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Trailrider27
Tenderfoot

18 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  10:42:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Trailrider27's Homepage Send Trailrider27 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am using a reining bit on my saddlebred and was wondering if maybe I have the curb chain in the wrong position. It seems to hang down to far on his chin no matter how tight I make it. Should the chain be moved up to where the headstall is connected or does this look correct?
Also he has started to put his head down and pull through the bit at times. Would placement of the chain or the bit that I am using have anything to do with this? Or do I just need to work on training him 'whoa' better? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.




Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  12:23:02 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The way I've always checked for proper placement of the curb chain or strap is by pulling gently on the reins while standing by the horse on the ground until the curb chain is snug in the horse's chin groove. Once the bit is in this position, the bit's shanks should be at a 90% angle with the horse's mouth... that would be a right angle. If the bit goes farther back than that, it is too loose. If it doesn't go that far back, then the curb chain is too tight.

And, no, I would not put the curb chain in the rings where the headstall attaches to the bit. I did this once by accident and my horse wouldn't listen to me at all. It would also move the placement of the curb chain and move it away from the chin groove where it should lay.

Your other problem, I think, is called "rooting", if I'm reading you correctly. Has you Saddlebred been ridden very long in a western style of bridle and bit? When he was ridden English, was he ridden in a double bridle like many Saddlebreds usually are for show purposes? If so, he could've been ridden more on the snaffle (bridoon) bit of the double bridle than the curb bit depending on the rider. The curb bit may be a wee bit too much bit for him, and you may need to go with a milder curb bit or put him in a snaffle bit. JMO

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  1:33:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes it is in the wrong position. You should move it up to the bridle attachment ring.

This photo shows the correct position.


Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  1:43:03 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay??? Then Why does that particular bit that TR is using have the curb chain slot even with the bit? I'm not saying your wrong, Hook. Far from it since your bit shows the curb slot up higher. I'm just wondering why her bit is different?

I will still stick with how to adjust the curb chain, though.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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hmeyer
Clinician



USA
2194 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  1:45:11 PM  Show Profile Send hmeyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looks to me like we are talking about 2 different kinds of bits here. If Trailrider moves the curb chain up to the top of the bit it looks to me like it would be farther up than what is shown in Hook's photo. Isn't that what the ring in Trailrider's photo is for? If not, what is it for?

"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A manís soul canít be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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Trailrider27
Tenderfoot

18 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  2:03:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Trailrider27's Homepage Send Trailrider27 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is a pic of the actual bit I am using.



I was wondering the same thing as RH why would there be a CC slot even with the bit if you are not supposed to use it? Can't get the curb chain tight enough so I thought maybe I just needed a smaller chain.

Thanks for the replies so far, any feedback is helpful.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  2:11:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Trailrider27

Here is a pic of the actual bit I am using.

I was wondering the same thing as RH why would there be a CC slot even with the bit if you are not supposed to use it? Can't get the curb chain tight enough so I thought maybe I just needed a smaller chain.

Thanks for the replies so far, any feedback is helpful.



I don't think the slots in your bit are for a curb chain as there would be no curb action where the slot is located. The slot may be to add a strap to prevent the bit from sliding sideways in the horses mouth. Perhaps Stormy can give us her opinion for this particular bit.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2006 :  5:41:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can answer this...those slots are actually for reins! The curb strap does go in the same rings as the headstall, for this particular bit. Some people, when teaching a horse to neck rein, would use a second set of reins so they could direct-rein the horse, if necessary, during training. That is how I have seen these slots used, anyway. A curb strap used with these slots would not have much of an effect.

EZ2SPOT
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Trailrider27
Tenderfoot

18 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2006 :  4:31:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Trailrider27's Homepage Send Trailrider27 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you! I will move the curb chain this weekend and see if it makes a difference.
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sbower
Clinician



1083 Posts

Posted - 10/27/2006 :  7:05:01 PM  Show Profile Send sbower a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep, Ez's right, those slots are for reins. Attach the bit up higher where the headstall attaches. Does anyone else think that the headstall should be shortened a hole? In the first picture it looks like the bit hangs too low.

