The Continental Gag should be worn with 2 reins preferably; the first rein should be used on the snaffle ring, which is the first ring adjacent to the mouthpiece. When the first rein is attached to the snaffle rein it is used just like a loose ring hanging cheek bit, which uses poll pressure and lip pressure due to the sliding loose ring also applies various pressures in the mouth depending on the mouthpiece it is in conjunction with. When the second rein is attached to the ring below, the pressures are increased as the lower rings produce more leverage. In the instance of using 2 reins then this bit can be used as a hanging cheek bit and then when more help is required, the second rein can be brought into play. If the bit is only used with one rein on the lower ring, then the pressure in applied constantly and no pressure release is available for the horse.
The gag produces a head raising action and is often used for cross country and/or jumping where the head needs to be raised quickly in order to gain control and so to get ready for the next jump.
Single Jointed Bits
The single joint puts pressure on the sides of the tongue, on the lips and on the bars due to the nutcracker. The single jointed bits also may have a head raising action so would be less suitable for your horse if they ride with a high head carriage or above the bit. Also breeds such as Irish Draughts, may have particularly large tongues, therefore having less room in the mouth for a single jointed bit as this pushes the bit nearer the roof of the mouth, also Arabs and alike may have a low palate, both of these examples may not benefit from the single jointed bits as the nutcracker action may cause brushing of the roof of the mouth.
The Description on the Happy Mouth Bit by E Jeffries is as follows:
The History of the happy mouth bit
1. As everybody knows, most horses dislike having the bit forced into the mouth, particularly metal and stainless steel bits which are cold and hard and not welcoming, therefore horses often show a great deal of resistance. From this we recognized that there was a potential demand for a bit that was both COMFORTABLE and PLEASURABLE for the horse, and which any horse would instantly accept.
2. All horses have very different characters and breeding, therefore a bit has to be suitable for all types. It is important for bit to vary in shape, in thickness and in hardness, in order to adapt to any horse, regardless of breed age or temperament.
3. Due to advance technology modern scientists have developed an “Engineering or “SPACE AGE plastic, to be used in a variety of industries. We have chosen the most DURABLE, NON TOXIC, FLEXIBLE, and LONG LASTING polyurethane plastic for our HAPPY MOUTH BIT, which proves a nice, SOFT, GENTLE touch to the horses mouth.
4. One unique characteristic of this revolutionary bit is the apple flavour, which has been added to the plastic; as we have discovered many horses instantly recognise this flavour, and hence readily accept the bit without resistance. This has been illustrated in various countries over the last 10 years by an increase in the usage of the HAPPY MOUTH BIT, proving the overwhelming success of the idea.
5. Consequently, the increase in demand for the HAPPY MOUTH BIT is evidence enough that it has become widely accepted by both the customer and more importantly the horse which translates to us as complete satisfaction. A happy horse is one that uses the HAPPY MOUTH BIT.
Instructions For Use
This product has a flexible mouth, which by its very nature, is more easily damaged than metal. It is most important that the bit is of the correct size and that it lies central in the horses mouth.
Teeth marks on the bit may indicate that the horses mouth is in need of attention. All bits should be checked on a regular basis and on no account should a damaged bit be allowed to continue in use.