Hackamore Gag Git...?????????
Hackamore Sliding Gag bit????.
A friend purchased this bit and brings it to the barn. She was proud of the new found invention and said that the lady at the tack store told her that this bit would help the horse yield to pressure and bring the nose in. I asked for more information on why she purchased the bit and told her that I did not like the mechanical look of the bit becaused it looked too harsh. Even with a horse that I had worked with her on to bring the nose down and back up I felt like that the purchase was completely unessesary. My friend told me that the lady at the tack store said that they sell alot of these bits and that this one that she purchased was on sale. At this point what was going through my mind was... are you crazy, the reason that it was on sale was because they are trying to get rid of something that no one wants.
To describe the bit, I will try to be as detailed as possible. The bit has long shanks and the mouth piece can slide up and down the shanks. There is a nose band or hackamore piece that is also attached. One of the problems that I ran into when trying to help fit the bit is that we had to shorten up the head stall quite a bit. We were left with alot of bit showing up and hardly any head stall. After about 4-5 adjustments, the bit still looks odd. The bit kind come up almost to the eye on the horse. The last thing that I want to mention is that where the curb strap would go, ends up setting too high under the jaw.
I have included some pictures of what the bit kinda looks like. The first one shows what the shanks look like and the sliding gag part, except there might be slightly more on the bit that my friend has. The second picture shows that rope hackamore attachement and that it what it looks like on the bit that we have. There is no chain with this bit.
Sounds like you have it too short. The first photo shows about where I want my mouth piece to be sitting in the horse's mouth. The horse will learn to hold it. You generally will not get wrinkles in the corner of the lip with this rig. The nose piece usually lands halfway between the top of the nostils and the lower portion of the cheek bones. Chin strap is not far from the jowl with room for a finger between the chin and chain.
The gag action should put pressure on the bars and poll first and then the chin strap should engage if he doesn't yield. The nose band actually takes the brunt of the pull rather than the bars of the mouth.
If it is well made, these are really good bits. But if they are cheap made, not balanced and the sliding gag hangs-up, then it isn't worth crap.
Why does she need this bit?
I asked the same question as, "Why do you need the bit?" The the reason that I got was that she needed more control and lower the head. This 14 hand horse is a welsh pony/quarter cross is being used to run patterns at playdays, just for fun. The horse is little bit of a bully, but easy enough to handle.
I'm sorry, but if someone is using a bit to lower the head, they are missing the point of riding the whole horse.
Then again, if I had my way the world would only have mild bits. Ha.
I am in total agreement with you Allie, I can understand a slightly bigger bit than a snaffle for some of the finesse and finer movements (like a mild curb) but that^^ is just way over the top. The place that I see the majority of those is with barrel or pole horses under uneducated riders. They want the quick fix that will force the headset and cues instead of the training that will teach the headset and cues. I bet the tack store does sell a lot of those to teenage girls who run barrels and don't know any better.
I also have no idea how to adjust it, I probably would have done the same thing as you. One question, is the horse supposed to learn to "carry" the bit with their mouth as opposed to packing it like other bits that are held in place by the bridle placement?
I'm going to stick my neck out here and say that, unfortunately, 90% of the people who buy those bits haven't a clue how to use them properly. That can be pretty severe in uneducated hands especially with a twisted wire mouth.
I'm in accord with Allie and Jen in that the way to lower a horse's head is with skill not gimmicks.
Little history: My friend and my self are not teenage girls. We are between 28 - 39 years old and love to ride horses, I am the youngest. My friend has ridden them longer than me and is more likely to ride at a canter than myself. I have tried to educate myself though material, clinics and etc to try to get to the point of knowing what will cause trouble and to try to stay out of trouble.
We have gone to a couple of playdays this year for the first time for me and a long time for my friend. I feel that I may be more patient than my friend when it come to refining skill on training, which I have trained about 7 horses over the past 10 years. I have learned a lot from trial and error and from speaking with reputable trainers.
your friend needs to allow the horse more time and teach the horse to respond in the correct way. and just because you havent been riding as long as she has doesnt mean that you cant be right sometimes. i would just tell her that she needs to work with the horse with the bit it usually rides in and do exercises that will teach the horse to respond to pressure better. a different bit is just going to set the horse back because it will have to learn it and a harsh bit will only make matters worse in the long run because it will make the horses mouth hard. tell her she is wrong and i will be your witness along with others that believe the same.
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