Difference between tender touch and jr cowhorse
I have seen these two bits mentioned a lot in this forum, but I don't have a very clear understanding as to the difference between them. I get the structural differences, but what do they do for the horse differently? What kinds of horses are they better for? Or are they interchangeable?
For reference, these are the two bits I am talking about:
Jr. Cowhorse: Metalab Stainless Steel Junior Cow Horse Roller Dog Bone Gag Bit 5 3/8'' Stainless Steel - Rakuten.com Shopping
Tender Touch: http://www.smithbrothers.com/reinsma...t/p/X3-013163/
I am not new to barrel racing, but most barrel racers in my area are fad chacers and just go with the newest, biggest, fanciest bit that has been endorsed by someone famous. :evil: I am finding it rather difficult to learn some of these things from any of the "trainers" in my area. I actually own the tender touch and it worked wonderfully on my old horse, however I am starting over with my new mare (who is currently in a d-ring snaffle with a roller) and I want to educate myself as much as possible before moving her up into anything else. Any help in this area is greatly appreciated.
Sorry for the long post and all the questions. :oops:
Now I am not a bit guru, but in my opinion, those two bits are very similar. I have a jr Cowhorse like you posted so I have never had the need to get a tender touch, because I feel like they are very similar.
I like the jr Cowhorse because it is a relatively mild bit (short shank) with a decent balanced purchase to give you lift of the shoulders.
In general, I am a big fan of dogbone bits because I feel it helps a horse be softer in the bit. And it allow you enter direct rein control, with the least amount of effect on the opposite side.
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I believe Abetta has a bit that looks just like the tender touch for half the price. I use one for my mare because after looking at the price of Tender Touches, I decided that wasn't the best deal lol! The problem with the Abetta one is that it can leave sores on the horse's mouth, so I use bit guards on mine. After seeing the jr. cowhorse i think I might look into those too, they're about the same price and they look like they might work better :)
Bit guards are a cheap way to ensure your horse's comfort.
(And yes, even this bit below is a gag.)
I have both the Jr. Cowhorse and the tender touch. My gelding much prefers the tender touch compared to the cowhorse. It has a straighter shank and a quicker gag action, I find (I'm no bit expert). Trooper seems to enjoy it and works wonderful in it :) But they are very similar
Beau--Slightly OT... But do you recommend this for English bit/bridle gag combinations as well?
Sorry for the hijack! xD
Ahaha, I've just been stalking this topic, getting what info I can from it about the difference lol :3 my sister used to use a jr. Cowhorse. on a mare we had, it worked fairly good.
If so, YES.
A gag bit is a gag bit, no matter what discipline you ride. That mouthpiece can slide, and has the potential to pinch skin.
Even my colt that I ride in an O-ring snaffle bit has bit guards. It's not a gag bit, but that ring can still slide around on the mouthpiece, again, giving the potential to pinch.
At least that's my opinion, anyway.
For example, this bit could be considered "harsher" because the shanks are straighter. The very instant you pick up on the reins, the horse is going to get a signal because the bit will engage.
Versus a bit like this, where the shanks are "swept back". This bit could be considered a little more "mild" because the horse is going to feel you pick up on the reins BEFORE the bit itself is engaged. It gives the horse more of a warning.
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