Have you ever wondered how or why a sliding gag bit works? When the reins on a sliding gag are used to redirect a horse, the pressure from that pull is distributed simultaneously in 2 places: on the mouth from the sliding gag bit as the mouthpiece rises (slides on the shanks) and the bit rises (slides on the cords), and on the poll from the pressure of the headstall crown piece as the bit rises.
The horse learns that to have the pressure on his mouth and on his poll released he must give to the bit by bringing his nose in and down and picking up his shoulders to the point where he is balanced. Once he reaches this position, the pressure is released. These changes work in concert. For the rider this helps allow you to concentrate on and reinforce your leg cues regardless of your type of riding.
As with all bits, the design and construction will help to determine how productive the use of the bit is on your horse. This thought must be coupled with the idea that the outcome of the use of any bit is dependent on the feel and timing of the rider. With a sliding gag with a center bar on the bit cheeks (see photo) the movement of the sliding mouthpiece is limited to the area between the bar (where mouthpiece rests) and the top of the bit. This provides a quicker action and a much quicker release than gags with long shanks. Your horse will learn that when it breaks at the poll and maintains that position as it is flexing laterally the release will be instant, smooth, and consistent. Your horse is not trapped in position while it waits for the release to occur. This helps horses stay calm and confident. The gag bridle can be an excellent training tool for both young and older horses that need to improve flexibility and response.
For more information on Dennis Moreland Sliding Gag Bridles visit: http://bit.ly/1R0rz3O or call 817-312-5305. We would be glad to answer any questions you have. As with other training equipment, if you have never used a sliding gag bit it may be wise to seek the help of a professional to learn proper use.