A flash is not a gadget. It's purpose is to keep the loose ring snaffle quiet, so as not to disrupt the contact. It is used incorrectly as a gadget to shut the horse's mouth and in the case of only using it when your horse is being hot. I don't see how a flash would keep a rider safe...
Right - but how many do you see using the flash with bits that are not loose rings? Many. You see them with Mikmars and Mylers and Full Cheeks and the list goes on.
Many are taught incorrectly - so many think "I'll clamp their mouth shut so the horse will not evade the bit, therefore I have more control"
It is a fact. I see it everywhere. Even I was taught that - until Dorothy Crowell, a CCI**** and CIC**** Olympic Eventer showed me otherwise.
There are many out there who think a martingale will teach a horse a headset - because we are being taught incorrectly.
According to what you are saying MI, we should all be riding around bareback, naked, with nothing on the horse's head.
What Jim Wofford is saying - is that we should always go back to basics and the training scale so that we can remain with classical pricniples. Which means long term, systematic, prgoressive training that never disturbs the tranquility of the horse.
He stresses that a horse must be calm - which is the first factor to the training scale. If your horse is not calm, you have nothing else. The horse cannot learn anything when he is tense, and then the horse shows sings of that - so the rider turns to gadgets to hide it.
I don't know how many times I hear that "then lets ride bareback with no tack" that isn't the point - the point is, ride smart. Learn to ride with the training scale, before you cross that fine line of turning to gadgets.
Most tools can be mis-used, and this is when they become "gadgets", or just simply abusive. A gadget is something like a draw rein. It artificially takes place of something a rider would do, and attempts to "train" the horse to do something because the rider is too lazy to do it themselves.
I dispise draw reins, and all that crap. It saddens me, and I whole heartedly agree that when I see riders using them - they are too lazy to ride properly using the training scale.
Impatience, wanting it now.
I agree with your list of gadgets - they are all "vices" to hide the riders incompentance or uneducation.
It falls back to our coaches - Uneducated Coaches, turning out Uneducated Riders.
It shoud ALWAYS be about the horse - NOT the rider.
I applaud Jim Wofford - he is who he is for a reason. And I look forward to more of his articles.