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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  6:23:38 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
What are these used for??
http://www.nrvss.com/surcingle.html

And could someone tell me if this is a "severe" bit for a horse used to a french link that has no curb chain?
http://www.salemsaddlery.com/PhotoGallery.asp?ProductCode=451

And if a horse isn't used to a curb chain, would one freak him out?

Also, can you use this bit without the curb chain by attaching reins to bit rings rather than shank rings?

Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  7:06:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
A Surcingle is used as a training aid. Normally you see them used for bitting a horse up with side reins or other things. You can put them on without a saddle or over a saddle depending on the style. They can be useful also to help get young horses use to being cinched up. All of the rings are for different rein placements but also you can put an over check, crupper, or even tie things like bags, or other things on it to get the horse to things flopping around. If you want one I would pass on that one. Look for one that has some type of padding around the withers to help hold it on or better yet look into driving catalogs for a regular harness saddle which has a 'tree' in it. One without these things will have a habit of slipping on you and that can cause problems. Other things I like to have is as many rings as I can get, the buckles on both sides of the girth, lots of adjustment in size(so I don't need 80 of them!), and I perfer leather, at least for parts of it. Dover has a good mid priced one for around $40.

The bit is a pelham. And you have to use a curb strap(doesn't have to be a chain one unless you show english with it). The mouth piece looks pretty thick from the photo. It's not really a severe bit(not many are) but it isn't the best for a step up from a french link snaffle(you don't put curb straps on a snaffle, you can put a chin strap but it does nothing on a true snaffle so it doesn't prepare a horse for a curb strap).

On all pelhams you have the double set of rein rings. The idea is that you can use two sets of reins, One "snaffle" rein and one Curb Rein but no matter what they call it the snaffle rein will not action 100% like a snaffle bit. It's not possible with how the bit is disigned. Even if you take the curb chain off and put one set of reins on the top rein rings it's not a snaffle, it's not close to a snaffle. Without the curb strap on a shanked bit it is easy to cause them to rotate too much which opens up some issues that are best avoided.

If a horse is ready for a curb bit and the bit picked for the first curb is good then it should not freak him out at all. But a horse is not ready for a curb bit until they are pretty well broke. They know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. The switch over to a well picked curb bit shouldn't be an issue at all.

Now I have to ask why you would want to use this without a curb strap and place the reins in the top rein rings? I would be a whole lot of bit if all you wanted was a snaffle. And if you want a step up from a snaffle, Why? There are better choices for a first curb but you need to be moving up to one for the right reasons. This is an english bit, a highly misused one but it itself is not a bad bit. Not the best but not evil either.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  7:06:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
A Surcingle is used as a training aid. Normally you see them used for bitting a horse up with side reins or other things. You can put them on without a saddle or over a saddle depending on the style. They can be useful also to help get young horses use to being cinched up. All of the rings are for different rein placements but also you can put an over check, crupper, or even tie things like bags, or other things on it to get the horse to things flopping around. If you want one I would pass on that one. Look for one that has some type of padding around the withers to help hold it on or better yet look into driving catalogs for a regular harness saddle which has a 'tree' in it. One without these things will have a habit of slipping on you and that can cause problems. Other things I like to have is as many rings as I can get, the buckles on both sides of the girth, lots of adjustment in size(so I don't need 80 of them!), and I perfer leather, at least for parts of it. Dover has a good mid priced one for around $40.

The bit is a pelham. And you have to use a curb strap(doesn't have to be a chain one unless you show english with it). The mouth piece looks pretty thick from the photo. It's not really a severe bit(not many are) but it isn't the best for a step up from a french link snaffle(you don't put curb straps on a snaffle, you can put a chin strap but it does nothing on a true snaffle so it doesn't prepare a horse for a curb strap).

On all pelhams you have the double set of rein rings. The idea is that you can use two sets of reins, One "snaffle" rein and one Curb Rein but no matter what they call it the snaffle rein will not action 100% like a snaffle bit. It's not possible with how the bit is disigned. Even if you take the curb chain off and put one set of reins on the top rein rings it's not a snaffle, it's not close to a snaffle. Without the curb strap on a shanked bit it is easy to cause them to rotate too much which opens up some issues that are best avoided.

If a horse is ready for a curb bit and the bit picked for the first curb is good then it should not freak him out at all. But a horse is not ready for a curb bit until they are pretty well broke. They know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. The switch over to a well picked curb bit shouldn't be an issue at all.

Now I have to ask why you would want to use this without a curb strap and place the reins in the top rein rings? I would be a whole lot of bit if all you wanted was a snaffle. And if you want a step up from a snaffle, Why? There are better choices for a first curb but you need to be moving up to one for the right reasons. This is an english bit, a highly misused one but it itself is not a bad bit. Not the best but not evil either.
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  9:51:52 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Thanks Stormie, actually they were just on a "used tack" post on a message board. I'd seen the Happy Mouth bit and was intrigued with them, not sure why. Some people love them. This particular one had a curb chain setup so I was wondering if you had to use the curb chain. As for the surgicle, I was actually curious what these were used for. I've seen the term, just never knew what they were. There was a photo of it, so I thought it would be a good time to ask. ;-)

Thanks for all the great info!
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OnTheWay
Clinician

1433 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2006 :  9:51:52 PM  Show Profile Send OnTheWay a Private Message
Thanks Stormie, actually they were just on a "used tack" post on a message board. I'd seen the Happy Mouth bit and was intrigued with them, not sure why. Some people love them. This particular one had a curb chain setup so I was wondering if you had to use the curb chain. As for the surgicle, I was actually curious what these were used for. I've seen the term, just never knew what they were. There was a photo of it, so I thought it would be a good time to ask. ;-)

Thanks for all the great info!
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2006 :  12:16:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The happy mouth bits are more for the human then horse. Many people think that it's mean to use metal so they go into the covered bits. Very few horses that are in covered bits need them. They have their own issues. Chewers love them and that causes rough spots. You also have to watch quaility. Happy Mouths came out on the market first but some stores recalled them when they had some issues with them breaking. The company has since fixed the design problems but still something to watch out for with any bit no matter what it is made out of or how big the name is.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2006 :  12:16:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The happy mouth bits are more for the human then horse. Many people think that it's mean to use metal so they go into the covered bits. Very few horses that are in covered bits need them. They have their own issues. Chewers love them and that causes rough spots. You also have to watch quaility. Happy Mouths came out on the market first but some stores recalled them when they had some issues with them breaking. The company has since fixed the design problems but still something to watch out for with any bit no matter what it is made out of or how big the name is.
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