Which is your favorite bit/nonbit? - Page 3
 
 

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Which is your favorite bit/nonbit?

This is a discussion on Which is your favorite bit/nonbit? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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        10-17-2012, 11:12 AM
      #21
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ashsunnyeventer    
    I have to ride my horse in a gag for cross country because he GOES. It definitely gets him soft, but you can't use it in dressage, so whats tha point of training in it. I ride him in a loose ring for dressage and stadium. While you're right, western has less contact than english, it's not that english horses are always pulling. When it's right, you have contact, but your horse is giving to you so you can just barely feel their mouth. It looks like you have lots of contact, but it feels so soft. In dresage, you're constantly turning or asking for a different figure, so you have to have contact to get what you need. It jumping, contact is needed to control most horses.

    So it's not really like we're in denial, but that eith 1. The bit isn't allowed in competition, 2. It feels different that in looks, or 3. You will get judged by everyone else because you're using a big bit. You should see some of the looks I get for taking my horse novice in a gag bridle. I just roll my eyes because it's not the bit, but the way you use it that's harsh. I get where you're coming from, but truth is, most english horses won't stay in a frame if you drop the contact because you are supposed to work as much as your horse. This is just my experience from eventig and only riding TB's who really like just to stretch out their neck :)

    I suppose I'm one of those people who sees a gag bit as pretty harsh, I realize all bits are gentler in gentle hands, but I'm curious, can you explain gag bits to me in a way that can help me not dislike them so much?
         
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        10-17-2012, 03:15 PM
      #22
    Trained
    The gag bits do not take contact with the mouth as fast as a fixed bit does. It "slides" or "gags", so you get a lighter touch before it hits the end of the slide and takes a full hold.

    Now I'm not saying you can't get a harsh gag bit. The mouthpiece plays a huge part. But, a three piece gag bit with a 5'' shank is going to be less harsh than a three piece fixed bit with a 5'' shank.
    COWCHICK77 likes this.
         
        10-17-2012, 03:24 PM
      #23
    Showing
    Well, it depends entirely on the horse, but my favorite bits for my personal horses....

    Myler jointed Dee--Lenox
    Korsteel French link eggbutt--Molly and Excel
    Imus Comfort Gait bit--Arthur (Paso Fino)
    Medium port, medum shank correction bit from Schneider's--Estrella
    Jointed loose ring--Tank
         
        10-17-2012, 03:48 PM
      #24
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
    The gag bits do not take contact with the mouth as fast as a fixed bit does. It "slides" or "gags", so you get a lighter touch before it hits the end of the slide and takes a full hold.

    Now I'm not saying you can't get a harsh gag bit. The mouthpiece plays a huge part. But, a three piece gag bit with a 5'' shank is going to be less harsh than a three piece fixed bit with a 5'' shank.

    I'm not sure what you mean by shank most gag bit's I've seen have been on snaffles. I can sort of see what you're saying about how it moves before fully engaging, but I don't fully understand how it could be more mild than snaffle with fixed rings, not shanks.

    Here's the way I see a gag bit working, but please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Pressure on both reins pulls the rope through the bit, this applies pressure to the horse's poll, the bit slide up pulling the horse's lips up, potentially hitting the horse's teeth (but I'm not sure if that could happen or not), at the same time it tilts the bit down toward the horse's tongue. Depending which type of mouthpiece your using.
    I imagine the poll pressure is what helps keep a horse's had down when doing cross country or jumping at good speeds. I imagine that the slide in the bit doesn't so much cause a gagging action as the name implies but it would certainly increase the intensity of the pull. Then the tilt of the bit would push pressure onto the horses tongue.

    Now that's all my assumption from messing around with one in my hands, I don't use it and have only seen it on a few jumping horses but never really paid attention. But I DID notice that each horse I saw that used a gag bit also needed a flash or some other nose band that ties their mouth shut, which I found interesting, but that's just the ones I know.
    I'm also well aware how a person rides in the bit greatly changes the bit, so I guess I'm looking to find out whether my assumption about the bit is correct or not? If I'm wrong please tell me how it really works?
         
        10-17-2012, 03:51 PM
      #25
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by equiniphile    
    Well, it depends entirely on the horse, but my favorite bits for my personal horses....

    Myler jointed Dee--Lenox
    Korsteel French link eggbutt--Molly and Excel
    Imus Comfort Gait bit--Arthur (Paso Fino)
    Medium port, medum shank correction bit from Schneider's--Estrella
    Jointed loose ring--Tank
    Wow nice list! I just looked up the Imus comfort gait bit, as I hadn't heard of it. Looks very neat! We have a couple that were donated to our rescue we weren't really sure what it was for. :P

    I'm curious about why do people use shanked bits on gaited horses? Do they neck rein in it? I've seen a lot of gaited horses ridden direct reins with shanked bits though, not sure why?
         
        10-17-2012, 04:49 PM
      #26
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    I'm not sure what you mean by shank most gag bit's I've seen have been on snaffles. I can sort of see what you're saying about how it moves before fully engaging, but I don't fully understand how it could be more mild than snaffle with fixed rings, not shanks.

