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Dover Saddlery® Eggbutt Snaffle Gag

Dover Saddlery® Eggbutt Snaffle Gag

This Dover Saddlery® Eggbutt Snaffle Gag gives you the option to use either standard direct action or a gag action. 3 1/2" rings.

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Item #: X1-01182
$35.95
Helpful Information
Additional Information
How to Clean
How Bits are Measured
Our Guarantee

This Dover Saddlery® Eggbutt Snaffle Gag, or Cheltenham Gag, gives you the option to use either standard direct action or a gag action. 3 1/2" rings.


Imported.


Gag bits are related to snaffle bits, but unlike snaffles which use direct pressure and offer no leverage, gags provide leverage. Gag bit rings have small holes at the top and bottom through which special rope cheek pieces (gag cheeks) pass. When pressure is applied to the gag rein, it rotates the bit in the horse’s mouth and slides it upward, putting pressure o the corners of the horse’s lips and poll. Gag bits can be used with a snaffle rein attached to the main ring as well as with the gag rein so that the gag action is applied only when needed. Because of the effect of these bits, gags are recommended for use only by experienced riders. They can be helpful in working through retraining issues or with strong horses in events such as show jumping, cross country jumping or polo. Dover Saddlery offers a selection of gag bits from a variety of manufacturers.
How to Clean Your Horse's Bit

Clean your horse's bit routinely after every ride. Any dried spit or food particles left to harden on a bit become abrasive and uncomfortable to your horse's mouth. With regular cleaning you're not only ensuring your horse's comfort, you�re also ensuring that the moving parts of the bit, such as the cheek or ring joints or center lozenges, function as smoothly as intended.

Give the bit a good rinse with water and wipe it thoroughly with a clean rag. Alternatively, use flavored Horse Amour® Bit Wipes. These pre-moistened, disposable wipes remove grime quickly and leave a pleasant taste for your horse to enjoy at the next bridling.

Over time, bits may become tarnished from use and exposure. Use a non-toxic, non-acidic metal polish such as Herm Sprenger® Diamond Paste to remove tarnish gently. Developed for use on bit mouthpieces and all types of metal, HS Diamond Paste helps prevent tarnish from recurring. If you use any other type of metal polish, be sure to wash the bit thoroughly with water to remove any trace of the product.

How Bits Are Measured
To find the right size bit for your horse or pony, consider both the length of the mouthpiece and the width of the mouthpiece in combination with the conformation of your horse's mouth.

Length of the Mouthpiece
Bit length corresponds to the width of your horse's mouth. This measurement is usually provided in inches and fractions of an inch, such as 5 inch or 5 1/2 inch.

When attached to an appropriately adjusted bridle, a bit should rest comfortably at the corners of a horse's mouth and shouldn't press too hard against a horse's face. This would indicate the bit length is too short, and the horse may feel pinching at the sensitive corners of his mouth.

Conversely, if you see a 1/2 inch or more on each side between the lips and bit rings, the bit is too long. A bit that is too long can slip sideways in a horse's mouth, becoming ineffective and causing soreness.

The specific type of bit you choose will influence slightly the desirable bit length. A full cheek snaffle, Pelham or elevator bit should sit snuggly next to your horse's cheeks, but should not squeeze or pinch. For a loose ring snaffle or any bit with moveable rings, make sure that your horse's lips completely clear the bit ring holes by 1/8 inch on each side. Otherwise, the horse's skin can become pinched into the holes as the action of the loose rings works with the reins.

Measure your horse's mouth to determine the length of bit required in either of two ways:
  • A Bit Sizer, simple but accurate, is a plastic device that measures in inches and corresponds to bit sizes. Take the reading as you would on a ruler. Slide the Bit Sizer across the horse's tongue, resting it against the corners of his mouth. The end piece should rest against one cheek comfortably. At the other side, read the inch measurement at the corner of the mouth.
  • Use a piece of string in place of a Bit Sizer if your horse will cooperate. Mark the spots on the string that meet the corners of the horse's mouth, then lay the string against a ruler to obtain your bit length measurement.

As described previously, depending on the type of bit you're selecting, you may want to add 1/4 to 1/2 inch to your measurement.

Width of Mouthpiece
Bit width refers to the bit circumference at the widest part of the mouthpiece. This measurement may be in inches or millimeters.



For most horses, the thinner the bit, the more severe its action is on the horse's mouth because the pressure from the bit is exerted on a narrower surface. Similarly, in general, the thicker the bit, the more gentle its action on the horse's mouth because the pressure is distributed over a wider surface. With this in mind, also consider the conformation of a horse's mouth when choosing bit width. A bit should never be too thick in relation to the space in a horse's mouth.

The height of the palate (roof of the mouth) plus the thickness of the tongue determines the amount of space available for the bit. You can usually identify the conformation of the horse's mouth by prying open the side of the lips. A small or average sized tongue lies below or level with the bars of the mouth; a thick tongue rises above the bars or spills over the bars and between the teeth.

Your equine dentist, veterinarian or a knowledgeable trainer can help you determine whether your horse's palate is normal or high, which could allow for a thicker bit, or very low, which could reduce the thickness of the bit that may be used.