I think (but don't hold me to it...) it was Meredith Hodges (?) who said something along the lines of "you have to train a mule the way you should thrain a horse." Whoever said it, I've always liked the quote, even though I don't have mules.
That is a very good quote, and why mules are misunderstood :)
Yeah, they invent those things because people think that when they have training issues with a horse that they need the biggest, baddest bit out there to punish the horse with and to do the job for them.
I know a guy like that. The guy bought his horse dead broke and knows nothing about training horses, but won't listen to anyone, either. I gave him my french link snaffle and the horse was doing really well in it. Then the guys buys a cheap saddle that isn't remotely close to fitting correctly. The horse starts intermittantly falling down and rearing. Even though everyone told him it was his saddle bearing down on the withers and spinal column, he didn't listen. He just went out and bought himself a Tom Thumb (that he plow reins in, to boot). I told him that's a nasty harsh bit, and his response was, "GOOD! It was the toughest bit I could find. It's what this horse needs!" So, yeah...the manufacturers and retailers do cater to the idiot sadists out there.
I can see it now. Customer plopping that down on the counter, me asking "may I ask why you picked that bit?" and them replying "yeh. My horse don't turn or stop no more. I need to show 'im who's boss."
Except if I owned a tack shop, I wouldn't carry many of the bits that we offer. Hah.