Introducing the curb?
My 5 1/2 year old Morgan gelding is in the middle of a major growth spurt, so his work under saddle is limited to walking and a little bit of trotting right now. I figured since we're already working slow, it'd be a great time to introduce him to the idea of a curb bit.
I have done this before with my now 10 year old gelding, but that was years and years ago and I honestly don't remember what I did - I do remember the transition for him was pretty easy.
None of Remy's curb bits (correction and California pleasure) will work for starting out, I don't think. Last night I rode Aries (5 year old) in a kimberwicke to give him the start of leverage and the curb chain. Took him a couple of minutes, but once he got it he was golden.
Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you. I have used a Myler on Remy that he loved and was going to borrow it again, but it is a level 2-3 mouthpiece and that might be a bit much yet. Or am I worrying over nothing?
Working slow does not equal ready for a curb.
Is he already soft in the bridle with a snaffle? Moving off your seat and legs?
My gelding is still a bit green, but once he was riding soft in the bridle with the snaffle (which is a Myler, western d-ring wtih the comfort snaffle mouthpiece), and moving better off my seat and legs, I schooled him shortly in a myler short shank with the comfort snaffle mouthpiece [I realize this bit is not a snaffle, but that specific mouthpiece is called a comfort snaffle right from the Myler site]
Until your horse is solid in the snaffle, he isn't ready to move to a curb, IMO. Then, when he is solid in the snaffle, the transition should be smooth and flawless - my gelding picked up the curb like he'd been riding in it for years and is super responsive to it, my actions with it are very light, and that's how riding in a curb bit should be.
I should have clarified. He is going great in the snaffle. Super soft, gives his face well, moves off seat and leg, responds great to verbal and body cues. I actually intend to use him as an english horse primarily (once he's leveled out on his growing and we sort out this right lead issue), but he'll get a lot of cross training as well.
Maybe I'll try the Myler tonight and see how he does. He picks up on stuff pretty quick - it might be like you say just smooth and easy. :-)
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised at the seamless transition for my guy - it may be that its the same mouthpiece, just with leverage, but he transitioned great, like he'd been going in it forever. BUT...I worked hard at getting him soft in the bridle with the snaffle before even thinking about moving up.
I would say if he is going soft in the bridle with teh snaffle, and pretty precise with leg and seat aids, then he is ready to try the curb.
I will say that I tried a solid mouthpiece leverage bit (think traditional "curb") and he didnt' care for it. SO, back to broken mouthpiece myler curb.
Talk about a total non-event. Took him about 10 seconds to figure it out. :-)
Our ranch horses preferred our grass rope hackamore best, standard grazing curb second, snaffles last.
One older cutting gelding would make faces if you used a snaffle, which we did if he was getting a bit sloppy on the ends when cutting and needed a reminder to stay with the cow better there.
I think that a straight bar mouth piece is, for sensitive horses, easier to live with than any broken mouth bit, even just sitting there, without anyone holding the reins.
I am not surprised that your less than green horses found a curb comfortable from the first time used.
Most old time ranch horses, once up to a grazing curb, that is all that was used on them for the rest of their lives.
Today, I see cowboys using many more mixed bits of all kinds, not straight snaffles for direct contact or curbs for already well trained horses any more.
I think, whatever works for you and your horse, why not?
Glad your horse responded well.:)
My slightly green horse still prefers the broken mouth...he did NOT care for solid mouth curb.
This one I used is a solid mouth, lower port with swept back shanks. So super mild, but he really seemed to like it and was pretty responsive. For him I think a less busy bit is the way to go - he's busy enough on his own. LOL
Morgans tend to have a low palette so many times a very low port or grazing bit is all they can accommodate in their mouths. I found a really nice sweetwater bit and the mouth piece/port is on an angle/plane as if I'd drawn a line from base of ear to upper lip.
The port lays very comfortably on his tongue and doesn't constantly bump the roof of his mouth. I think having it so passive in his mouth makes it much easier to work with him. Just the slightest finger movements exert a slight pressure. He's very sensitive to the bit without being annoyed or uncomfortable.
That reminds me, my BO does have sweetwater I used for Remy for awhile. I think I'll ask her if I can try it out for Aries - I bet he loves it. Forgot all about that til I read your post. :-)
Originally Posted by Tee
When I was looking to move up an old lease from a snaffle to a curb bit, a lot of western pleasure riders recommended this bit..
Originally Posted by sparkette
Don't know who took that picture, or how that bit works, but I think they didn't place the bit properly for the picture.
It seems the swivel sides were turned around and the purchase, that is the length of bit from the mouth piece up, turns in, not out.
Turning in would poke the horse in the cheek, that is why shank bit purchases are generally made with a bit of a turn to the outside.
Just a PSA for anyone wanting to try any curb with swivel shanks like that one.
I do not use this bit but was told my numerous AQHA riders (who train, show in Congress) that this bit is good from moving from the snaffle to a curb. I only posted the link because the OP asked about introducing the curb.
I have this bit except the mouth piece is a snaffe: http://www.chicksaddlery.com/Merchan...ct_code=257322. Where the cheek piece attaches to the bit, it curves inwards but does not bother my horse.
Originally Posted by Bluey