They are pricey, but everything I read (From the manufacturer, MikMar) says they are easy on the horse and give back all the things we crave, head set, quick response etc. I am not an expert at all so if you do get any real use feed back that would be great. I also have been doing a ton of research on this bit. Although it looks quite aggressive, it is a very kind bit and I thought it would work better for Rocko seeing I can be a little heavy handed sometimes. =( I called the company, they were very helpful when I told them just what I was looking for in a bit. With the training bit, the signal does not go right to the mouth first.
Bits are a concept in addition to an actual piece of mechanical manipulation. Anything a bit maker tells you it will do is marketing. Now, I’m not saying it won’t do it. But, I will say that it will only do ‘it’ for a while. Perhaps a short while and perhaps a little longer, but the culprit is always the rider’s hands, skill level and offer to the horse to keep getting better. Sometimes a conversation happens where I mention riding one of my horses in the mountains without a bridle (a string around the neck for, you know, safety). The ‘knowledgeable horse person’ gets a stern, bordering on rude tone to tell me how dangerous and irresponsible that is. The horse could run off with me. Well, says I, I’m sure you’ve seen horses run away with their riders, frequently at shows – and they always have bridles and saddles on, so I guess that isn’t the answer. Let’s address the points in the above post: easy on the horse. How is that possible to say when people can and do use their entire body weight thrown against a piece of metal in the horse’s mouth? Easy – when there is no immediate problem is a lot different than easy when panic or crisis mode kicks in. Many folks simply do not know what their hands are doing and the horse pays for this, sometimes dearly. The design of that particular bit is made to affect the horse in four different ways (used as part of the marketing, too). But to look at this from the horse’s view, the person will use four pressure points to get his way. Basically, it’s possible to ‘make’ the horse carry it’s head the way we want, not toss it, not go too fast AND turn immediately. So EASY to pressure four areas with hands/body weight that lost balance and is hanging on the reins. Yes, I understand that a nice head carriage and responsive horse is a goal of most riders, but that should be a rider training goal not something the horse pays for. For that to be the goal of those with skills that can’t accomplish it with a snaffle seems unfair to me. BTW, a snaffle is NOT the break in the middle. If there is a shank with a break it’s a broken curb. A snaffle has the headstall and the rein attach to the same ring with no shank. You can have a snaffle that is a straight bar, called a Mullen mouth.
To market that the pressure doesn’t go to the bit first is misleading at the very least. If a loose rein swings, a horse can feel it in his mouth. By the time contact is taken up he’s already decided to give or brace. Add hands that haven’t developed ‘feel’ yet, and all four pressure points are going to be used PDQ. This is where ALL the available pressures come in to tell the horse that he’d better do as told. However, if the person is inexperienced, they are telling the horse to do things they don’t know they’re telling him. The horse is probably doing just as the hands are indicating and the person thinks the horse is disobeying.