The protrusions on the mouthpiece of the compass snaffle bit fit against the inside corner of the horse’s mouth, between the inside of the muscles of the horse’s cheek and teeth. It gives instruction or guidance to the horse when it touches against the skin of the cheek inside the mouth. When a horse objects to flexing in the poll, or pushes their nose into the pressure of a bit, it is because they tighten certain muscles in the head and neck. The Protrusions are so effective because it causes a certain muscle in the horse’s mouth structure to soften and relax. The muscle that the Protrusions act upon is called the Zygomaticus, and the Zygomaticus attaches to the Orbicularis Oris muscle of the horse’s mouth.
The Compass Bit is the result of Vaughn Knudsen’s actual experiences interacting with horses. As a professional horse trainer Vaughn has had a great number of experiences as he held horses for the Farrier in order to care for their feet. The job of a Farrier is very physical and demanding at its best. For a Farrier to do his best work, a horse has to stay relaxed and focused on the Farrier. Young horses and untrained broodmares raise the degree of difficulty. It is hard for these horses to concentrate on having their feet worked on. Over the years Vaughn used different concepts to try to contain these challenging horses for the Farrier. Among them, a leverage rope, a twitch, a lip rope, sedatives, and a number of other concepts. The use of these things would make a horse stiff. The horse would focus more, but the Farrier was still working very hard to stay balanced as he worked on their feet. As he experimented with methods to help the horse to stay still and focused, Vaughn discovered something that was very interesting. If he put a finger inside the corner of the horse’s mouth and tickled the tongue, or the inside of the cheek muscle, he observed that the horse relaxed. The more that he would do this the more the horse would relax. Vaughn also observed that the Farrier’s feet were staying flat underneath him. He was no longer being moved by the horse. This observation told Vaughn that not only was the horse’s head and neck staying relaxed, but so was the rest of his body. Vaughn also learned that a finger inside the corner of the horse’s mouth controls where the horse’s eye looks. If you control the focus of the horse’s eye, you will also control that horse’s thought. It took Vaughn three years to put this information all together to develop the idea of a bit which would operate based on these same concepts. Once Vaughn had the idea and image of a bit with this function clearly in mind he contacted a good friend who was not only a horseman; but also a professional welder of 25 years. Vaughn talked over and discussed this idea for a new type of bit at length. He put three prototypes together and sent them to me. Out of the three prototypes, one was exactly correct. Vaughn was cautious introducing the bit to a horse at first, not knowing what the horse’s reaction might be. But he was pleasantly surprised at the overwhelmingly positive response of the horse to the bit. The more Vaughn experimented with the first Compass Bit prototype, the more that he became certain that this was the real deal. Vaughn discovered that this particular bit was the greatest thing he had ever seen or used to aid in training a horse. The Compass Bit is so effective because it works by design, not by fear or intimidation. It works with the way a horses mind and body functions. It teaches the Zygomaticus muscle of the horse’s cheek to relax. It teaches the horse to focus through its inside eye, thus controlling the horse’s thought. Used correctly, this is the greatest bit known to mankind or horse.