I started a new thread just for this topic.

I've looked at Peruvian bits and it fascinates me as to how do they exactly work?

Can you use them without the other Peruvian headgear? 

My mare works okay in  the reining snaffle we're using, but I wonder somtimes if she wouldn't work "better" in one of these.  

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Due to the squiggly shanks, the Peruvian bit is actually a mild bit. The squiggles disperse the energy. They provide more of a signal before the bit actually engages. There are varieties that have a stronger affect (large spoon, narrow rollers), but the 2 copper roller, no spoon bit is awesome. The Peruvian bit is a really well balanced bit. If you put the center of the mouth bar on the tip of your finger, the bit will balance there with no effort. It does the same in the horse's mouth. They fit perfectly in a normal western headstall, but my daughter has also used them when showing her Peruvian in English classes.

The shanks are loose-jawed, meaning they swivel where the mouthpiece attaches to the shank.  They also have a loose, rotating ring at the bottom of the shank for rein attachment. Both of these functions allow slight rotation before the bit engages, again providing a "warning" to the horse before the bit engages fully and allowing the horse to respond to the slightest pressure, increasing communication between horse and rider.

The mouthpiece varies. You can get a Peruvian bit with a mullen mouth, a straight bar, straight bar with spoon/spade, straight bar with 2 or 6 rollers, rollers with or without spoon/spade, steel rollers, copper rollers, jointed bar, jointed bar with copper roller, ported bar... and with or without rubber mouth guards.

Cool.   That's the kind of info I was looking for.  I understand some horses will work well with direct reining on a solid mouthpiece.  Rode that way with my mustang for two years before anyone told me anything different.  lol  He worked okay, but he worked better when I switched to a jointed mouthpiece.   I like the reining snaffle I use because although she direct reins, there are times when she gets strong and it's nice to have the leverage. Mainly riding in the arena.  She is a bear .  Get her out in the pasture, she rides like a dream.  We ride with double reins.

I was wondering if the bit worked off the Peruvian headstall of it would work with any headstall.   The training video's I was watching, stress the importance of riding with the nose piece.  Forgive me, the name of it escapes me right now.  Thought maybe it worked as some type of hackamore with the double reins.  

Gamarilla. The gamarilla is a device with a headstall connected to a hinged, half-moon-shaped metal piece that fits across the horse's nose, just above the bit slots above the bit bar. (A gamarilla is very different from a serreta, which is not used with Peruvian horses. In the hands of a heavy-handed rider, the serreta causes pain while the gamarilla prevents it.) Leather straps at each end of the metal piece are buckled through those slots and adjusted so that they lift the bit slightly off the bars of the mouth. During a horse's first days in the bit, a gamarilla will transfer some the reins' pressure from the mouth to the bridge of the nose, getting the horse accustomed to the bit without danger of damaging the tender bars of its mouth. Its also reminiscent of the horses time in the bozal. The horse will go "Oh ya, the nose pressure thing. I know what that means."

Hi Michele and All Others,

On the subject of bits, has anyone ever tried a bitless bridle, like the one by Dr. Cook?  I am really curious about this bitless bridle.  My PP does fine on his Peruvian bit and head set, but I am just curious how this other  bit works and if anyone has tried it on their Peruvian Paso.


Funny story. I actually don't ride in a bit unless I'm in the show ring... So at Horse Fair one year, I bought the Dr. Cook bitless bridle. I have a couple of sidepulls I really like, but I figured it was worth a try. I put it on my sweet mare and went out on the trails. (STUPID on my part. I should have ridden her in the roundpen first.) Poor girl came unglued! She thought something was trying to attack the top of her head. The pressure the reins create at the pole was more than she could handle. She almost flipped herself over shaking her head. Even when I completely released the reins, the pole pressure didn't stop!  She did the most beautiful "High Ho Silver" rear straight in the air trying to escape the pressure. Wish I had a picture of that one! Needless to say, it was the one and only time I used it. I would rather ride in a halter than that bitless bridle! I sold it at a rummage sale. I do like to use the Peruvian headgear in parades, so I have a unique way of turning the rawhide Peruvian bridle into a sidepull. I'll try to get some pics up tomorrow.

I have heard about some horses hating the poll pressure of the Dr Cook bitless bridles.  Maybe call it lazy, but if I am going to ride without the bit, then most likely I am just going to leave my rope halter on and tie the lead to the rope halter and away we go.  I think my mare prefers to be without the bit.  She responds well and doesn't chomp when she doesn't have the bit in her mouth.  There is a local guy here in Wisconsin that makes a bitless bridle.  I like the concept of them, but just haven't gotten one yet.  A couple friends of mine swear by them.  I think they are called Rank bitless bridles. 


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