The stiff-yet-flexible shanks make the Rope Gag unique. The rope’s resistant body allows the shank to bounce back like rubber, slowing and muddling inconsistencies in your hands. Horses accept and understand this setup because the cues are slow and unbinding, leaving the horse comfortable and receptive to training.
The full-ring rope gag has a centered shank to offer lateral flexion and directional cues. The half-ring is a step-up on the learning curve and offers increased leverage and more control over forward movement.
This setup is popular with barrel racers, especially if they want more lateral movement without completely turning loose of the horse. Ropers have also found the Rope Gag helpful in their programs.
“When I designed this setup, all I had was a heel rope in my shop. It turns out the stiff rope is what makes it work. If I’d had a piece of soft rope, the Rope Gag never would’ve come to be.” —JE