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Thursday, July 15, 2010

No substitute.

I know this is an old topic, but some readers sent me some pics that have me riled up again.

I am so sick of seeing crap like this for sale. There is absolutely NO NEED for this. None. For crying out loud, just TRAIN YOUR DAMN HORSE! Stop shoving these beartraps on their faces and using them in a futile effort to "fix" your horse's issues. Sure, it will stop him, for a little while. Then what? Move on to a bigger bit? What happens when you run out of bigger bits? You going to throw him away and get another horse to screw up? You should need a license to purchase shit like this, or preferably, it shouldn't even be sold.


This next one is a gag bit, on top of the long shanks and twisted wire mouthpiece, it can use a gag action as well as the massive leverage the shanks can already exert.

I am not anti-bit, I am anti-cruelty and anti-stupid. I know bits are tools for training, and aids in communication. Different horses need different bits, some don't need any at all. It just depends. But no horse really needs to have it's face ripped up by some ignorant dolt with some contraption that someone at the feed store told them would "sure stop that horse, yes sir". I just wish that more people could be educated on this topic, and that more people could understand the need for proper training and patience with their horses.

19 comments:

  1. First bit is a combination gag bit
    second bit is a draw bit,and gag.
    just wanted to correct you, and actually if you've ever tested out one of the first bits, its really not that harsh at all. Considering most western horses are completly trained to ride neck reining, so theres never any pressure in their mouth, plus with the gag action it doesn't make the leverage "engage" so the horse has time to respond before full pressure is applied. unlike a tom thumb or simple curb bit. you should look up articles on tom thumb bits, they've been proven to be the harshest bit there is because it aplies so much leverage to a horses jaw

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    1. Agree. The Lynn McKenzie is a good, well thought out bit. It looks like a lot of hardware, but is really designed NOT to get in your horses's mouth, unnecessarily. It's used as a barrel bit - so, a barrel racer wants a bit that steers quietly and effectively at high speeds - NOT a bit that causes a horse to fear moving forward. That would rather defeat the purpose. :P

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  2. I have to agree with the above post. Both bits are designed for horses who ARE well trained. The horse gets the chance to respond before any mechanisms engage. I love to see nosebands on ANY bridle, and just because it's part of the "bit" doesn't make it harsh. It helps distribute some of the pressure to the nose, pressure that would normally be exerted only on the bars of the mouth or on the jaw. I think my horse would like that top bit very much, to be honest! The more I stay out of his face, the happier he is!

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  3. Yeah, but the problem is, the people using these things AREN'T light handed, or thoughtful. They see them as a way to stop a horse, an emergency brake.

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    1. I don't think it would occur to a beginner to consider a McKenzie bit - it looks too complicated for an uneducated rider to choose, and it's not that popular. Novices tend to follow the crowd. This is a specialist bit.

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  4. You're right... most of the horses ridden by yahoos who use these things throw their heads in the air, mouths gaping, eyes rolling, when ordered to STOP!!!!!!!!!!!

    At the low and middle level of contesting, you see this junk.

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  5. I would say I hate to piss on the party, but that would be a lie.


    SCAE, you almost sounded like Trojan Mouse there for a minute. She has been known to let her temper flare over training gadgets and total ignorance. At times it has gotten the best of her and the colorful verbiage flies... Nice to see you haven't let that happen to you. Good for you on that, because I know I have done it from time to time.
    _____

    People at the upper levels do not see these as a training tool. By the time you get to the 'upper levels', your horse should know how to rate off of the rider. They should be finely tuned to your movement and how it affects their balance and performance.

    If you are staying out of your horses face- no matter the bit or lack of- the horse can and will respond to leg pressure, stiffening your back, spreading your toes, relaxing a leg, dropping your shoulder or hip and above all else how about voice commands, clucks, and kisses.

    While the first bit may divert the pressure to the nose until the bit engages, some horses don't so much care for that either. Personally I can't stand the flash, drop or figure 8 nosebands, let alone the cranks. But then if you are using your hands in a soft and following manner, the horses mouth isn't gaping and they aren't trying to evade, even when you hold and ask for collection or elevation.

