Balding Gag Cheeks (Loose Ring)
The Balding Gag has Loose Ring cheeks which are a more mobile bit than an eggbutt or fixed cheek bit, which should encourage your horse to keep a relaxed jaw and mouth the bit. The loose ring may be useful if your horse leans on the bit, or takes hold, as the bit is always movable so the horse cannot take hold as easily as they could with a fixed cheek. This bit is also useful for gaining contact as the movable mouthpiece enables the bit to fit the mouth, contour the mouth natural position and sit comfortably.
This Gag looks like an ordinary loose ring bit, but it has two holes in the ring, vertically; one at the top and one directly underneath. This bit is used with gag cheeks, the gag cheeks thread through the holes they are normally either made out of rolled leather or cord – the leather cheeks look better but they dont slide through the cheeks as quickly as the cord ones do, which means the cord gag cheeks have a faster and clearer aid. The Balding gag should be used with two reins, the first rein should be attached to the actual bit ring and then the second should be attached to the rings on the gag cheeks. The rein on the first ring should act as though a normal loose ring Snaffle would. But the second rein on the gag cheek has a running effect using poll pressure, lip pressure and various pressures in the mouth depending on the mouthpiece of the bit. The poll pressure encourages the horse to lower the head becoming round giving an outline and gives great help with breaks, and is normally superb used on strong horses. This bit would be useful if your horse goes on the forehand or is heavy on the front end, it should encourage your horse to lift up off the forehand and ride from the quarters.
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.
Hollow Mouthpiece bits
This bit is a lightweight bit due to the fact it is hollow! The hollow mouth bits should be checked regularly as sometimes with them being hollow they can dent if the horse chews. The Hollow mouthed bits are renown for being milder or kinder than the solid mouth pieces, this is because the hollow mouthpieces are thicker in diameter which means the pressure of the mouthpiece on the lips is distributed over a larger area, this may be the case for those horses who have enough room in their mouths, but it also may prove uncomfortable in some cases (e.g. those horses with thicker lips and thicker tongues) and may result in the horse not being able to close their mouths as they have too much in there! – Please be aware that if you use such a thick bit, not to use it with a flash noseband as you may restrict your horse from swallowing.