Honestly, I saw them in the tack shop, didn’t understand how they worked so I figured I’d ask. The only way to learn, right?
It looks like there’s three types of action we’re discussing:
Curb: Not applicable on these bits, requires a curb chain.
Leverage: Which I always understood to mean poll pressure, which it seems these bits would give minor leverage as they twist in the mouth with the cheek piece stabilized.
Gag: Now this one I always thought meant raising in the mouth (like a literal gag), but it seems to be used in this thread as a synonym for leverage.
The bits are called gag bits in their links, so maybe it’s ROPE gags that raise in the mouth and otherwise gag = leverage?
Is that summary what you guys understand?[/QUOTE]
This bit does in fact raise in the mouth as you tighten the reins. As it turns, the distance between the bit and the poll gets shorter and the mouthpieces lifts just a little.
You can see the action in this photo. I am riding my horse with quite a bit of contact here over this rather narrow fence because he had a bad go through the sunken road before this schooling, and I was riding him aggressively/between my hand and leg to make sure we got through straight. He’s green and I didn’t want him to say “no thanks, last time that stung.” You can see how the bit has lifted in his mouth because I have a fair degree of contact with his mouth. Not a George Morris moment but it had a purpose.
The gag effect is smaller but faster than with a rope or leather-cheeked gag.