Tell me HOW this bit works? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 52 Old 04-11-2019, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Fads can infect all styles of riding. I've seen western 'trainers' in videos use brute force and intimidation to make a horse look "soft" or to achieve a "frame" with slack reins. I wish we could focus on backs and talk about supple backs instead of frames. Particularly for beginning riders, or very part-time recreational riders like myself. How the horse's back feels is so much more important than where his head is. If only we could focus on getting the horse "eager" instead of obedient!

I admit, though, to tensing up when someone tells me THEY would never touch a harsh "leverage" bit. I sometimes wish I could change the terminology so that they would be called "signal" bits instead of curb bits. Then we could talk about a horse being "on the signal" for a horse who, on slack reins, is trained to listen to tiny movements of the bit, movements that take place before pressure hits the mouth. I view a well used curb as a pressure-less bit, not a leverage bit. If leverage kicks in, my horse and I have more work to do. And in honestly, Bandit and I do! But there are times when we both are looking ahead, and I can feel him considering options, and I think about them and suggest one with a small movement of my wrist or balance, and he takes it. Those are the moments that satisfy! That is what motivates me to mount up again! For a brief moment, we are one.
One of my best 'horse friends' is a gal who grew up in Pony Club and riding eventers and jumpers on the East Coast. When she moved here, she was in for a whole rude awakening on the lack of anything 'horsie'-- especially the lack of anything English-style riding other than Saddleseat or stock horse Hunters, which bear zero resemblance to A-show Hunters (which bear zero resemblance to a horse one actually would take hunting, but I digress...) She was aghast at the curb bits western horses here wear. Then her daughter decided she wanted to do 4H, and they bought her a Quarter Horse and started going to local shows and whatnot. I go over once every week or two in the summer and we work on tuning her lazy mare to respond with minimal cues. It took several months of struggle before my friend gave in and let me ride the mare in a curb to see what she knew, and the difference was amazing. The mare went from stiff-jawed and rooting her head and heavy on the forehand to lovely self-carriage, even with her young rider. She relaxed, dropped her head, pulled her nose back in, and went nice and soft and pretty. No resistance, no tenseness, and no anxiousness. She was back in a bit she understood better with a signal so she didn't feel she had to protect herself from a young rider who, while riding beautifully with generally soft hands, can sometimes make a mistake and ask for something harder than she should-- and the snaffle gave her no warning for that.

There was a hullaballoo a few months back for an event rider who does very well, but whose mare comes in from the cross-country regularly with a bloody mouth, and when you see the chain nosebands and drawreins and martingales and harsh mouthpiece bits she rides that mare in, on heavy contact, it makes one cringe. On dressage day, the noseband is so tight it's a wonder the mare can breathe. Ugh.

There are bad riders and riders who rely on overbitting rather than actual training in every discipline, but just because someone uses a leverage bit does not mean the horse is being overbitted, and not all snaffles are 'more comfortable' for the horse-- some of those mouthpieces are downright frightening. I think a lot of the abuses are due to lack of skill or patience in bringing a young, talented horse along-- especially if you don't own the horse and the owners expect results. Even moreso are the futurities and derbies. It's the very rare horseman who can get a finished-horse performance out of a 2 y.o. without resorting to some heavy-handed riding at some point.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 04-11-2019 at 02:16 PM.
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post #22 of 52 Old 04-11-2019, 02:19 PM
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This has been an educational thread. Glad you made it, Dez. I discovered I do actually have a headstall and bit like this in my pile o' stuff to resell, along with several other gag bits with broken mouthpieces (Think they all came in the same buyout, tbh).


I've been told this entire time a chain bit is horror of horrors, only certain horses can tolerate, they never give any relief on pressure, blahblahblah, even by salty old cowboys.


In this case... Seems like everything else 'horse'... it all just depends.


Carry on folks, I will continue educating myself.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #23 of 52 Old 04-12-2019, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Remember this from the old-fashioned English rider....
I ride with a caveson, plain caveson...no different than a halter noseband.
And you can insert fingers easily between jawbone and strap...they can breathe, easily!
...

I like a good, old fashioned caveson. They look nice!

This, to me, is a nicely fitting, nice looking english bridle that doesn't overwhelm the horse's head:

https://ii.bigdweb.com/fcgi-bin/iips...1000=&cvt=jpeg


After a quick Google search, I think it's the dressage nosebands I find ugly. Take a look at the 3rd photo on this one, there is just so much going on there, and it appears quite tight as well:

Difference dressage noseband bridle - Dy'on

Here are some more:

dressage noseband

https://theatlar.com/collections/bri...-black-padding

I don't understand why they are so big and overwhelm the horse's face. I really dislike the look of the giant, wide noseband. Even the anatomical ones are just so "much."

There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #24 of 52 Old 04-12-2019, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
I like a good, old fashioned caveson. They look nice!

