Gary Lane Enterprises has announced introduction of the Easy to Gait Freedom Bit for producing easy and comfortable gaits in all gaited horse breeds.
The Easy to Gait Freedom Bit allows your horse to find freedom, not only in the shoulders, but also in the poll, neck and top-line by allowing the hindquarters to come through with relaxation and freedom of motion.
The rider begins educating the horse's mind the first time the Easy to Gait Freedom Bit is in the horse's mouth. The Easy to Gait Freedom Bit allows and assists in coordinating actions of the TMJ and Hyoid bones located in the mouth to release the horse into gait. When riding with the Easy to Gait Freedom Bit on a loose rein, you are now using a smart bit to educate the horse's mind and mouth.
Your Easy to Gait Freedom Bit allows your horse to feel the bit signal before the leather curb strap engages and when the curb strap does engage, you still have a mild effect. This allows riders to also develop better seat, legs and hands for better rider balance.
Your goal is to have the horse working on the bit and accepting the bit- not the bit working against the horse's mind because of impolite hands forced upon the horse's mouth. When working with your gaited horse, your end result is always a calm mind.
Bitting is a total relationship that must be unlocked with each individual horse and rider combination. Riders train horses- bits don't train horses. It takes an equal amount of balance, both mentally and physical, to develop a calm, willing mind and the Freedom bit enhances your horse's ability to accept the bit along with the rider seat, legs and hands. To find the Freedom and smooth ride in your gaited horse, the Freedom Bit is a step in the right direction to enhance your horse's ability to find his energy, efficient, ground-covering, moving balance.
The Horse and Bit
By Gary LaneThe
Freedom bit was not invented in a classroom or lab. It is a product of my real life, gaited horse,
training experience from the trail to the rail. I’ve come to realize that good
bitting allows the horse to respond to training. The manner in which the bit communicates
to the horse must be humane for the long term health of the horses.
used the Freedom bit in numerous clinics on several breeds of gaited and non
gaited horses across America. With proper training, each and every horse relaxed
and gaited comfortably with more confidence.
Developing a calm mind in relation to your horse’s mouth, back, and feet
are the keys to proper training for your long term pleasure and trail riding
enjoyment. When all aspects of motion
from the horse’s mouth, feet, and back interact and support each other, you
have what I call the Triangle of Motion. See Introduction to Gaited Horse
working with thousands of horse owners over the years, the one constant problem
that continues to stand out is bitting or mouthing a horse. Care, caution, consideration, and communication
are the bitting standards that I keep in mind when looking at the anatomy of
the horse’s mouth. I also consider the
horse’s back and feet as it relates to bitting.
Remember, the back, feet and mouth all combine for the total picture of
success no matter what you’re trying to achieve with your gaited horse.
Interestingly, bitting a horse still requires as much attention today as it did
a hundred years ago.
considering a horse’s mouth anatomy, most bit makers consider the following
pressure points: tongue, bars, poll, nose, lips, hard palate
and chin groove. This traditional thinking is good and has served most bit
manufacturers well, however; there are other important areas of consideration.
example, the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ or jaw) coupled with the hyoid bones
are directly related to each other and contribute substantially to the bitting
process. The hyoid bones help control
the horse’s feet, shoulders and mental well being. The TMJ interacts with the
hyoid to control relaxation in the jaw.
the horse’s jaw (TMJ) is pried open with too much force from leverage bits
(shanks), non-leverage bits (snaffles) or pain from other ill-fitting pressure
points, it’s my opinion that your horse’s mind will go into protection
mode. Let me say this another way: the tongue is connected to the hyoid bones
that attach to the sternum and shoulder so if you have too much tension or
pressure on the tongue, the horse evades contact. The horse cannot raise its
withers or back and use other muscling group systems for ease of gaiting.
importantly, we need to understand that the first step to happen in this chain
of events is the mind because it must send a message to relax the TMJ. This
also allows the poll to release the muscle behind the ears which activates the
hyoid bone to start the tongue moving.
Bitting will always relate back to the mind as a series of many coordinating
the TMJ relaxed allows the tongue to move more freely, helps keep the horse’s
mind calm and allows communication to take place. My philosophy is that before
the horse can move his tongue, the horse must relax his TMJ and that starts
with the mind.
to bit a horse while considering only one pressure point will lead to bitting
and behavioral problems. For instance, if you’re just going to consider the
bars of the mouth and overlook the remaining pressure points, you will certainly
cause evasion to be expressed elsewhere.
Oral conformation is another area not often
discussed. The horse oral cavity means how much room is in the horse’s
mouth. Each horse is different in the size and shape
of the inside of their mouth which impacts bit diameter size, length of bit,
swallowing, thick or thin tongue, flat or arched palate and how the horse moves
his tongue inside the mouth to accommodate the bit or protect him.
leads to the question, where is the horse’s mind during all of this mouth
movement? As the trainer, you must relax
the horse’s mind, that is, the TMJ, to communicate with the horse. A horse that is not relaxed is very difficult
to train, and when seeking calmness, all noted pressure points must be taken
into consideration. Just like baking a
cake, it takes all the ingredients. One
or two ingredients left out--you’ll have a cake but you may not like the taste.
horses have different mental and bitting pressure points and these concerns are
different for each horse. This is why bitting is tricky--unlocking the
different pressure points to accept bitting coupled with correct contact. We want the horse working on the bit and
accepting the bit--not the bit working against the horse’s mind because of impolite hands forced upon the horse’s mouth.
horses are individual with different personalities and considerations in
bitting and contact. We now have added
the word “contact.” How much pressure or
how little pressure in the mouth? There
is no simple answer. Bitting is a total
relationship that must be unlocked with each individual horse and rider
combination. Riders train horses—bits
don’t train horses. It takes an equal
amount of balance, both mental and physical, to develop a calm, willing mind
that enhances your horse’s ability to accept the bit along with the rider
All horses are programmed by nature to protect themselves and are
mentally made up of pain, fear, muscle tone, and excitability. These emotions are related to and found at the
TMJ and directly tied to your horse’s behavior. The mouth is extremely
sensitive, and any fear or pain from the bit or rigidity in the jaw will be
reflected back to the rider through excitability and muscle tone which then causes
saddle fit problems. Always remember
your horse’s heart and soul is in his mouth.
If your bitting system is working humanely and properly, your horse
will be comfortable in his mouth, and therefore, in his mind. Bitting starts and ends with the mind, and your
end goal should always be a calm mind. A
calm mind draws the whole horse together into the Triangle of Motion—mouth,
back and feet to provide a smooth and comfortable ride.
The Freedom bitting system and Lady Lite Saddle have been successful
because both are designed to consider the horse’s point of view first and keep
a calm mind for better gaiting. To get the most from this article please view
the DVD “Introduction To Gaited Horse
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