Is a roller mouth gag a severe bit
and what is it used for?
Not sure what a roller mouth gag is but maybe this will help? I have added pics of the two types that I have mentioned.
True gag bits offer a "head raising" effect by working on the corners of the lips, accentuating the action of a normal snaffle. They can assist the rider with a horse that tends to travel with his nose to ground, but should only be used by a competent rider with independent seat and hands.
The Dutch Gag is a leverage bit, it's strength depending on the number of rings. Contrary to belief it's main effectiveness comes from pressure across the jaw rather than the poll.
Can you post a picture of the bit that you're talking about? There are several completely different bits that can be described as a "roller mouth gag".
A Dutch gag is NOT a leverage bit. It could only apply leverage if you used a curb chain/strap on it, which it is not designed to be used with. It adds poll pressure, not leverage.
I copied and pasted the information from bit bank btw (you would hope they know what they are taking about) http://bitbankaustralia.wordpress.co...-a-gag-at-all/
Here is some info on Dutch gags from horse nation http://www.horsenation.com/2012/06/0...vice-gag-bits/
Even Wikipedia says it is a leverage bit. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gag_bit
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