Outing my Inner Snark – Guest post blog for The Snarky Rider

SnarkyHi Folks,

Recently guest posted for The Snarky Rider … hope you like the blog, I think it will certainly raise some discussion.

Click on Image to see original post.

Guest Post- Outing my inner Snark and other bits …

Not one for being outwardly snarky I’m not really sure why, when The Snarky Rider put it out there that she was looking for guest bloggers, I leapt forward and offered my services with the same enthusiasm I apply to my own blog. Before I knew it I’d agreed to write something and was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

For those of you that don’t know me, I am The Dressage Tipster and although I can make even a die-hard dressage fan yawn with my endless musings about dressage training (that is to say I am never short of ideas for my posts) after spending an age contemplating my subject matter, I was somewhat dismayed that I drew a big fat blank

… WHAT am I going to write about that will appeal to Snarky Rider’s audience?

Oh, well – something will come!   It didn’t!  Every time I thought of something I’d dismiss it, but make a note for my own work as I usually do. But it was in there, ‘the inner snark’, quite deep in me, deeper in others maybe, but if you wait long enough it will appear and like magna waiting to erupt it came whilst reading an article which started something like this …

“How embarrassing is it to walk into the local tack shop and admit you do not know how a bit works.”

The voice in my head said “not in the least, I’m quite proud of the fact that I don’t spend hours contemplating which bit is going to change my horse… bits don’t fix training issues!”… Ahem! – Snarky

Take a look at the bit opposite. Sguest post inner snark pic1ome may call it a lozenge bit, a training bit, but to me it is more or less a loose ring French link and my bit of choice for everything up to medium level in competition and training bit for those that are above that level.  For me it is a thing of beauty, simple, elegant.

So how does something so understated become this…
guest post inner snark pic2

Butterfly Flip Waterford with Copper Spinner


When I first saw this bit I thought it was a necklace pendant. I liked it, perhaps a little fussy but nice colours.  Imagine then my fright when I discovered it IS actually a bit!

Tell me this – at what point in our training does it become necessary to put a configuration such as this into your horse’s mouth?

CGuest post inner snarky pic3learly the above bit is not Dressage legal so would never grace the arena and is a somewhat extreme example but my point is this; it worries me that as riders we point to a bitting issue when we have a problem, particularly with contact and/or speed, when often it is the rider and/or training which has the deficit.
[Tweet “Having a limited knowledge of how different bits work is not a bad thing.”]

I don’t feel particularly deficient having very little knowledge of how different bits work. This has come about because it does not occur to me to change a bit when I am experiencing issues, and the idea that someone buys a bit because it looks interesting or has a complicated name (as was suggested to me by a well known equine retailer recently!) is pretty shameful.

“Yeah, I use the Butterfly Flip Waterford – oh, you use a French link snaffle? Really? Full cheek, no? – Hanging cheek, no? – rollers then? wilkie rings, no? sweet iron perhaps? not even a copper lozenge? – loose ring French link eh, interesting, what does that do for you?

Naff All – well, very little – just as intended really, it keeps my horse comfortable in the mouth without too much going on and allows me to put in the hard work.  I am even more intrigued by the some of those names.

  • Cartwheel – Horse will turn into a gymnast – doubt it very much.
  • Revolver – Alternative to shooting the horse – I approve.
  • Gag – They’re a joke. Get it …gag / joke … never mind.
  • The Pee Wee – No comment.
  • Baucher – Named after the classical master and yet variations of these bits are not dressage legal. Oh, the irony.

And as for this?
guest post inner snark pic4

For me this looks like a genetic alteration, some freaky unrepaired damage to DNA; a replication which resulted in mutation. I can’t look at this bit because it gives me ‘the willies’.

But given that this oddity scares me, how do you think I feel about The 3 Ring Gag with Reversible Scruboard and Copper Pacifiers?

Just stop it now it’s unkind and uncalled for, Ok?

I’m going to lie down now and suppress my inner Snark, don’t get me wrong I feel better for having ‘outed’ – I just need a lie down.

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster


2 Responses

  1. I’m the same! I love simple bits! Yes some horses will need something else, especially for other disciplines where a delayed/slower reaction to an aid through the bit can cause a big problem/accident.

    My ex racer has had 2 bits since I’ve had him, a loose ring french link, and a narrower french link d rings. and he only has 2 different ones as one is for his lunging bridle and one for his ridden bridle and I felt silly buying two of the same bit! But we do everything in this bit and have no problems whatsoever!

    I don’t really know much about what either of these bits do, but they work for us very well!

    1. I’ve had quite a reaction to this post on FB! Lots of people taking offence and saying that a bit is as harsh as the hand. The taking offence thing doesn’t concern me because that’s what Snarky Rider is all about. I wouldn’t have written the piece if I thought everyone would like it!

      Clearly “a bit is only as harsh as the rider’s hand” statement is absolutely correct but we also have to consider that they all have different actions and some are so complicated they blow my mind! Well done you for keeping your ex-racer in a basic (Dressage Legal) snaffle bit.

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