him to tip his nose in. Try lateral flexion from the ground and in the saddle too. Retrain her so that she wants to give to the bit.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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the dutch gag has the same mouthpiece as the snaffle...so that's not the bits...its the pressure on the poll that makes it work. My hands are soft on the reins and she does go on the bit and give softly. Its not that she bolts, it just takes her more to slow down.
But thanxs, I will try what you said. And I wouldnt put her in any harsh bits or stronger bits as I don't want to wreck her. :P
I do make circles smaller and everything but have never really tried the serpentines...i will try :P
How would the sweet iron be??
I kinda forgot about all the other snaffles lol..typical me :) but the dutch gag is still a snaffle.. in a way

Last edited by PintoTess; 09-06-2010 at 08:40 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 08:54 PM
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The dutch gag is most certainly not a snaffle. A snaffle isn't a broken mouthpiece. The mouthpiece has nothing to do with whether or not it is a snaffle. A snaffle has a 1:1 pressure ratio, as in for every pound of pressure you apply, the horse feels the same. Anything that applies poll pressure is not a snaffle.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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gee ok... now I feel dumb the way you said it lol...so what about a sweet iron? It will make her accept it a bit more....then again thinking about it now...she doesnt need a STRONGER bit, she just needs a more effective one...then again the ammount of pressure that is put on the poll depends on what ring you put it on.

Last edited by PintoTess; 09-06-2010 at 09:47 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 09:46 PM
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Sweet iron and copper both help a horse salivate, which encourages them to soften to the bit. There are sweet iron bits with copper inlays. I have one with loose rings, and I like it.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-06-2010, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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I will try sweet iron then :)
This is the bit I use now and it has copper rollers in them to encourage the same thing.
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