PDA

View Full Version : Bits: Purchase Length vs Shank Length



horse&pony
Jun. 27, 2012, 09:29 PM
I'm still learning about western bits and have read many bit descriptions that list the purchase lenght and the shank length. I know which part of the bit each of these terms is referring to. But am wondering how the length of the purchase affects the severity/action of the mouthpiece. Also not exactly sure on how the shank length affects this too. Any advise?

Thanks!!!

7HL
Jun. 27, 2012, 09:53 PM
Purchase = upper part
Shank = lower part

See picture

horse&pony
Jun. 27, 2012, 10:04 PM
Yes, I know this. I'm wondering how the length of each affects the action of the mouthpiece/bit.

potteryshop
Jun. 27, 2012, 10:27 PM
http://www.equiworld.net/horses/horsecare/saddlery/bitseverity.htm

aktill
Jun. 28, 2012, 09:26 AM
The other thing that's worth keeping in mind is that, as warm and fuzzy as "tongue relief" sounds, by removing pressure from the tongue on some bits it increases pressure on the bars. That can make a mouthpiece dramatically more harsh independently of the shanks.

Some curve to the cross bar of a mouthpiece can sometimes be beneficial to accommodate some tongue shapes, but a tall, wide port build into that bar can be quite harsh as well.

Conversely something like a spade, even with a tall port, offers so much surface area that it's comparatively much less pressure in any one given area and in some ways can be considered much less "harsh".

goodhors
Jun. 28, 2012, 11:51 PM
Conversely something like a spade, even with a tall port, offers so much surface area that it's comparatively much less pressure in any one given area and in some ways can be considered much less "harsh".

Anyone using a Spade bit as you describe, pulling and spreading out the pressure, shouldn't be allowed to have the bit!

It isn't surface area that lets the Spade bit work well, it is balance and TRAINING of the horse. Training a horse to wear a Spade bit is nothing that happens fast. Those skilled horses work with barely a lift of the reins and pulling on them is a nasty thing to do with the Spade bit in their mouth. They don't need the pull to respond if well trained, just the touch or lifted rein.

Not all horses going into the training, will reach the level of skill needed to wear the Spade bit well. Those less skilled horses need to be wearing another style bit other than a Spade bit of any design.

aktill
Jun. 29, 2012, 12:26 AM
With respect, I didn't describe using it any way. I'm well aware of what's required to prepare a horse for the spade. My point was merely that a spade has multiple ways of signalling pressure and is much more horse friendly than almost any non-signal curb bit (especially a correction bit).