Tell me HOW this bit works? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tell me HOW this bit works?

So my mare Reba has been trained in a Jr. Cowhorse bit for normal/day to day riding and a Josey Mitchell shank chain bit for barrel racing. She is extremely soft in the mouth, fancy broke, moves off pressure nicely, etc etc. I have extremely soft hands and I always have, I am always worried about hurting the horse by pulling on the reins too hard. I ride with my seat and legs with very slight rein pressure with this horse and she response perfectly.

ADDED INFORMATION:
Reba does NOT run through any bit, she doesn't brace against any bit, she is NOT hot at the gate or anywhere near/inside of any arena, she turns barrels by the rider's movement (sitting back in the seat, rein drop, and feet forward) and she does NOT respond on barrels if the rider is yanking her around the barrel. Also, if this bit hurt my tank of a mare in any way, she would make me eat the dirt she stands on in .2 seconds!!

So I don't know much about bits as the gelding I've owned for 9 years has always used a hackamore. I DEFINITELY have extremely soft hands and use my seat and legs more than pulling on the reins. I've always been scared to hurt the horse's mouth by pulling too hard.

I bought Reba, my barrel mare, who is extremely soft in the face which is really good for me since I'm super light/soft handed. Can anybody tell me (with intelligence, not just "oh that's harsh, you're a bad rider" crap) how this bit works? She was trained in this bit and is really the only thing she needs. She doesn't run through bits, she doesn't show any pain, and she responds very well to it. Trust me when I say this... if this bit hurt this tank of a mare, she would make me eat dirt in .2 seconds!!

https://www.joseywesternstore.com/Jo...-p/b-jm101.htm
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post #2 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 09:50 PM
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Well. It's a gag bit with a chain for a mouth piece. That's how it works, like a gag bit, but with a chain that bites when engaged. Engage it hard enough, you'll chew her tongue up with that.

More importantly, if you're confident it's fine for her and you both, why pose the question here? Am I missing something? Just want to make sure I'm responding to what you need to know.
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post #3 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 09:59 PM
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People have told me that chain mouthpieces are well-liked by horses because it forms to fit their mouth. But I have never tried one myself. I only mention it because people tell me it's not as harsh as you would think by looking at it.
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post #4 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 10:18 PM
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Some horses seem to like them because they form to the tongue-- so a horse with a fat tongue and low palate will prefer something like this over a port or single-joint bit. A lot of rope horses have a chain bit because it gives them something to run against and move around in their mouths. If your mare goes well in it, use it, but experiment with some other options if she doesn't need it. FWIW, a chain bit is a lot milder than the twisted wire bits out there. One of those types of bits that look awful but horses seem to find comfortable. Bear in mind that a chain bit is a performance bit. For training or longer rides, use something milder or you risk storing her mouth from friction.
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post #5 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 10:23 PM
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I think a gag bit works such that when pressure is applied to the reins, the mouthpiece is 'raised' in the mouth. It actually moves upward in the mouth, thus the 'gag' word.

I am saying this only from what I've read. I've never used one, so a more knowledgeable person may have better info.
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post #6 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I think a gag bit works such that when pressure is applied to the reins, the mouthpiece is 'raised' in the mouth. It actually moves upward in the mouth, thus the 'gag' word.

I am saying this only from what I've read. I've never used one, so a more knowledgeable person may have better info.
Ohhhh... you may be right. Imma have to experiment on one I have out in the trailer in my pile o'crap I don't use... I'll stick my son's arm in it and engage it. See what happens.
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post #7 of 52 Old 04-09-2019, 11:42 PM
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What happens if the horse trips and you happen to catch her in the mouth? What happens if you fall off unexpectedly and get her in the mouth?

If she is so soft, well trained, and easy to control, why would you use a bit like that?

I always try to go with the most comfortable bit possible. A simple snaffle, french link snaffle, or a mullen mouth. I never saw the necessity of a harsh bit. To me, a harsh bit means you are missing something in training.

