Futurity trainer and multiple slot race champion Lacey Harmon discusses the Dave Elliott mullen mouth reverse gag bit.

Mouthpiece: Mullen with cricket roller and copper-wrapped corners

“I’m a big fan of the mullen mouthpiece. I use this bit on a lot of horses that are overly bendy. It has enough leverage you can kind of pull on them, but it doesn’t intimidate them, whereas with a twisted wire if you get to pulling, it’s intimidating. This bit has a dragging effect with a shank and because it’s not a severe bit, you can help the horse more. To me, the more gadgets you put in their mouth, the more they’re going to like it, especially a busy horse—they can doodle with the cricket. ‘Bruno’ (Just The Way You Are) is a huge fan of crickets!”

Shank: Spur Up 02 (short) with some gag action

“I like gag. I’m not big on [long] shanks, just because they don’t fit my hands. I like to drag, so it doesn’t work for me because you aren’t really supposed to drag with a shank. Shorter-shank bits fit my hands better.”

Dave Elliott bit hanging in trailer
Lacey Harmon uses a leather curb strap with the Dave Elliott Spur Up 02 shank with mullen mouthpiece and cricket roller.

Curb Strap: Leather

“I always start off with leather or string. I don’t use chains a lot unless I feel like I need to. I don’t feel like [most of my bits] require a chain, so I usually put a plain leather strap, string or slobber strap-type thing—something simple and definitely not harsh. Some bits come with a chain, but I don’t put it tight enough to even do anything.”

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Author

Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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