[QUOTE=wild_spot;720988]^ a snaffle is ANY bit without any leverage,
That is Not 100% true, there are snaffle bits (like the Baucher or "B" Ring Bit) that works on leverage and the polls, but stills has the softness and suppleness of an normal snaffle. You can also get the mouth pieces in in different styles as well...
And than you can also get "D" rings with hooks inside the rings pices for the check and riens (Kinda like a Uxeter Kimberwick) to have yet again slight poll and leverage action...
'D' Ring With Hooks
Out of these two bits the Baucher is classified as a TRUE Snaffle bit according to Dressage Canada Rules and Regulations and the "D" ring - showen above is not classified as a true snaffle - according yet agian to Dressage Canada - because this bit tends to have more of a "Softer and not as harsh action" than a Uxeter Kimberwick (if there is suck as thing)...
I would Like to note that these two bits are not your starting or average bits for training or starting a young horse, because of the level of leverage they can produce. But if used right in the properly trained hands and rider can be an excellent transitional tool/bit to used when introducing poll action or slight curb action to your horse.
Now a True Snaffle, is based on the check piece styles:
- Loose Ring
- 'D' Ring
- Full Check
- Baucher Bit
- Half Check
- Offset 'D' - Traditionally more of a western snaffle, but is also used in English
Than Based on the Style of the Mouth Piece:
- Straight Bar Mouth Piece
- Single Jointed
- One of the more common mouth piece - depeneding on your deiscilpine of choice - has a nut cracker affect in the wrong hands
- Double Jointed or three piece mouth piece
- French Link
- Dr. Bristol
- Half Moon
I dont know if a life saver piece would be classified in this area of the snaffle. It is more of a western mouth piece and I have never seen in used in the english world... :S... please correct me if Im wrong, but thisw is what I have been taught and told all through my riding career, and is also the rules and regulations from Dressage Canada.
Smrobs... I totally agree with you on this!!! Its kinda scary how many trianers, riders, coachs, etc. would rather bit than ride and wonder why the horse is all over the place on the flat and (even more scary) over fences!!! I knew of one coach in the circuit that put a double twisted full check in a short stirrups pony because the child could not control it! Instead of training the young rider properly they "bitted", SCARY!!!
I have another firend who moved up to the 1.20m class last summer. She was riding her mare in a Happy mouth Jointed 'D' ring, the mare went well in it and the rider always was in control... but at one show we went to, she had an coach come up to her and handed her a pelham, and told her "At this level of riding we dont used baby bits, we use real bits..." I than was quick to say... "Than what does that make Ian Miller who rode Big Ben in a Loose ring snaffle during his carrer with him?" She did not repsonsed at all to me, she just walked away with the bit... I should also mention that this coach walked out with her students still riding in a Jill Henselwood Clinic last year. Because Jill told her "Top Student" to ride her horse in a plain snaffle at home for training, not in a crub...
Its almost like when you get to a certain point in your riding and show career, snaffle bits are baby bits and should not be used. Which in turn results in too many ill trained riders/coaches/trainers using the bit in the wrong way in the wrong hands... Thats my opinion and I have seen it so much in the Hunter/Jumper - because that what I started my riding career in, now Im doing classical dressage - pro snaffle :) - world here in Canada... its scary adn dangerous how many riders/trainer/coaches cant use a bit in the proper way... its just wrong, dangerous and scary to see what they are doing to the horses!!! LEARN TO RIDE PROPERLY AND WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG GO BACK TO BASICS BY TAKING AWAY ALLL ARTIFICAL AIDS AND GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE!!!