My question today is about gag bits and whether or not you'd deem them harsh. Yes we know the "any bit is harsh in the wrong hands" way of thinking, which of course is true, but people have differing opinions on different bits so let's hear it.
My gelding was being ridden in a single jointed eggbutt snaffle, which he completely ignored. I took it back to ground work, worked flexing and stopping, directing reining from the ground. He improved for direct reining but never got good brakes, he would just plunge his chin to his chest and keep and walking. Two trainers I asked both told me to really snap back hard on the reins when he ignores, but this was brutal, and I'm not in it to hurt the horse.
SO I looked at different bits at my local tack shop and brought this one home, it is a 4 ring french link gag: http://www.onlineforequine.co.uk/519...4-ring-gag.jpg
My way of thinking was, this is a 'watered down curb' in that it applies poll pressure with leverage, and pulls back on the lips but is very easy on the bars of his mouth. In fact the mouthpiece stays in almost the same spot when you pull back. I liked the french link since there wouldn't be any of that nut-cracker action as they call it, and because it's not a solid mouthpiece like a curb I get great lateral flexion. Anywho, he stops great in this, no pulling contest, he no longer does his impression of rollkur, nothing. He stops, and backs - it's awesome!
So the question is, does my argument for this bit hold true, is it a gentle bit like I believe it is, or do you guys agree with the online community in general, saying this gag is harsh and unnecessary? Am I being cruel without knowing?