There's a really good article about Wonder Bits that y'all might be interested in.
The "Wonder" Bit.
Why anyone would use something like that is beyond me. Using one sends out the message to the rest of the horse world that you are a moronic excuse for an equestrian.
I cried a little bit on the inside when I came across these bits.
Shame on you, Valley Vet. I would have thought better of you, but now I see that I was naive. Listen to the description:
(Charmayne James) This is a good beginner bit for young horses. Good transition from the D-ring snaffle, allowing more stop and control. An excellent bit for introducing the curb strap. Mouth 5 ½”, shank 6”.
I'm sure your three-year-olds will be thrilled to go from a snaffle to a twisted-wire gag. It's great for introducing the curb strap? That's news to me. I bet it makes a great first impression when this piece of shit has a horse in a headlock.
(Charmayne James) Designed for better turns and stops. Triple jointed mouthpiece is comfortable and will not pinch. Works well on all types of horses. Lifetime guarantee.
You are a dickweed if you think this bit is comfortable. Gags are designed to cause pain. And with that sliding action and the length of the shank, the amount of leverage you can exert on a horse's mouth is pretty much limitless. But hey, it can be yours for the low, low price of $59.95.
Furthermore, Miss James is now added to my Hall of Infamy. Go to her bits page and all you see are thin, twisted-wire leverage bits. All but one of them are leverage bits. Gag, gag, gag, curb, gag, wire, chain, gag. That's all it is.
She and people like her barrel race in these things. Awesome.
And what's more, all three of the stallions on her website are extremely downhill. I find this really irritating:
Clayton is Scamper's clone. Okay, so they're rich enough to clone a horse. Lots of BNT's are. He is horribly downhill and small and his stud fee is a whopping $4,000. He was also broken as a two-year-old and was standing at stud that early as well. This proves the greed of the BNT's. They break out their horses way too early and pimp them out as soon as it's physically possible for them to reproduce. Who cares if the horse is lame by the age of nine when you can still profit off of his stud fees, right?
Off topic, but that is the reason I was suspicious of the Jackson's motives when they put so much money into trying to save Barbaro. I have a hard time believing that any big time racing owners/trainers truly care about the horses. Even if he couldn't have raced again, his stud fees would have been sky high and everyone with a fertile mare would have been lining up to have a few minutes in his breeding shed. I believe that if big name Thoroughbred owners care at all about their horses, they care about their money even more. Do you really think any one of them would give up their class and social status if it meant saving a horse's life? I don't think so. People who have the horses' best interests at heart do not break and race them at two or flog them 30 times in two minutes or dope them up on steroids and/or bute.
Back on topic. I know not all barrel racers ride like Neanderthals. But enough of them do to give the sport a bad reputation. The bad riders usually ride is some kind of leverage bit and would go flying off the horse if they weren't clinging to the horn for dear life. They do nothing but yank the reins and bludgeon the horse with their legs and reins all the way through the pattern. The horses are running out of the chute like banshees and crash through the pattern looking totally sloppy and out of control.
And Charmayne is marketing her very own signature torture devices for any greenie to purchase. I have no respect for anyone who endorses equipment like that. Like every other BNT website I've seen, there are no warnings about the harsh equipment they sell. Any beginner who has no understanding of bit mechanics can purchase these items under the false pretense that they work magic on problem horses. I know many horses who would flip over backwards with the slightest pressure from a gag. I would too.