Most of you claim that big lick riding isn't uncomfortable or unnatural for the horse at all.
If that's true, why on God's green earth would you need bits like these?
You would have to be the biggest piece of shit in the world to put something like that in a horse's mouth. Most of these are advertised as training bits. What a way to introduce a young horse to riding, right? God forbid that anybody start a horse in a snaffle.
I don't know what's worse: The pads and chains, or the scary-ass bits that resemble medieval torture devices. And FYI, comparing pads to high heel shoes only proves my point because ladies, you know that heels are murder on your feet/knees/back after about an hour. I can only imagine how they feel to horses that wear them all throughout their show career. I've never once seen a big lick horse that looked happy or comfortable.
Big lick people also seem to believe in riding and competing on two year olds. Let me clarify that for you. Not sitting on, not going for a walk around the arena on, but seriously riding two year olds as if they're already professional athletes. The notion that Walkers (or any other horses) are full grown at two is nothing short of outrageous and as far from the truth as you can get. No horse on earth, regardless of breed, has ever been fully mature before the age of five and a half, give or take six months. Some horses are engineered or bred to appear full grown on the outside, but the inside is still just like every other horse in the world. So just because a horse's "knees are closed" does not mean it's OK to start riding them. There are growth plates on every bone behind the skull, and they aren't done fusing until at least five years of age. The bones in the spine and base of the neck are the last to mature. And you know how big lick horses always have their heads cranked back and their cheeks ripped up to their ears? Bet that feels real good on a baby horse's growing bones.
This video says coming two year old. I'm afraid that means they've been riding him since he was a yearling. That would be extremely disturbing. The fact that the whole thing looks disgusting and unnatural and the rider is slumped over like a sack of feed is beside the point.
I used to think there was no such thing as an ugly show horse. But big lick people have managed to turn beautiful animals into hideous critters that don't even look equine. What's up with that canter? Even a Western Pleasure horse would be marked down for having a four-beat lope. Why is it acceptable in the TWH ring? And did you see her pulling on her horse's mouth with that ginormous shank? Just looking at it makes you want to bang your head into a wall. I will never ever ever change my outlook on this discipline. It's just sick.