The snaffle bit is by far one of the finest pieces of training equipment that has ever been invented.
It comes in a variety of sizes and styles to meet MANY training needs.
The snaffle bit is a TWO handed bit and there may come a time when a person would like to go beyond this level for several reasons.
One is that a person may want to show in certain classes that REQUIRE different equipment or a person may want to ride one handed for such events as roping or they may just want to ride a horse that neck reins for most maneuvers.
This is not to say that a horse can not be neck reined in a snaffle as the initial training can be started with this bit.
Some of the idea of bit progression is rooted in tradition and some is out of need.
The Western tradition and particularly the tradition of the Spanish Vaquero traces it's heritage back to the Spanish riding schools that taught the young cavalry officers the the art of riding one handed with their war horses.
So the idea is very old and as the new world was settled the need changed as the Vaquero threw his la riata to control the wild steer that had escaped from the herd.
Some of the idea is also the total comfort of the horse and this is hard to believe as we all go the shows and see people pull,yank,jerk,and pop horses with the evil device called the "Leverage bit".
The Spanish set the goal of the "Finished " bridle horse at 8 years and the test was to run the horse through a complex pattern (Dressage) with small threads connected between the reins and the bit and if the thread broke,then the horse was not ready and fail the test and it reflected badly on the trainer/rider also.
The finished bit hung on the mouth of the horse so as not to interfere with the horse and to provide comfort.
The balance of the bit was so that when the horses head was vertical that the bit would just float on their mouth as they waited for the slightest signal from the rider.
The reins that went with this bit were also balanced and connected with short chains so that the very valuable braided "Romel" was not damaged as the horse drank water.
The chains also were part of the signal that the horse received and it was an early warning device that the reins were being shortened.
MUCH of this process is not followed today as people are in a rush to get to where they are going with their horse and the horse suffers the consequences.
Please give your reasons why YOU do or do not want to progress past the snaffle bit and let the discussion begin.