Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost wordless Wednesday

Summer is officially over but that doesn't spell the end of horse show season--at least not as far as this blog is concerned.

Today's pictures were taken the Colorado Summer Classic hunter/jumper show held this past July at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado. I am always fascinated by the different bitting options you will see in a typical jumper class. There's a little bit of everything from the very basic to the very complicated with an occasional dash of the just plain weird. Enjoy!













21 comments:

  1. What the hell is on the bottom grey??? Never saw it before...

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    1. It is a Mikmar Gagavator Bit.

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  2. Boy some of these look like they could put a tremendous amount of leverage on a horse's mouth. Yikes.

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  3. Those poor horses. I wish people would actually train their horses instead of resorting to the quick fix and force of bits and artificial contraptions like martingales, gags and tie downs.

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  4. Holy leverage bits, batman. Several someones at that show can't ride.

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  5. My guess is that the weird bit on the grey horse is handmade. It has that look and certainly I've never seen anything like it (not a bad thing!!). I don't hate gag bits because some horses do go well in them, but I wish people would use them properly with two reins. The single rein set up means the gag is always in play and that's just not right. I also don't mind the martingales so much, at least not when they're adjusted properly. The bay in the standing martingale has his head way up (more obvious before I cropped the picture) and you can see that he still isn't feeling any pressure on his nose. I don't like the huge leverage bits and I really dislike the draw reins. I hate that those can go in the showring. I don't even like them for schooling.

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  6. Some of those bits are just weird looking!
    Thank you for posting all the photos from shows. Those of us that don't get to see this sort of thing really appreciate it!

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  7. Does anyone know what type of noseband/contraption is on the horse in the 8th pic?

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  8. That's a combination/lever noseband. You can read a little bit about them here.

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  9. sigh. It's the easiest thing in the world to armchair quarterback. Don't judge people just because of the bit in the mouth, never mind a single photo. Don't assume these riders "don't know how to ride."

    You can do PLENTY of damage to an equine mouth with a "fat snaffle". Just ask any beginner horse that teaches up-down lessons. Yes, I'd rather have a leverage bit and use LESS force than use a simple snaffle and need to use MORE force.

    FWIW, my red TB goes in a Sprenger "ergo shaped" loose ring, the half arab in an "arab S" hackamore or a KK "lozenge" bit, but my Old TB goes in a rubber gag.

    Why the gag? Is he hard to stop? No. He lugs. A Waterford works on that some, but the gag eliminates the lug. I no longer wonder when he will try to pull me over his head again just for laughs. So not kidding. The first time I sat on him @ 3, he dumped me and I totally believe he feels the need to try again every so often just to remind me!

    I do ride the gag with one rein. The snaffle rein on a gag is just useless to me. If I thought I needed the snaffle, I'd use a pelham instead.

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  10. In picture #10, could someone explain what I'm looking at? It's like rein soup!

    I see a rubber covered nose piece, some some of solid metal curb bar, a bit that appears to be held on with bubblegum and has a bizarre sort of barrel racing looking leverage shank system but then has a bit connector used on it, and then... are those dark reins draw reins? Why use those and a bit connector instead of just hooking the rein onto the bottom ring and the draw through the top, or vice versa?

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  11. By the way, aren't standing martingales illegal in a jumper class? I know they are in some of the ones I've been in.

    (Looked it up in the online rule book - seems that they are only prohibited in classes with over 5k prize money. But doesn't a jumper classic normally have at least that much?)

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  12. The old name for the combination/lever noseband is a "kineton" over here in UK. The purpose is as described without the pressure over the sensitive lower nose area which you would get with a drop noseband and it keeps out of the way of the bit better.

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  13. @ allie. NO. The lower level classes or less lucretive horse shows don't offer any where near that much.

    For instance, the NAL/Marshal & Sterling Child/Adult Jumper 'classic' @ The Shore Classic in NJ is a $1500 class. Other "low" jumper divisions at the same show pay out less than that and some have zero prize money. Even the Modified's (1.20m high) pay out only $2500 This is an "A" show.

    At another show run by the same person, there are $1k, $2k and $3k Junior/AmmyOwner jumper classes and a $3k Marshal & Sterling. It's all up to the show manager and the minimum specs of the class sponsors and the Zone specs.

    Confused? yeah, it's a little overly complicated sometimes. To spin it a bit more, despite the standing martingale being legal in those $1k-$3k J-A/O classes, you're not likely to see them being used and those are 1.20m classes too. (that's roughly 3'11") Folks riding at that level are usually sophisitcated enough to be using a running and *also* tend to compete in that same division at shows that DO offer in excess of $5k.

    I love my world.

    And yes, draw reins in the ring makes my skin crawl. Absolutely crawl. GROW a pair and rake off the emergency brakes. I have them, I use them, but I don't use them like my life depends on them! And I certainly don't jump with them.

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  14. One of my readers copied the picture of the grey horse and posted it on a message board called the Horse Forum. Someone there identified it as a "gagavator" bit by Mikmar. You can read all about it here.

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  15. Heh - can you imagine which of these contraptions Davy might've tried on our friend Too Bold?? ;-) Some of them are pretty scary, and I admit to not getting quite how they work. I can't believe that last one is actually for sale!

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  16. I remember one time a Grand Prix rider rode by the tack shop on a horse that had a bridle with several nosebands, two martingales, two reins... We teased him about it, and he said that he was trying to get the horse's head down by "sheer weight alone." I always think of that when I see some of these elaborate set-ups!

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  17. i used the french noseband (i think thats what its called) on my old grey, its on the bay with the star that is being lead in hand. Now i am using it on my friend's OTTB Mare, love it!

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  18. For any wondering, I do find that the crescent/lever noseband (8th photo) is not as awful as it looks on first glance. It works a bit like a figure 8, but better prevents jaw crossing and also stabilizes the bit in the mouth better, which my ISH absolutely ADORES. With that noseband I can go for a gallop in a french-link snaffle and he happily accepts a light contact, no bracing or tugging. I prefer to only use it during our more rigorous conditioning rides or jumping lessons, and the other 80% of the time he goes in a regular flash noseband and full cheek snaffle.

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  19. I believe the 10th is called an American gag bit, I asked my trainer and that's what she said, as to what all those reins etc r, it looks like a bit converter, with reins, then draw reins and a stud chain lead, if you Google 'American gag bit' you will find a few pictures of that bit,

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  20. The paint is very cute!

    On a completely unrelated note.... The "gagavator." Its name alone is scary. In my opinion, any bit that is long enough to go from the corner of the mouth to the eye is scary. In experienced hands, when all is well, it's ok... but accidents happen and it's easy to catch a horse in the face by accident, and with leverage like that... yikes. I'm not against all leverage bits, they have their purpose. It's just the super long ones that are worrying to me.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing the photos, interesting to see what tack is out there.

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