    If you are 'staying out of your horses face' or have soft hands, why then is there a 'need' to allow the horse to respond before the bit engages? If your hands are that soft and the horse is that responsive, a simple French link snaffle and slight movement of your fingers should be just as effective. It has always worked for me. Less is more applies here too.


    Candy's Girl- I have a French link if you are interested. Shoot me an email- in the profile and we will talk. Otherwise I responded on the other topic.

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    1. I never used a McKenzie bit for regular riding - always a full cheek snaffle. The McKenzie for me was ONLY for cans at speed. We patterned only at a trot, with the full cheek snaffle - this bit only came out on race day, when you needed a little extra finesse AROUND the cans. It's for STEERING. It's not a stopping bit. It's a GO GO GO and TURN TURN TURN bit. You only use one rein at a time, and it gives very clear left or right rein signals to the horse, so he doesn't stiffen his neck up around the barrel, and adding time to the run by coming out wide.

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  6. You can't blame the bits for the rider's ignorance. That's like blaming the airplane for the pilot who purposefully plops it in the ocean.

    I've known many horses who never take to a broken mouthpiece, and when I placed them in a ported bit, and they would happily pick it up and carry it, I let people bash me. They're ignorant.

    The horse will tell you what they like. If you're smart enough to pay attention. It's that friggin simple.

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  7. My horse rides in the top bit, her mouth is never gaping open, and personally she can be ridden around in a simple halter. Doesn't mean she works good in a halter. and she neck reins like crazy so the reins are always loose. And I disagree most yahoos won't spend $70 on a bit like that, I see most of them using tom thumbs

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  8. Agree both these bits are OK on well trained horses and riders with soft hands. That's what they are meant for. I don't have a problem with the top bit, it looks like it would distribute the pressure.

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  9. I know this is a nutty thing to say but have you checked out the bridles on barbie's horses in most of her movies they are scary, yea think an artist would say "Hey maybe I should look at an actual bridle before I try to draw one," but then again the horses move like their legs are broke anyway so I guess it's ok...lol

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  10. Well I don't have a problem with ANY bit in the right hands (besides those bike chain, mule bits...the creator of those should be beaten). The problem I have is that I see kids riding in that 1st bit while barrel racing. If you think you need that much gear on your horse's face to stop him, then the kid shouldn't be riding him.

    Yea, the dumb newbie yahoos may buy the cheapest tom thumb they can find, but every barrel racing yahoo in my area rides in 1 (because they see the good barrel racers with quiet hands and **well trained horses** riding and winning in those).

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  11. I do agree with that Danielle, I've seen people from my 4H riding in similar bits to mine who have no idea what their doing. Actually their's a girl who had her horse in an old lyn mckenzie bit, where its like the first bit but with a bit longer shanks and a steel leather covered nose band. This girl has the roughest hands imagined and won't listen to any of the nice ppl that try to give advice at the shows. But like any bit its only good in the right hands, I won't let beginers ride my mare in her bit I put a hackamore on her. I hardly let anyone ride her with the bit in.

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  12. The last time I went to a speed show I was horrified to see every damn person, kids and adults using some variation of these and yanking on their horses, while riding them. I guess they aren't that bad if you know how to use them, but good grief, I didn't see a single person who did. Sorry to say, most 'yahoos' will spend the money especially if they fancy themselves as a speed person, because that is what everyone else uses.

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  13. Sheesh, depressing anecdote about the speed show. Poor horsies.

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  14. I used to work at a saddlebred barn as a groom. I had to quit because I just could not put another bike chain, or spiked mule bit in another poor horses mouth.

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  15. Hey, I'd like to inform you of a site I just came across: http://www.grissombits.com/index.html

    There, they sell some of the cruelest bits you can think of. They are all for Gaited/TW horses.

    If you can, send them an email explaining why what they're selling is cruel/abusive. I did.

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