I don't understand why they are so big and overwhelm the horse's face. I really dislike the look of the giant, wide noseband. Even the anatomical ones are just so "much."
Me too....from a plain, flat leather strap that is the true hunting appointment with sewn in bit and reins, to a fancy stitched nose and brow, to a square-raised, to half-round, braided...but they all had a common part...conventional noseband that was correctly adjusted, enhanced the face and facial bones of the horse.

If you ever truly look at the heads of many of the warmbloods, that is where you find your "dressage" horses that have a ugly head, ugly facial bone structure...they inherited the draft heavy and pronounced roman nose of a draft...not the refined of the cross...
So they made a noseband that hides as much ugly as it can...
I to be fair and honest have also seen a wide noseband with piping/edging that now makes it appear thick and unattractive.
Then add the flash attachment or some other something..

To me, why so thick is cause they try to hide a ugly head and profile.
I was brought up and trained that less is more and you use tack to define, to present and enhance a appearance...
....
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #25 of 52 Old 04-12-2019, 08:55 AM
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A thick, padded dressage noseband is also stronger and wider, so can be cranked tighter... not all of the riders use a crank, but a lot of them do. it's a leverage noseband so it can be pulled tighter than one could get it by hand.

It started out as a fad, but now it's 'useful' too. I cannot stand the drooping, floppy browbands one now sees in dressage, either. Big, wide noseband and a jeweled browband that hangs down between the eyes? No thanks.

I liked the wider, flat cavessons on the English bridles of the 50' and 60's. Even a plain-headed horse looked nice with those. They're hard to find now.
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post #26 of 52 Old 04-12-2019, 10:16 PM
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Oh the gag chain bit has raised its head here, and when I see a combination chain (not always bad by itself) combined with a gag, my first question is this:

What war are you fighting with your horse, and who will win?

The chain mouthpiece is not by itself a bad bit, some horses like the feel of it, and it is one of those "in the right hands vs wrong hands" debate.

The gag, what more can be said about the gag other than it gives conflicting signals which some horses can deal with and others cannot.

The gag does two things, gives the horse a cue to raise its head then another cue via the poll to lower the head. Leverage by itself is not bad, I use a low port kimberwick for trails or when his adrenaline gets higher than his attention span. My problem comes from the design of some gags that have no stop until you run out of bit.

This bit has a short enough purchase with the sweep back shanks to make it a gag on the mild end. Josey has some real garbage bits where there is no stop on the gag and is just nothing but pain on the lips, bars, tongue, jaw, and poll which that takes some serious effort to do that. Not to pick on Josey, all manufacturers have problematic bits, Myler has a few bits that make us facepalm. I belong to a group that uses science and physics to see how the bits work in reality vs advertising, science and physics really can prove problem bits vs non-problem bits. While the gag is almost universally hated in the group, the reality is, sometimes a slight bit of poll pressure can get through some adrenaline moments but should not be considered an everyday training bit.
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post #27 of 52 Old 04-12-2019, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMaple View Post
It started out as a fad, but now it's 'useful' too. I cannot stand the drooping, floppy browbands one now sees in dressage, either. Big, wide noseband and a jeweled browband that hangs down between the eyes? No thanks.

I've noticed the droopy browbands too. It looks like the bridle doesn't fit the horse. Like this:


https://theatlar.com/collections/bri...-black-padding
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post #28 of 52 Old 04-13-2019, 06:59 PM
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Yes, I can't stand those floppy bejeweled browbands on dressage horses. Must we bedazzle everything?! I thought dressage was conservative?

As promised earlier, this is the photo of my old horse in his half-breed bit that freaked out the 'only snaffles/all bits are bad go bitless' folks. *sigh*
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post #29 of 52 Old 04-13-2019, 07:25 PM
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That is a beautiful picture of a beautiful horse. I have to say, though, I do see a wee bit of western bling...

I used to be such a "plain but quality" leather purist and really hated bling of any kind, but when I got a black horse... well, it's like a blank canvas, isn't it?

I bought my first tiger eye and silver bead browband...

...and now I'm hooked!
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post #30 of 52 Old 04-13-2019, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMaple View Post
Yes, I can't stand those floppy bejeweled browbands on dressage horses. Must we bedazzle everything?! I thought dressage was conservative?

As promised earlier, this is the photo of my old horse in his half-breed bit that freaked out the 'only snaffles/all bits are bad go bitless' folks. *sigh*

That looks beautiful on him!

I do like bling. But I like bling that compliments the horse. The bling on your headstall (and of course the bit itself) is lovely. I love some types of western bling and have some rhinestone and studded headstalls myself. I guess what I dislike about some of the dressage bridles is 1. they look like a contraption to physically keep the mouth shut and 2. They don't compliment the horse's head.


This is one of my favorite tack sets (a photo from Weaver Leather who sells it):



I have a black horse and it looks so pretty on her! I really should get a photo. I don't have the noseband because I don't use a tie-down. But even the noseband looks nice on the palomino. It doesn't overwhelm the head. I admit I really don't like tie-downs, but as a trail rider I don't need one. Maybe if I was doing something different I would feel differently.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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