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View Full Version : Shortest shank, most mild curb bit, please.



beaujolais
Jun. 17, 2012, 01:01 PM
Recommendations for the shortest shank, most mild curb bit, please - for an english horse to go intro to western in.

And one with a very simple, quiet look.

Links welcome.

Thanks all !

SuckerForHorses
Jun. 17, 2012, 02:31 PM
Look into the Myler bits. I really like them, as have all horses I've used them on. Look for the short shank bit with their comfort snaffle mouthpiece.

7HL
Jun. 17, 2012, 03:12 PM
I use a low port grazing bit with a 5 inch shank. My mare needs a 5 1/2 bit so it is actually wider then long. Very mild bit. She loves the bit.

Have been having a hard time finding that size anymore. There was a bit maker at RTTH that I talked to and he said he would male me one.... now to find his card.

A grazing bit is what I would recommend. You can find them with short shanks.

UrbanHennery
Jun. 17, 2012, 03:17 PM
This Myler would probably be a good place to start. I actually just sold two of them as I don't have a green horse anymore. You can usually find them used on ebay or Craigslist. Or if you order, the Tack Shack has good service and a great price on it.

http://www.tackshackocala.com/myhbtshmb03.html

katarine
Jun. 17, 2012, 03:32 PM
http://www.texascowboysupply.com/ecom/shop/item.asp?itemid=691

Guilherme
Jun. 17, 2012, 03:34 PM
Why do you need a bit (vice a bradoon) to ride Western? It it because your discipline requires it or because "experts" have told you that you need it?

For shank length, find the shortest one by using a ruler.

For "mildness," assess the hand holding the reins.

I don't mean for this to be a "flip" set of answers. I do mean that you need to ask a few more relevant questions.

G.

7HL
Jun. 17, 2012, 04:21 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Short-Shank-Training-Horse/dp/B004LPR134

http://www.horsetackinternational.com/black-iron-grazing-bit.html

http://www.mcdiamond.com/bits/reinsman/solid_shank/solid_shankbb121.htm

http://www.buytack.com/products/bits/rep/solidshank1.htm

SuckerForHorses
Jun. 18, 2012, 08:58 AM
This Myler would probably be a good place to start. I actually just sold two of them as I don't have a green horse anymore. You can usually find them used on ebay or Craigslist. Or if you order, the Tack Shack has good service and a great price on it.

http://www.tackshackocala.com/myhbtshmb03.html

This is exactly the bit I would try! I have this mouthpiece but on a western D-ring snaffle, and my gelding loves it. He's very soft and comfortable with it.

meaty ogre
Jun. 18, 2012, 09:01 AM
I'm going through the same thing (introducing western bits to english horses) to try dabbling in the local western circuit.

http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/257604
This was the shortest shanked bit I found, but the 2 horses I tried it on seemed to prefer the grazing bit cited by 7HL above.

YMMV. But I would heed the good advice that I was given on a similar thread and stay far away from tomb thumb type bits (single jointed mouthpiece shanked bits).

Both of mine had gone in an uxeter kimberwicke (http://www.chicksaddlery.com/page/CDS/PROD/25560) which is very similar in action to the grazing bit, just a shorter leverage arm, so if you have one of those in your bit collection that could be a good transition.

The first time I rode the TB in grazing bit, I put the bridle over his halter and hooked a pair of reins to the side rings of the halter. I wanted to have an extra means of control in case he objected violently to the curb bit, but he seemed to like it fine. He actually neck reined pretty well considering his lack of training there, but he has always preferred to be ridden about 90% seat/legs and 10% hands anyway. But back to my point, for the first time you might want to consider a similar 2 rein set-up so you can introduce the curb pressure slowly and so you have a back-up in case your horse objects. Good luck, but honestly it was an easier process than I thought it would be.

