Zaney, no, that bit isn't appropriate for training, especially in the hands of the man you described, but they do have their place. Many horses are ridden in those bits, usually for disciplines like WP where invisible rein cues are desired and the horses are ridden on a lot of drape. Because of the "power" of the bit, the horse is able to feel the very slight cues that would go unnoticed in a milder bit.
Most bits, barring a few extreme examples like the screw bit
Or exceptionally small diameter twisted bits, especially when combined with weighted rings or any sort of shanks.
Most other bits do have their place either in training or on finished horses and are only as harsh as the hands on the reins
The problem isn't the design of the bits, most of the time. The problem is the lack of knowledge/ability of the person using them
I understand how the bit works and its mechanics and etc. (showed and trained WP for a few years) However: I still don't see the need for it if a horse is going so well and light in something less invasive (I mean the horse is an extremely sensitive animal and can feel the slightest of touch esp in his mouth.) He had to have been trained to go so well and light before hand, why put in something like that stated above.? If the horse needs to be light in such a bit then why can't the horse be taught to be that light in something less invasive??
I feel the same way about spades, cork screw bits, prick bits, chain saw bits, bicycle chain bits, wire wrapped bits and high leverage shanked bits (shanks longer than 8 inches). I personaly don't use and never had to use anything longer than 8 inches worth of shank. I had an older (late 20s early 30s) mare who was retrained in a snaffle by using the reverse method of dropping back the severity of the bits used. BUT she performed (in a show setting) well/better in a long shanked bit (8 inches), probably due to past usage of such and being comfortable in it (it was a snaffle mouth). I don't uderstand why she liked it (didnt like the TT: very few actualy do and its not a bit I choose lightly, and she didnt like a solid mouth, didnt like a double broken mouth, didnt need rollers, and didnt like the shorter shanked ones as well either, she tollerated them but would often shake her head. She didnt shake her head with the full cheek snaffle and did pretty well in it. With the longer shanked bit she didnt fuss at all and worked well in it also....go figure. I think it had more to do with the weight of the bit than the shank length.) She was old so I thought....why fuss with her and used the longer shanked bit..
Just like when I am told by the rule makers in the TWH world and shows that I have to show in a curb type bit when my horse may go and gait just well in a regular snaffle. Why to I have to put in a curb to get the same response I already get from a less invasive bit like a snaffle type.?? (thats when I pull out the 2 inch shank bit and go from there.) I don't like Aluminum shanked bits either, simply because of the excessive rocking factor of the reins (drooping reins) esp when one uses heavy type reins.
I don't like twisted wire anything bits (now I will say this.....I have time to time used a slow twisted snaffle in a horse with a very hard mouth that needed to be awakened a little but then reversed back to something less invasive.) They can be useful in trouble shooting and in retraining a harden horse but then I always return to the non twisted variety. Experienced ppl should only be the ones to use them. I feel that Clinton Anderson uses the twisted wire snaffles to excessivly when one can do the same thing and get the same responses with a non twisted variety. John Lyons does.
But your right on one hand though........Idiots with power tools (or any tool for that matter) = disaster.
I collect old bits and have some of the above metion bits (the rough ones I don't like) but for display only. Some make me cringe just looking at them (esp the ones that are hand made.)