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kimberwick verus shanked curb
#1
just curious as to what peoples thoughts are on simularities/differences of using a kimberwick bit versus a true shanked curb. I realize one is english and one is western but I ride for pleasure so I don't need to worry about what is correct for showing. I know too, that curb applies multiples of pressure based on the length of shank. What are your thoughts?
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#2
For pleasure riding, I truly don't think it matters. I use whatever bit the horse is most comfortable in. Also, what bit you feel the most comfortable riding in.

Right now Cruiser is using a Billy Allen mouthpiece snaffle for western and a fat twisted wire for English. He has worn a western curb but right now is happier in the snaffle.
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#3
One thing that ought to be cleared up right now is a kimberwick is a curb bit. It's not any different than any other curb bit, western or English in the definition of what is a curb bit. A kimberwick works on leverage, has shanks, and needs a curb chain to work. That's a curb bit. The only difference is the length of the shanks. A kimberwick's shanks are short and straight due to the D shaped part of the shanks. Even when using it without the slots, the bottom half of the straight part of the D is longer than the upper half. This applies leverage to the mouth no matter how a kimberwick is used. It is a curb bit and not a snaffle.

As far as a western curb bit is concerned in comparison to a kimberwick: You can get the very same leverage and action with a western curb as a kimberwick. They are out there. The only difference is style. The basics of function are exactly the same. Now if you go to a western curb bit with longer shanks or differently shaped shanks, yes, you will have something totally different from a kimberwick, which will be a much stronger, more leverage, curb bit than a kimberwick.

So as for what's the right bit for your horse; all you're comparing is if you should stick with a short shanked curb bit (a kimberwick) or go for a bit that can apply a little more leverage. That choice is yours and what you feel is best for your horse and his level of training and what you tend to use him for when riding him.
"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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#4
Wow RH , So true. Now I am glad I asked as I learned something new about bits!
Cayuse
A lovely horse is always an experience...It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. Beryl Markham
Riding is a complicated joy. You learn something each time. It is never quite the same, and you never know it all. Monica Dickens
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#5
Mrs. Hook, isn't a Billy Allen a leverage bit as well, with a broken mouthpiece which people call a snaffle mouthpiece? If so, in that case it is a curb bit too, just with a broken mouthpiece, right? I hate the fact that they always call a broken mouthpiece bit a snaffle when that's really not what a snaffle is. It just confuses the whole issue. Or is there a Billy Allen that really is a snaffle bit and not a shank bit?
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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#6
quote:
Originally posted by hmeyer

Mrs. Hook, isn't a Billy Allen a leverage bit as well, with a broken mouthpiece which people call a snaffle mouthpiece? If so, in that case it is a curb bit too, just with a broken mouthpiece, right? I hate the fact that they always call a broken mouthpiece bit a snaffle when that's really not what a snaffle is. It just confuses the whole issue. Or is there a Billy Allen that really is a snaffle bit and not a shank bit?




A Billy Allen curb bit, has a snaffle looking mouthpiece with a fat copper roller in the middle and shankes and place for curb. The bit I'm using on Cruiser has round snaffle side pieces, no chin strap, but rather than being broken in the middle has a roller. Guess I could have just said a snaffle bit with a roller in the center.

I know the terminology regarding bits is all over the place. My rule of thumb is that if it uses a curb chain/strap it is a curb, with a variety of mouthpieces. Then there are the Myler English bits that have the keepers that you attach the bridle and reins too, they look like a snaffle but they are classified as curbs and must be ridden with a curb chain, and the curb never comes with them.
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