Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj View Post
I find it hilarious that harsh bits are associated with gaming - I am as game to graduate to curb as the next person, but I firmly believe you SHOULD game in a snaffle. I don't care how well trained your barrel racer is, I see SO few pics of them actually NECK reining these horses as opposed to cranking the shank sideways in some mutated yank. For high speed precision like that, I want to be able to haul up my reins and give that fine tuned nose tip where it needs to be. I don't think there's any other explanation for me and Shay-la waltzing into the ring and robbing so many ribbons on completely untrained horses in matching french link snaffles! And in youth, the young lady riding her Arab English swept away most of the competition - his cues were so refined from being an English pony, she didn't waste any time with runaways or not being able to stop him! It's VERY rare I EVER see a horse being ridden correctly in a curb, especially in a gaming ring.
I see the exact same thing, MM. One gal, also in 4-H, very consistently places first or second in every speed event that a given show offers. Her horse is lightning fast, loves to run, and knows the patterns. She doesn't use a whip, quirt, or over/under. Almost every year she buys a bigger bit, and her dad must stand at the in-gate and yell at the horse to stop as he runs home to keep him from crashing it. He's dented several gates in local show rings, and they've received warnings from rodeos to deal with the problem or not come back next year.
Once the horse is moving, his brakes are gone. I do believe that her current bit is like a cross between a wonder bit and a mechanical hack with a twisted mouth, ridden two handed. Not sure where you go up to from there... Horse's mouth is perpetually wide open, and would be sky high if not for the tie-down.
I don't game much, at least not competitively. I'm no daredevil and have no desire to become one. My sister does about every discipline out there except for "D" Dressage and saddle seat, and generally places well when she does run poles or barrels purely because of the pleasure miles that her horse has under him. Even though his actual times are a bit slower, they ribbon because they left the course intact.
So many people think gaming is all about speed; true, trained brakes and steering take a surprisingly distant backburner for a sport that is all about precision and control.