Originally Posted by usandpets
Yes they can be harsh but so can whips, crops and spurs. They all can be used correctly to correct and refine too.
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While I will agree about the whips and spurs, some bits cannot NOT be harsh. Just being in the mouth, without much pressure at all, will be uncomfortable to a horse. The horse will move it around in their mouth and the twisted wire will hurt the bars and the corner of the lips. It would be difficult for that bit, even fairly immobile, to be comfortable for the horse. That's my feeling, anyway.