eggbutt – with hooks v. without hooks
Headstall attached to top hook:
When your horse or comes to find your hand, and you soften your rein, the headstall stands the bit up and rewards your horse. Attaching the headstall to the hook keeps the bit positioned properly.* Without the headstall attached in the hook, the bit simply rolls over and lies on the tongue. The horse never gets rewarded. Attaching the headstall makes the bit work the same as a full cheek with bit keepers.
*Our mouthpieces are curved to allow more tongue relief when off contact. A mouthpiece that is straight, even though it may be ported, is going to go to the bars because the tongue is thicker than the bars. This will cause the bit to always lay back against the tongue.
The hole behind the headstall hook is for either a quick link, “J” hook or braided curb cord, as you can see on both the English and western headstall. This attached curb sits higher and allows you to regulate the rotation of the bit inside the horse’s mouth, and gives a very subtle “ask” from another spot for your horse’s response to hand pressure. It also helps to stand the bit back up when you soften your reins, thus rewarding your horse. The curb applies very little pressure, as it sits higher than a curb in a regular cheek. It’s designed to sit higher so that it doesn’t pull up and grab and pinch the jaw. The bit stands back up quicker in the horse’s mouth, thus offering a quicker “reward.”
Rein attached to bottom hook:
Attaching the rein in the hook allows you to very softly pick up and move the shoulder wherever you want it. If the rein is not attached it will slide up the cheek piece, making it necessary for the rider to apply more bar pressure to make the rein catch and maintain shoulder positions. Attaching the rein - keeping it stationary on the cheek - allows you to move the horse’s shoulder easier.