I know its often talked about, the bit being only as harsh as the person holding the reins. I have been in a shopping mood since I read the post about split v. One piece reins. I was looking for some rawhide button and loop clips for attaching the reins to the bit. Since those are a gaucho item I came across an article on old vaquero competitions I thought I would share.
There used to be competitions where the cowboys were challenged to do a series of turns and spins with only a few strands of horse hair attaching the bit to the reins. The one who could go the longest without breaking the hair won.
I think I'll try this, how about you?