Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel
I just have a hard time understanding it since it looks the equivalent of a ratcheter on a ratchet strap with the spoon spade type thing going into the horse's mouth.. it looks crazy. I cannot comprehend why this is a good thing.
It can be intimidating looking, but think in these terms- when you hold a spade bit in your hand much how it would lay in the horses mouth and on the tongue, the braces, cannon bar and spoon all together can distribute pressure over a large area. BUT, the bit is NEVER to be pulled on, I can not stress that enough. Another way to look at is, what would feel better to you should I try to poke in the chest with one finger or the palm/flat of my hand? Again, not meant to be pulled but you see how easy it would be hold it in their mouth.
One can tell if the horse likes the bit and accepts it readily if he will hold it in his mouth without the use of any headgear. One of our horses loves a Grijalva spade we have, you can walk out in the pasture and stick in his mouth without a headstall and he will hold it on his own accord while playing with the cricket, eyes soft and relaxed. You stick another one in him and he will spit it out on the ground. Mouth conformation, preferences and natural headset do play a role since the horse has to find the balance in the bit(like FF was describing earlier, and why there are so many variations of these bits) and be comfortable, it has nothing to do with forcing a horse into position or using pain to create a desired response. It is about preservation of the mouth, signals-not pulls and balance.
I attached a couple of pics of hubby roping a bull calf on Zorro in a spade, not the best pics, but you can see he is on a loose rein, head is level but ears showing he's paying attention and no tail swishing. He is obviously not stressed about the bit or scared he is going to get his face yanked off.
It's not for everyone and I will never try to convince everyone that this is the only
way to train horses. I just want people to understand that is not about pain and intimidation.