As to how tight the curb strap is... it depends on the bit. Theoretically, the curb strap should engage only after the bit has. For a mild bit it may be at 90% of the swing back, for a really high port it might be more like 75%. If this is hard to judge then typically a rider would allow 2 fingers to fit under the curb strap and call it quits!

Also remember that tightening the headstall would require an adjustment (lengthening) of the curb strap an vice versa.

Stormie, what do you think about this bit? I agree with Red Hawk that it looks like the curb strap is going to end up too high with the proper hole being utilized. And Trailrider27 called it a "reining" bit, but what would make it a reining bit as opposed to just a curb bit?

<'\__~
_(( // ====

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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/28/2006 :  11:43:10 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A reining bit is a specialized curb bit... I think. This would be the same thing as other bits that have special names but in realitiy they are either a curb bit or a snaffle bit, such as a spade bit, Billy Allen bit, pelham bit, kimberwick bit, egg butt bit, etc. Each performs a little differently, but they can all be classified as a curb bit or a snaffle bit due to the way the pressure is applied to the horse's head. When the bit works through a leverage action when pressure is applied by the reins, it is a curb bit regardless of what else it may be called. If the pressure is applied directly on the horse's mouth and nowhere else, it is a snaffle bit.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  01:59:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Warning this will have a lot of typos...well more then normal. lol I have to wear a stupid wrist brace thanks to the 4 wheeler and it's hard to type.

Yes the curb strap is in the wrong ring. The curb strap is going to always be up at or by the headstall ring. If it is at the level of the mouth piece it won't do anything at all.

It will not put the curb strap too high. The point is not to have it right at the chin groove...well it doesn't have to be there. There is nothing set in stone that it should be. In fact altering where it lands on the jaw can alter the head level, the amount of tuck, etc. Where it should fall(high or low) will depend on what you need out of the horse and how the horrse's head is build. A longer mouthed horse probably would not like a bit with a long purchase because it would put the curb strap far to high. A short mouthed horse might have a problem with a short purchase because of it catching on the chin. Look at Hook's photo, the shank is different but the purchase looks to be about the same and that curb strap draps nicely down into the spot it should be for the avg case.

There are many styles of shanks and some have many rings and holes on them. Ones like Hoook's has a special fixed curb strap ring. Many do not have this or have a curb hook within the headstall ring. Some have multi rein rings like Hook's bit(that is a Foreman shank by the way). The bit in question has those added rings and yes they could be used for a second set of reins but are very quick if you do. Where on Hooks the reins would slide as a presingal this bit would not. If one wishes to use a 2nd set of reins this shank isn't the best one.
Another reson some bits have a ring in this area is for a lead shank. And some bits will have a loop or hole below the mouth piece for a lip strap which goes from one shank up though the curb strap(or a ring on it) and down to the other shank. It is too keep the curb strap in place. Both of these things are seen mainly on english curbs not western curbs.

Hawk is on the right trail with snaffles and curbs but there is actaully a few more groups(gags, hackamores, bitless, Combos etc). A curb is a curb and this is a curb. The term Reining bit or Cutting, or barrle is just a term to give a general idea of what the bit is used for. That isn't to say that you can't use a reining bit on a barrle horse. Or a cutting bit on trail horse or even a cowhorse bit on a WP horse. Mainly these terms come from one of two places, either the org maker of the bit gives it this class or a name(like the forman shank which was named after the maker or the Tom Thumb Aussie bit which has what looks like thumb prints on it) or marketing gives it the name. Sometimes like the Western Tom Thumb it gets the name from other bits that it is like(in that case the Tom Thumb Curb bit of the english). This bit is a Billy Allen, as is Hooks. Billy Allen refers more to the mouth piece. Hooks would be a Billy Allen with a Foreman Shank. The naming of bits is like a lot of things, There is no set standard. The forman shank is also called a western Pelham or a two rein training bit or a transition pelham or a number of other names.

The bit doesn't look to be to low. You don't want wrinkles unless the horseneeds it or wants it.

Whoa comes from training but the dropping of the head and control issues might be something else. How long as he been in this bit and what was he in before, do you ride two handed or one handed, what are you asking him to do when he does it?
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  02:37:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope neither of you mind that I did this but the photos where two prefect to pass this up.