7HL
Jun. 18, 2012, 09:19 AM
Here's a low port training bit, with 5 3/4" shanks on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sweet-Iron-Short-Shank-Low-Port-Training-Horse-Bit-Tack-/270893227808

KSAQHA
Jun. 18, 2012, 11:22 AM
My go-to bit when moving up from a snaffle is an argentine snaffle (yes, it's a curb, but that's what it's called).
http://www.kotrading.com/252850-blackargentinebit5copperwirewrappedsnafflemouth5-12cheek.aspx

I have this exact same bit and another that's not black. The copper keeps their mouth moist and the loose cheeks allow 2-handed riding when working on lateral stuff. In fact, I seldom move on from it for my riding horses, unless I'm schooling in a correction bit to soften them up and get them breaking at the poll.

I will also use the bit below on my older horses and they tolerate it well. Has a solid mouthpiece and loose cheeks...again, the sweet iron mouth keeps their mouth moist. Better for horses that neck rein well.
http://www.callisters.com/Reinsman-D-L-Reiner-12-Sweet-Iron-Medium-Port-Bit_p_6272.html

Since there are gadzillions of bits out there, you may have to experiment to see in which your horse is most comfortable.

7HL
Jun. 18, 2012, 11:33 AM
I have also used this bit...

http://www.kotrading.com/442-solidcoltmullenport.aspx

Char
Jun. 18, 2012, 11:55 AM
Why do you need a bit (vice a bradoon) to ride Western? It it because your discipline requires it or because "experts" have told you that you need it?

For shank length, find the shortest one by using a ruler.

For "mildness," assess the hand holding the reins.

I don't mean for this to be a "flip" set of answers. I do mean that you need to ask a few more relevant questions.

G.

THIS ^^^

BayRoan
Jun. 18, 2012, 12:13 PM
What is the horse currently going in? Has it ever objected to a particular type of bit in the past? Ever experienced curb pressure? How old/broke is the horse?

I would use a different bit to transition a young horse that has gone in strictly a broken mouth or french link snaffle vs. a more experienced horse that is used to solid mouthpieces and/or curb pressure.

Also, are you riding with contact, or a loose rein? What sort of events/riding are you aiming to do?

For mildness/leverage, it is not just the length of the shanks, but the ratio of the top shank vs. the bottom shank. Measure from the mouthpiece to the top of the headstall ring, then from the mouthpiece to the bottom of the rein ring. The higher the ratio, the more the bit compounds pull on the reins into mouth pressure.

myvanya
Jun. 18, 2012, 04:54 PM
my retired jumper horse shows in this:

http://www.amazon.com/Copper-Roller-Thumb-Training-Breaking/dp/B003I3JHD2

and schools in a bit similar to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Short-Shank-Training-Horse/dp/B004LPR134

Heinz 57
Jun. 18, 2012, 06:27 PM
I have this one: Myler (http://www.horsesaddleshop.com/toklat-myler-bit-89-20325.html)

And even my very soft-mouthed horse goes well in it. Just be sure to go with a leather curb strap or something equally forgiving, adjusted loosely at first.

beaujolais
Jun. 18, 2012, 07:10 PM
Thanks all. Lots of nice options were listed. I really appreciate it.

Sacred_Petra
Jun. 18, 2012, 07:50 PM
When we're moving our reiners up to a bridle from a snaffle we use either a billy allen mouthpiece or a cody shank correction.

What kind of bit does your horse go well in right now? A horse who dislikes a french link snake is probably not going to like a billy allen mouthpiece and would be happier in a low port correction mouthpiece with less tongue pressure even though the billy allen looks more mild.

The other thing to consider is the angle of the shank. The more swept back the shank is, the shower the bit is.

Cody shank correction: http://www.brightonsaddlery.com/Correction/Tom-Balding-Cody-Correction-Bit/PAMEIDLIOLOLHCFP/3029-3030-3133/Product

Billy allen: http://www.brightonsaddlery.com/PAMEADIAPIOGHCFP/Product

beaujolais
Jun. 18, 2012, 08:33 PM
What kind of bit does your horse go well in right now? >

french link D-bit.