    Here's the way I see a gag bit working, but please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Pressure on both reins pulls the rope through the bit, this applies pressure to the horse's poll, the bit slide up pulling the horse's lips up, potentially hitting the horse's teeth (but I'm not sure if that could happen or not), at the same time it tilts the bit down toward the horse's tongue. Depending which type of mouthpiece your using.
    I imagine the poll pressure is what helps keep a horse's had down when doing cross country or jumping at good speeds. I imagine that the slide in the bit doesn't so much cause a gagging action as the name implies but it would certainly increase the intensity of the pull. Then the tilt of the bit would push pressure onto the horses tongue.

    Now that's all my assumption from messing around with one in my hands, I don't use it and have only seen it on a few jumping horses but never really paid attention. But I DID notice that each horse I saw that used a gag bit also needed a flash or some other nose band that ties their mouth shut, which I found interesting, but that's just the ones I know.
    I'm also well aware how a person rides in the bit greatly changes the bit, so I guess I'm looking to find out whether my assumption about the bit is correct or not? If I'm wrong please tell me how it really works?
    What do you mean snaffle? I do not consider any gag bit a snaffle, regardless of mouthpiece or look of the shank. The gag itself creates a shank, therefore leverage, therefore not a snaffle.

    Yes, it is true gag bits apply a lot more poll pressure. They are meant to encourage dropping of the ehad into a stop and turn type of fashion, which is why they are popular with barrel racers. However, the contact needed on the mouth is significantly less.

    I am a barrel racer mainly and I use a lot of gag bits. If anything, it quiets the horse a little more IME. The horse will generally gape their mouth due to pressure put on the mouth, but since the majority of the pressure is on the poll and there is the gag allowing softer mouth contact, there generally isn't a huge amount of it.

    That is how I have been operating anyway.

    My original post here had a significant amount of gag bits on it. Including combos, mild gags, and bits with more gag. You of course have to understand how the bit works, and how to use your hands with it, but I do not consider them harsh.
         
        10-17-2012, 04:54 PM
      #27
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    Wow nice list! I just looked up the Imus comfort gait bit, as I hadn't heard of it. Looks very neat! We have a couple that were donated to our rescue we weren't really sure what it was for. :P

    I'm curious about why do people use shanked bits on gaited horses? Do they neck rein in it? I've seen a lot of gaited horses ridden direct reins with shanked bits though, not sure why?
    My Paso rides Western and neck reins, which is why I use the curb on him. When we show, the curb is required. I LOVE the Imus bit. Lots of tongue relief, an adequate pre-signal, and you can clip the reins onto the snaffle rings for re-schooling two-handed when you need to.
         
        10-17-2012, 04:54 PM
      #28
    Trained
    Some very mild gags:

    Sweet Six - The Tack Stop

    Jr Cow Horse Bit 349 - The Tack Stop

    Some harsher gags

    Rosie Gag - The Tack Stop

    The H Gag - The Tack Stop

    Also noting, this bit has a fairly medium harsh shank, but the mouthpiece is cruel:



    If that one had a lifesaver, smooth, or dogbone mouthpiece instead of the mule chain it would be a lot softer. Still not a bit for a light horse, but the harshness also depends on the mouth.
         
        10-17-2012, 05:02 PM
      #29
    Weanling
    My personal fave is a loose ring french link KK with Aurigan mouthpiece, love love love that bit, schooling third level with my Oldenburg in that now.

    I had an ottb before who would just play with anything loose ring and evade it. We tried him in a narrower french link boucher and he was a different, and much happier, horse!

    Finding a french link boucher that wasn't super thick was a challenge though! They all seemed to come in 16-12mm thickness, and I wanted something just a bit narrower due to his tendancy to want to hang on it. Of course now, two years later when I go and look they are all over in various thicknesses ;)
         
        10-17-2012, 08:50 PM
      #30
    Weanling
    So for a gag bridle, you're right that it pushes down on the poll. For my horse, he responds better to poll pressure than any amount of bit pressure. You can definitely get too harsh with a gag and it's easy. I had to learn, using a rocking horse, how to have gentle hands- you really don't need much pressure at all. A simple half halt is all that is needed to get him listening to me, and a light pull gets him back to a safe speed. As for the flash- my horse is ridden in a flash no matter what bit we are using- opening his mouth is his way of avoiding flexion and contact. I use a martingale with the gag because he can get his head up too high to avoid the pressure.

    I'm sure I look evil in our cross country control gear, but with a soft hand, it is much safer to have the gag than going race horse speed uncontrollable gallop around a cross country course. I use a full cheek snaffle with gag sides because he doesn't need a super harsh bit, just pressure on a different place of his face. We experimented with lots of gag bits and all of them were too harsh for his liking, no matter how light my hands were. He would try to get away from the bit while just standing, so we gave up that idea pretty quick.

    You're idea of a gag really depends on the horse. I'm guessing that your horses don't need them, so you could see the gag as harsh because you're thinking of how your horse would react to it. I think if you had to ride a horse that needed a gag to work safely, then you would understand the feeling of being firm, but not harsh. Maybe you understand this feeling already, in which case just match that feeling with an idea of a horse wearing a gag :) Maybe part of your opinion has to do with the way you see gags being used. A pull upwards will put more pressure on the poll and is best if you are in a sticky situation and you really need your horse to sit back and pay attention. A normal half halt back is enough to slow a horse down. Anything more than a pull (ie. Yanking, pulling and holding, sawing) will definitely cause a different feel and look to how a gag bridle is used. It's actions like that where harsher bits get a bad reputation.
         

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