Originally Posted by COWCHICK77
...I am curious as to what part "traumatized" you? Maybe I can help you understand.
I'm curious too. I don't advocate a spade bit for most people. You and I had some exchanges a while back that opened my eyes to ANY use of a spade bit, and I'm at least partially converted. I can easily see how a good rider with a trained horse can use a spade bit with no harm whatsoever to the horse.
Sidepull halters are supposed to be gentle, but I've removed a lot of hair from my mare's face when she went into a full-bore panic while using one. I've looked at some 'harsher' options than a simple snaffle for my horse, because if she gets wound up enough, she doesn't think about safety - hers or mine. I would love to someday have her trained to ride flawlessly in anything, but she's a fairly intense girl who thinks every ride should be an adventure.
No way I'd put a spade bit in her mouth. Neither she nor I have any business with one. But we certainly aren't at the pinnacle of horsemanship! Neither is Pat, and I wouldn't suggest a spade bit for his riding either. But that certainly doesn't make a spade bit cruel...