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Re: search archives and harshness of bits

Hi April -
I have those formulas on my website along with the original post they came from:
I also evaluated a bunch of different types of bits on another page:
A chain bit, when used to pull the horses head to the side, will abrade the bars alot and has potential for heavy damage to the bars in an emergency stop or if you drop the reins and the horse steps on one side.  Remember, bars are soft tissue over potentially sharp bone (Deb Bennett says Arabs tend to have thinner, sharper bars than other breeds).  The french link is smooth over the bars, and if the link is small and the rings holding the link don't dig, it's much gentler on the bars.  On my page about evaluating bit severity, take a look at the last bits I evaluated on the page.  There are several french link style bits.  You can see how the rings that hold the link sit with respect to the link and you can see how some french link bits won't dig as much as others.  This is from personal experience, I got what I thought was a nice french link eggbutt fullcheek bit for my mare, but the long link coupled with the orientation of the rings that held it caused problems in her mouth.  It ended up more severe than a good-fitting plain snaffle.
FWIW, you don't have to have a bit to get the horse "on the bit" and collected.  If your horse works well in an S-Hack, you might have very good luck with a bitless Freedom Bridle.  I've used that instead of a bit for my horse's dressage & suppling work, and she responds very well to it.  Jessica Jahiel has written about this type of bitless bridle and how you can use it to get your horse on the bit (or you can think of it as "on the aids").
Here's a link to the Freedom Bridle:
Here's a link to Jessica Jahiel's site (she has extensive archives about bit types, bitless bridles, dressage training, etc.):
Hope this helps!

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