Here is both bits in about the same spot and size(roughly). I couldn't line them up perfect so the bit on the right is higher then the other.

You can tell that Hook's bit actually has a higher purchase but much shorter shanks.

I added in a blue line on the right bit to show about where the curb strap would fall naturally. It's not much different then the other bit.

But what I wanted to show with these two photos was what the red line shows. This red line is the center line of the bit. It starts at the headstall ring and goes down through the butt of the mouth piece and then down. What these two photo show is how the shank can curve back. The bit on the left has the reing rings farther from this line then the bit on the right. This line helps you to find a number of things. The leverage of the bit(ratio), the true shank length and even can help with seeing the balance.

One thing I forgot to touch on was how the curb strap moves inrelation to the shank style. One point that was brought up was if the curb strap would be too high on the first bit when put in the correct place. Because of this shank style the curb strap will actaully say lower on the jaw then on Hooks bit when the bits are engaged. So even though it looks high in the end it wouldn't be.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  05:48:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great explanation Stormy. You have a way that makes everything just so logical and easy to understand.

Thanks for the info. The two pictures together was really great.

As for spelling mistakes, didn't see any and I am much better myself since Chuck told me about the spell check on the Google toolbar. Thanks again Chuck. I would be lost without it.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  11:32:30 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I thank you, too, Stormie. I was trying, but just couldn't quite get there. I'm so glad you came to my rescue.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2006 :  8:41:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After years of typing this stuff over and over again I had to learn how to explain things.

I didn't think of it last night but that picture also shows balance. Both horses have about the same angle of their head and neither bit is engaged by the reins.
The bit on the right is hanging more back. I know that it is a straight hanger or "balanced bit". If the horse tucked his nose just a tad the bit would balance out and stop engaging on it's own. This is how a bit can work for you. On a horse that is trained for this you can go to a straight hanger for something like WP class and if you have worked the horse with it he will remind himself to tuck that nose in when it pops it out because the bit will try to stay balanced, when the nose is tucked back it will stop cuing the horse. It is also good for a horse that is naturally straight in the face.
Where the bit on the left is sitting more balanced in the mouth as it is. Not forward or back. At this spot the horse is not feeling anything from the bit. For a horse that is natrually more nosed out or if you do not need to keep a horse on the straight or for training this bit is good. That isn't to say that you can't use either bit for other cases. Star was very straight in the face no matter what she was doing but she loved her Mod. Foreman Shank.
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Trailrider27
Tenderfoot

18 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  09:20:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Trailrider27's Homepage Send Trailrider27 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Again thank you all. I moved the curb chain this weekend and it does make a difference. It now engages as it should have been the whole time. He doesn't like it and fought me some about it but I think he will get used to it. He has been in this bit for about 6 months. When I got him I was told he had been ridden in a hackamore after he was retired from showing, but I found he has no "whoa" when ridden in a hackamore so we didn't use that long. He always wants to go so him putting his head down and pulling through the bit was occuring when we were at a canter and gallop. We didn't run this weekend cause of the wind and mud so i don't know yet if the chain move will make a difference with that problem. I had to get a long shanked bit because I had him in a snaffle curb bit (I know some people would say there is no such thing) but he gets fidgety and bored when walking and would grab the shanks with his lips for the whole ride. He cannot get to the shanks on this bit and has stopped trying. I had his teeth floated as I thought that might have been why his was grabbing at the shanks but that didn't seem to make a differnce. I mostly ride one handed. I have thought about buying him an english bridle and a walking horse bit as it is probably more of what he was used to but haven't made that move yet.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2006 :  7:27:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Iknow that they call them snaffle curb bits and such but they aren't. A snaffle cannot work like a curb and a curb cannot work like a snaffle. The reason they call them this is the misunderstanding that a snaffle is a jointed mouth piece and a curb is a solid mouth piece.

He needs work on getting light to the bit. No bit(or hackamore) will give you control. Did you try him out in the hackamore before you bought him? No wanting to stop, pushing through the bit, etc is a training issue. If you work on getting him light and working on a loose rein these problems will go away.
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