Gag Bits

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Gag Bits

This is a discussion on Gag Bits within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Gag bit action
  • Photo of a gag bit for a horse

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    12-27-2009, 05:11 PM
Gag Bits

I have a gag action bit that I use occasionally and My husband has the same bit that he loves and uses all the time. It was recommended to us by some gaited horse trainer friends who do Cowboy mounted shooting. So I think that's the reason they like this type of bit. Very similar to barrel racing only with attitude
Heres the one we both have. They are Mylers. Any thoughts? Bear in mind these are finished gaited horses used on an indirect neck rein.

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    12-27-2009, 05:22 PM
Green Broke
Whaooo what does a gag bit do? Lol the name soudns intimidating :P
Im an dressage rider so I have no idea what a lot of western things are ;)
So what does a gag bit do? What makes it really different from any others?
    12-27-2009, 05:25 PM
In a western shanked bit, its the sliding action of the mouthpiece that makes it a gag bit
    12-27-2009, 05:30 PM
I can't really see properly, but it doesn't look like the mouthpiece can slide up or dwon anymore than a few millimetres. If so, I would class it more as a curb with a swivel shank as opposed to a gag.
    12-27-2009, 05:40 PM
It can slide quite a bit I'll see if I can find a photo on the Myler page

ETA- I can't find any better photos but it does move about 1" so a slight gag action is more appropriate I guess.
    12-27-2009, 07:32 PM
I personally like gag bits, you get more feel from the horse.

I ride with a million dollar bit, basically like a gag, but not as extreme. I use to ride my gelding in a full cheek snaffle, I switched to the million dollar bit....and I saw a HUGE improvement in how well he flexed, not just his head but his body as well.

How well are your horses doing with the bit your using now?
    12-28-2009, 08:49 AM
I've got a friend that won't ride in anything but a gag.. they work great for her
    12-28-2009, 08:54 AM
Green Broke
If it works well for you and your horse, use it! I have no real problem with a gag bit depending on the severity(yes, I know that it is only as severe as the hands that use it, but what I mean is that a lot of gags that I have seen are a little more "predisposed" to being used severely, if you catch my drift).
    12-28-2009, 09:03 AM
The way a gag works is that the sliding mouth piece allows a signal from the reins to affect the poll of your horse a moment or so before it affects his mouth. It can be sever if, like with any bit, you are heavy in your hands. The more slide, the more severe it can be. What will happen is that you are shoving the bit up in his mouth while putting pressure on his head. Many riders don't understand how a bit works before using it, therefore it can be misunderstood and used incorrectly.
    12-28-2009, 04:49 PM
Personally, I have never had any need for one. However, my horses, all of them, go in a snaffle for everything we do. I don't have anything against most bits - I would like to try Bundy in a curb one day - But I simply don't need anything other than a snaffle to solve any problems i've come across.

I've got a friend that won't ride in anything but a gag..
This is very close-minded. Even if a horse hates a gag and goes wonderfully in a snaffle, she will keep them in a gag?

I beleive in an open mind when it comes to bitting. Every horse is different and will like different things. I DO believe though that you should always stick to the mildest possible bit for that horses needs - And always look at training before switching to a bit with more power.

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