Accidents happen even with the best trained horse. Yes she may ride well in that bit, but that doesn't mean she won't ride just as well in a different bit.

It could be the reason she is so soft in the face is because someone has abused her mouth with that bit. She could have learned to stay soft to avoid painful contact with the bit.

I do not know you, how you ride, or the history on your horse. I personally would not use a bit like that.

As to how it works:
A Bit of Advice: Leverage or curb bits | HORSE NATION

That bit looks more like a curb bit with a chain mouthpiece - it doesn't look like a gag bit as i happen to think of them. This is what i think of as a gag bit.
A Bit of Advice: Gag bits | HORSE NATION

I used to ride a thoroughbred in something like a waterford snaffle except the links were smooth round, circular pieces.That was many years ago - i can't recall the name of the bit. The bit will conform to the shape of the mouth- but because the links were round, it avoids digging into the tongue when contact is applied. No leverage or curb action.
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post #8 of 52 Old 04-10-2019, 12:36 AM
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The chain that goes in the mouth draped over and conforms to the shape of the tongue more or less.
The bit doughnuts are keeping the cheeks of the horse from being pinched on the sides of the bit.
The way the chain is attached allows it to move up and down in the horses mouth.
The way the reins attach to the shank cause the bit to rotate.
When you pull, it rotates, and the chain slides up in the mouth.
Pressure is also put on the poll via the cheek piece and crown piece leather.
Once the chain is at the top and can't slide up anymore additional pressure is sent to the cheek piece/crown piece of the bridle putting increased pressure on the poll.
The chain that goes under the chin stabilizes bits in the mouth and is also used to go slower, it puts pressure on the underside of the horses jaw.

I would call it a gag bit, or elevator bit. There's tons of styles like that one out there depending on your discipline. I think they are some of the softest bits if you have very soft hands, in part because some of the pressure is taken away from the mouth and applied to the poll when the bit rotates. The horse gets lots of cues before you are pulling too hard to make it hurt at all. I think the chain is ok but would be worried it might pinch the tongue so I might look for something that conforms similarly but that is a little more pinch proof.
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post #9 of 52 Old 04-10-2019, 06:14 AM
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Comment was made of "what if you fall, what if you put pressure...."
Their is no difference in a reaction of getting in the horses face with this or any bit if you should suddenly snap and lunge force on the bit regardless of the horse, regardless of the bit construction...
You just snapped the mouth with a unjust hand response...

I've seen a lot worse bits than this....
It is soft rounded links, large in size that can conform and fit the oral cavity of the horse.
A horse who is ridden by majority of leg and seat pressure is not face hauled anyway.
A barrel horse who is trained and ridden correctly needs minimal hands and majority of seat for the cues on body control needed to run a pattern correctly.
I actually find this bit a lot more friendly than some of the horrors used by racers who use the face, head and neck for balance of their human body doing a pattern.
Body control on the horse is also body control on the human...together they work in harmony in peacefulness and subtle cues.
I would rather see a horse ride quiet in this doing a actual run {not schooling} than see it being hauled on because if not have the respect, lightness achieved and indeed mouth comfort from a shape conforming bit running in something "soft & kind".
Used correctly, most "horrors" truly are not.
Used incorrectly, most soft & kind become horrors in no time.
I think the most important part of the explanation is, "the horse likes it, respects it and performs well in it with no adverse displays of discomfort, pain or whatever."
...
jmo...
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post #10 of 52 Old 04-10-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtokaGhosthorse View Post
Well. It's a gag bit with a chain for a mouth piece. That's how it works, like a gag bit, but with a chain that bites when engaged. Engage it hard enough, you'll chew her tongue up with that.

More importantly, if you're confident it's fine for her and you both, why pose the question here? Am I missing something? Just want to make sure I'm responding to what you need to know.
I don't know how any of the gag bits work mechanically... Does it put pressure on her poll and make her stop? Does it put pressure on her bars? I'm just confused!
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