He is a compliant fellow; not too strong or too quiet; can go on either loose reins or contact; equitation (flat & fences) and hunter under saddle type horse

Thanks all.

Diamondindykin
Jun. 18, 2012, 08:58 PM
I would recommend an Argentine snaffle which is actually a leverage bit with a snaffle mouth piece.

BayRoan
Jun. 19, 2012, 01:43 PM
If he likes a french D, he'll probably like what, in western terms, we call a dogbone or Billy Allen mouthpiece.

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=5d79837f-cf87-4f72-a710-ae1e68cf3630

A lot of horses also like what's called a correction mouthpiece. If yanked on, like anything, if can be severe, but a lot of horses like it because they can hold it in pretty much whatever shape they want and with all the joints, it has a lot of feel, so with good heavy or weighted reins, the horse gets a lot of pre-signal when the reins are picked up, before contact is ever actually made. It can be a very light and kind bit, if you let the horse respond to the pre-signal, instead of just taking ahold of them. I've never ridden a horse that wasn't happy in one. Here is one with a short shank:

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=f56a1152-d37b-4bcf-8e19-c61ebeb9243f

I hesitate to include the next bit, because it's not pretty, or traditional, but every compliant, willing-minded horse I've ridden has absolutely loved it. The only horse I've used it on that didn't like it was a hard headed SOB that just loves his 7" shank correction bit, so who knows. It has a very slight gag action, so you'll be pulling the corners of the mouth up when you take ahold of it and getting more poll pressure than with a standard curb. I'm generally not a fan of gag bits, but for whatever reason, the horses like this one and we've used it as a transition from snaffle to curb pressure several times.

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=f1b20a8c-4d81-46eb-8dbc-9dd4eab8767c

The links are all to Valley Vet, because they have really good pricing, and it's the only place I know of that carries the last bit, but please ignore their training advice in the descriptions. ;-)

I know you want something restrained in style, but I really like the following one, and it has a hinged Billy Allen type of mouth that your horse would probably like, with some tongue relief.

http://www.buckarooleather.com/hobbles/details/593/1/bits/cowboy-collection-short-slotted-futurity-bit.html

Just some ideas. Ideally, you'll have a friend with a bit collection so you can try some out to see what your horse likes before investing in one, or several. Good luck. :-)

RougeEmpire
Jun. 20, 2012, 01:56 PM
The shank length is not nearly as important as the PURCHASE length when it comes to assessing severity.

aktill
Jun. 20, 2012, 04:42 PM
Before you consider using a broken mouthed shank bit, please read this:
http://www.markrashid.com/trouble_with_tom_thumb.htm
After that, to each their own.

Broken mouth shank bit is not functionally halfway between a broken mouth bit (ie snaffle) and a solid-jaw curb.

A western two-rein setup (bosal-type hackamore + curb or signal bit) is the traditional transition from a snaffle to curb. It's analogous to a dressage double bridle.

sparkette
Jun. 21, 2012, 05:15 PM
I've heard wonderful things about the Metalab Antique Low Port Hinged Futurity Bit on another forum.

quikchik
Jun. 26, 2012, 12:29 PM
I hesitate to include the next bit, because it's not pretty, or traditional, but every compliant, willing-minded horse I've ridden has absolutely loved it. The only horse I've used it on that didn't like it was a hard headed SOB that just loves his 7" shank correction bit, so who knows. It has a very slight gag action, so you'll be pulling the corners of the mouth up when you take ahold of it and getting more poll pressure than with a standard curb. I'm generally not a fan of gag bits, but for whatever reason, the horses like this one and we've used it as a transition from snaffle to curb pressure several times.

http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=f1b20a8c-4d81-46eb-8dbc-9dd4eab8767c


I use this one quite a bit, and most horses respond well to it.