Frequently on horse forums I see people talk about the poll pressure that’s applied by Baucher bits. It makes me shake my head because the Baucher is a snaffle bit, as defined by the FEI — by definition that is a bit that applies only direct pressure to the rein.
This posting from Bitbankaustralia does an excellent job of explaining the Baucher and how it functions.
In my opinion, calling the Baucher a leverage bit make work as a placebo. If the rider thinks the bit is stronger than it is (by applying poll pressure), then it helps them ride better because they are more relaxed. However, the baucher is NOT a leverage bit. It’s main benefit is that it sits very quietly in a horse’s mouth because of the way it is suspended from the cheek pieces. Many horses appreciate the reduced “noise” of the bit; they prefer a bit that moves very little.
My Trakehner, Kroni, hated bits that moved too much in his mouth — a loose ring snaffle, no matter how gentle the mouthpiece was torture to him — so I rode him in a Baucher much of the time. If I didn’t believe the mechanics of the bit, I would need to trust my horse. Kroni hated poll pressure of any kind — when I tried him in a Dr. Cook’s bitless bridle he started to rear (that bitless set up exerts poll pressure when you pull on the reins), so I know he wasn’t experiencing any poll pressure with the Baucher.
The Baucher is a very useful bit to have in you bit box, but does not work in the same way as an elevator or a pelham.