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bit keepers and the Olympics
I've been watching the TV coverage of the equestrian events in the Olympics. (Like who hasn't if you get the stations?) Maybe I'm mistaking full cheek bits for some other kind of bit, but if I'm not, I don't notice anyone using bit keepers. If that's really the best thing to do when using a full cheek bit, why are the best amateur riders in the world not using them?
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Just my view, but while keepers are strictly correct they tend to fix the mouthpiece position across the horse's tongue. And because the cheeks run inline with the mouth, part of the 'steering' action you get with this type of bit is lost.
We have a horse ridden in a long-cheek snaffle without keepers. At some point we believe he's had an accident - two lower incisors are missing and the vet thinks he has a patch with no feeling on his lower lip. As a consequence he sometimes needs quite a strong rein aid for turns and the bit cheeks being at right-angles to his mouth are a real help :)
I hadn't noticed this. Can you mention any horse/rider pairs in particular?
Show Jumping day 1:
Individual, Team Jumping Day 1 - Equestrian Video | NBC Olympics
Show Jumping day 2:
Show Jumping Day 2 - Equestrian Video | NBC Olympics
Individual Eventing Jumping Final:
Individual Eventing: Jumping Final - Equestrian Video | NBC Olympics
Pretty sure Beezie Madden was using a full cheek bit without bit keepers, you can see that in this video. I don't have time right now to re-watch the other rides.
I can pretty clearly see keepers on Beezie's horse, Via Volo.
Don't have time to rewatch the other rides, either.
Without a keeper, the upper shank of a full cheek points forward about 15 degrees from the cheekpiece of the bridle.
I looked at the angle of the bit first, for the little leather loops second.
What about Eric Lamaze on Derly Chin De Muze? I paused it at 1:49:52 in this video and took a look at full screen. Is it possible to use bit keepers with a figure eight, or not?
Britain Wins Gold In Jumpoff With Netherlands - Equestrian Video | NBC Olympics
The announcer mentioned that the mare is relatively inexperienced, so perhaps Eric wanted the extra "steering" ability?
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