Originally Posted by Painted Horse
Most gaited horses move with a little higher head set than the quarter horse folks. Gaited horses don't roll peanuts with their nose.
So gaited horses bits need to get the horses to carry their head slightly higher and break at the poll. They ride with a slight amount of contact with the mouth, Not a loose rein. This creates a pivot point for the horse.
So do they do it naturally or do they need to be made to do it??? Why do they "NEED" to do it if the horse does it natrally???
The gaited breeds typically had a lot of head shake as they get into their gait. The bit stays put, but the head shakes and the pivot point of the shake is the bit.
Do you even know what is is to "pivot"? If the bit does not move but the horses head does then the bit is not a point of pivot, it is the point of leverage and the poll is the point of pivot.
Go over to Youtube and search for Foxtrotter or other gaited breds and watch a couple of the videos and see how the head rocks back and forth at that pivot point over the bit.
So most trainers and riders. Don't need a lot of leverage. But rather want something that gives them that constant soft contact with the mounth.
Traditionally shanked bits were used with gaited horses because the horses were trained to go with an inverted frame but highly tucked headset. This is difficult to accomplish with a snaffle bit, but easy to do with a curb.
The leverage is not harsh, but is a mechanical aid for the horse that helps him to shift his weight rearward, round up through the back, and collect on the bit
So which is it? Collected or inverted?
This can be done with a normal snaffle, but takes more skills on the riders part and longer for the horse to learn
Corrected to day: This can be done in a snaffle, but it is just easier to use a leverage bit to force the horses head up and the spine to invert bringing the front end up to better "enhance" the gait.
A lot of contradictions and misinformation in that post...
I am not going on a gaited witch hunt here, I just want to answer Dressagebelle in a direct and clear way without bandying words to make one thing sound like something it is not.
DressageBelle, long shanked leverage bits are preferred in the gaited horse community to more easily cause the horse to invert and hollow its back and bring its front end out and its hind end under, this would be just all too obvious with a shorter shanked bit as the rider would have to apply more pull on the bit and make the amount of leverage used more obvious to the naked eye instead of barely having to lightly pull on a longer shanked bit and look nicer while achieving said leverage, which looks prettier than a person hauling on the reins to get the effect in a shorter shanked bit. With the long shanks, it takes only light pressure on the reins to cause a strong leverage effect on the poll and chin of the horse, causing it to hold its head high and stiff to better achieve the frame desired. With a regular snaffle this would take a lot of work and training to accomplish, so a long shank is generally easier to use for the rider or trainer.
Now these horses ARE bred to have a high headset and inverted frame, BUT the reason for the shanked bits is still the same.