• Erin Long

Bits: Double Canons

Today is TidBIT Tuesday! We're going to be discussing bits with double cannons and offset joints. We are NOT discussing the texture of the mouthpiece, or the cheek pieces except in one specific case. The traditional purpose of a bit with double cannons is to help control a horse who has become "dead" to a traditional snaffle. 

So how does a double cannon bit work? Essentially, double cannon bits are so powerful because they double the possible pressure in a snaffle, but without leverage. 

The green and red bars above represent the cannons of the bit. As you can see, the offset joints cause the bit to bend in such a manner that it is driven into the palette (represented by the hot pink line) at two different points. This is why it is used on "dead-mouthed" horses, as it hits areas they haven't become numb in yet. 

The tongue is also compressed a great deal more. The pale yellow shows where the tongue would lie in a traditional snaffle with the same pressure on the reins. You can see from the light pink area that the tongue with the double cannons is crushed into nearly half the space.  Sliding or loose mouthpieces make this bit especially potent, as the cannons can slide apart and then "grab" onto the lip edges when pulled.

Overall, these are nasty bits, only to be used as a last resort when retraining a horse with a hard mouth. They are NOT to be used on a long term basis. As always, discussion is welcome but rude or hateful comments will be deleted. Thanks!

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