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Bit suggestions: New USDF Baucher regulations

I saw a few Dee rings at a show last weekend. I come from hunter land where Dee rings rule and found this odd…hadn’t noticed one at any other dressage show I’ve been to before. I know some bit makers say the Dee rings introduce a little bit of poll pressure but I don’t see how that’s possible. It’s not really different from an eggbutt just a little more stability to the cheek part depending on how big the Dee is.

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I think Janine is on the Rules Working Group (or was?) so it will be interesting to see any changes since I was measured up on the hill using an index card (Janine said it must have been another TD since hands on checks aren’t?? supposed to be happening even though it’s happened at multiple shows this year for spurs, but I think it was a volunteer) but Janine saw it later that day and she was measuring bits that were questionable but didn’t physically measure mine, Hopefully, the guidance comes out before GAIGs so people don’t run into problems when it really matters (or I guess we can find the TDs before classes and verify that there isn’t a problem)

My takeaway is the guidance is not universal on bit checks/tack checks across TDs and therefore across volunteers and that’s starting to worry me.

This is what happens when horse people make rules and the USDF does not include engineers on questions that can be essentially answered by a shear -moment diagram or a free-body diagram.

The questions about leverage, poll-pressure, etc can all be answered by doing some simple engineering calculations.


I’m with you I don’t really think it introduces poll pressure. I do think D rings can give better independent signals (ie like in lateral work) than loose rings can, though. Most horses seem to appreciate their stability.

I used to volunteer for NEDA as the bit checker and I see them occasionally. One of mine was in a D ring for a while before swapping to an Eggbutt and then to a Baucher. Definitely not as common as in Hunterland, though.

I see more eggbutts than Ds, too.

i don’t see how. I think a D-ring snaffle is the closest to a full cheek.

Baucher …at least with side pull on the rein, would act like a halfcheek driving bit upside down… But there is no shank action to either halfcheek or full cheek.


I was saying that a full cheek with keepers would be most similar to a baucher. I say that because those two bits are the only ones that do not allow the bit to rotate around the mouthpiece. So if that’s what’s making the horse like a baucher, the full cheek would be the closest approximation.

The size of the baucher has nothing to do with whether it is a leverage bit. It isn’t. There’s no moment arm. However, I could certainly believe that the people making the rules are in the apparent majority that believes it is a leverage bit, and may want to exclude it for that reason, who knows.


It sure looks like a lever. But I’ve never used one.

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You can only have a lever if the mouthpiece was fixed at one end and loose at the other. A lever requires a rigid body capable of rotating on a fixed point on itself. Because both ends are fixed, it cannot function as a lever.


For sure! I suspect that’s why so many people think it is. The reason it isn’t is that the rein is pulling in line with the mouthpiece. In order for it to act as a lever, the rein would have to be attached somewhere below the mouthpiece (like a 3 ring, or a curb, etc).

Here’s my quickie drawing- top being a baucher, bottom being a leverage bit. The green dimension is the lever arm- it’s 0 on a baucher.


i’m still seeing lever…

When you pull either one or both reins back what happens to the bit in the mouth? The pivot point is the attachment to the bridle looks to me…

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I hear this a lot and maybe leverage is the wrong word.

The longer the cheek piece, wouldn’t that increase the likelihood to put downward pressure on the tongue and/or pressure on the poll? As you pull backwards against the mouthpiece, that is eventually going to start involving the top section of the bit. If it’s short, there isn’t much play to change the snaffle action. But if it’s long, I would think that could increase pressure beyond a snaffle action.

I guess I’m thinking about this wrong.


It can’t, without a lever arm (see my sketch above). With a lever arm, then yes the length of that cheek part would have an effect on how much leverage the bit creates.

As the baucher is designed, from a forces standpoint the cheek part basically acts as an extension of the bridle cheekpiece. What the cheek part of the baucher does do is prevent the mouthpiece from rotating/moving within the horses mouth as much as it could with a loose ring/eggbut/D.


I think you’re misunderstanding how these work. This bit is a snaffle and only uses one rein. The top ring is where the cheek piece buckles. The single rein buckles to the big ring. There is no leverage because the rein is attached to the ring at the level of the bit - so if you pull on the big ring, you are acting directly on the mouthpiece. (In my laymans terms)


I understand it is a snaffle that has one rein attached to each of the large rings. I get that. What i don’t understand is how this is not a lever. The bridle attached ring is above the bit snaffle…so you pull on the rein (one side) or reins (both sides) and given enough force the bottom of the horse’s mouth will be leveraged back toward you.

Baucher :clap: bits :clap: DO :clap: NOT :clap: exert :clap: leverage.


Crude drawing, but no pivot point, so no lever, so no poll pressure. But many have the same opinion that it makes poll pressure and you can never convince them otherwise.


The pivot point you’re describing is the poll- yes, any bit absolutely creates leverage around the poll joint, but that isn’t equivalent to pressure on the top of the poll, which would arise from something putting the bridle cheekpieces in tension. A leverage bit (gag/3 ring/pelham/curb/etc) does this, a baucher does not.


The cheek pieces are flexible, not rigid. They would move back, toward rider, before they would pull down wouldn’t they?

yes on the baucher - similar to any other snaffle type bit.

the reins first pull the bit back pivoting from the top ring. (your drawing seems to describe otherwise)
so am i just not looking at it right?
I see pressure going this way:

reins>bit ring>upper ring>cheek pieces>poll

and the first three graduating areas of pressure affect the mouth

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