The Action of the Universal
Any extension above the mouthpiece will cause poll pressure (head lowering), any extension below the mouthpiece will give leverage (head raising). When the two are combined this is generally referred to as a gag action. The Universal is one of my personal favourites. The gag action is not excessive and even strong horses generally appreciate this and respond as opposed to fighting it.
The cheeks are always attached to the small offset ring at the top – the top ring is angled very cleverly in order to avoid excessive cheek pressure.
1.Gives the action of a loose ring baucher and is usually acceptable for flatwork, etc..
2.Gives a mild gag action
3.Roundings are employed reducing some gag action and allowing the use of one rein
4.Two reins to differentiate
5.A curb strap is used with the reins at any option but usually in conjunction with one rein on the bottom ring to maximize on the gag and curb action. This is an old showjumping trick which is still extensively used. A Curb does not have to lie in the chin groove in order to be effective – if you think about many western bits the curb strap is often employed further up.
The Tranz Lozenge Mouthpiece
It is very important that the arrow engraved at the end of the mouthpiece is positioned on the left hand side (nearside) of the horse pointing forwards otherwise the lozenge will be positioned in an incorrect angle over the tongue.
The Tranz (or any other rounded lozenge) does not suffer from the major design flaw of the French Link. When a contact is taken with the French Link there are two proud semicircles either side of the flat link which dig into the tongue – this often discourages a true contact. Compare the feel between the Tranz and the French Link by wrapping them both around your upper arm and try to imagine how much more sensitive the tongue is. The Tranz Link is ergonomically designed for both comfort and communication. This design is a very popular dressage mouthpiece. It encourages a true contact and higher level of responsiveness. The lozenge is set on at an angle activating more feel over the tongue, so when a contact is taken, the rounded lozenge rolls down contouring smoothly over the tongue, utilizing feel but not abusing it, thereby enabling clearly defined aids to be given through the reins.
The ergonomically designed Tranz is shaped over the tongue, thereby taking up less room in the mouth and not interfering with the palate. The fitting of the Tranz (or any other lozenge) is critical – the lozenge is designed to sit centrally on the tongue and we do not want it sliding back and forth across the tongue. This bit does not shorten up in the mouth, unlike single jointed bits. In order to assess the size a bit measure is available on our website. When the Tranz is in situ the lips may touch the hole that the bit ring slides through, though not cover any part of it. When a contact is taken the holes will shift further away from the lips. The ergonomically designed Tranz conforms to the horses mouth anatomy. It is smoothly contoured over the tongue, giving even pressure and shifting the emphasis away from the outer edges where the horse is more sensitive, encouraging contact and response. The single jointed bit shoots forward in the mouth, shortening up, creating an acute angle (nutcracker), hitting the outer edges of the bars and excessively squeezing the outer edges of the tongue, thus creating the possibility of palate interference which will not encourage a true contact or outline.