Little Lesson on Walking Horse Bits!

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Little Lesson on Walking Horse Bits!

This is a discussion on Little Lesson on Walking Horse Bits! within the Gaited Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    08-05-2009, 09:56 PM
Green Broke
Little Lesson on Walking Horse Bits!

To all gaited lovers/riders/enthusiasts/everybody else who thinks TWH bits are torture devices/people willing to help break the TWH bit stereotype:

I didn't put this in 'Horse Articles' because I figured it'd get more 'gaited attention'.

Many people think that TWH bits are man's torture to gaited horses. But, however, if you look at some of them, they look the exact same or very close to, a regular 'horse' curb:

TWH bit:
twh good bit.jpg

Pleasure Curb:

Ever seen a Cathedral? Again. Not a TWH bit, and certainly not as harsh.

Now this IS a TWH bit. Well, interchangeable port and shank, really. We have this same one with even SHORTER shanks. Oh yes, EXTREMELY harsh, now, eh?
low port.jpg 3 inch.jpg

Equivilent? Funny.. Couldn't even find one.

It's bits like these that have made people think that ALL TWH bits are sinister:

*cringe* Yikes. But many regular gag bits around have the same action. It's not just a TWH thing.

You have probably heard me 'yell' at people for using a long-shanked bit. But the fact that it has long shanks isn't the problem. It's the horse people use it on. Some young, inexperienced greeny has no business using a longer shanked bit. That's how you mess up good horses at 3.

You may also be thinking 'TWH bits are used with constant, horrible, restricting pressure'. Wrong. Most TWH bits are made to swivel, allowing natural head-bobbing movement. It's the person who's riding the horse who decieds how to use it, not the bit itself. There is no reason to stereotype a bit, but the owner. Now, I'm not saying TWH owners are bad. Heck, I AM one. In fact, there shouldn't be a stereotype at all... A bit is a bit, and the person who is using it should be mature enough to judge how much pressure to use with it and what horse he's using it on. As little as possible, preferably. Shanks are for finished horses. Many people forget that, including myself.

A great lesson I learned: Tradition is not always the answer. Just because some high-up-there trainer says to start your horse in a shank, dosen't always mean you should. The TWH tradition is to start then a standard 6 inch snank with low port. WoW. Still dosen't mean you should. I always had Sunny in a big ol' shank, until I was told to try the complete opposite: A D ring snaffle. I was like, 'What?! My horse will kill me!' Guess what? It worked. It didn't happen over-night, but it happened and he went on a group trail ride the other day with it and was a doll. Not saying your horse will automatically click with it, but it does take time. Not overnight.

So what is the point of this thread? To explain how a TWH bit is only as harsh as the person who's riding with it makes it. TWH bits can come in interchangeable pieces, so you can make a bit as harsh/light as you want. I really don't see the point in even using one because they are so similar to most shanked bits, but they do, however, swivel for the TWH's natural head bobbing action.

That is all I have to say for now :]
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    08-05-2009, 10:00 PM
I completely agree with the bit being as harsh as the rider,.
    08-05-2009, 10:33 PM
I agree also with the bit being as harsh on a horse is determined by the rider. One question though those interchangable bits...Ive been real interested but was wondering since they are made that way have they been known to pinch?
    08-05-2009, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Hmm.. Pinch? We've never had the problem, but if you are concerned you can always get bit guards.
    08-05-2009, 10:58 PM
Yea with our big guy we have to use them or he grabs the shanks in his mouth (when he gets bored, like when we are just walking lol) also I know some tom thumbs and such are known to pinch where they break in the horses mouth (where the two rings are saudered together or something) are there certain bits that do that? ***let me say I am against tom thumbs lol so no need to worry bout that one haha
    08-05-2009, 11:01 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by charlene1985    
are there certain bits that do that?
Do what? Sorry, I'm slow. Especially when there are no capital letters on the first word of the sentence :] Hard to understand. *hint hint*
    08-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Green Broke
So what is the point of this thread? To explain how a TWH bit is only as harsh as the person who's riding with it makes it.
Great Scott what a great post and very nicely said

I have used the interchangeable bit on the horse in my avatar for the last four years. It has never pinched him. He is now 22 and we've been buds since he was coming 3.

The TWH that uses my 6" swivel shank, low port bit was 11 when I bought him and that's what the previous owners used on him. The bit he now wears is around 40+ years old and is the bit an Amishman had me switch my Arab/Saddlebred to many many years ago when that horse was 10.

I have another TWH and an Arab that wear mechanical hackamores with leather nose pieces.

Anything in the wrong hands is harsh. The longer the shanks the more leverage the person has and if they can't remember that or if light control just doesn't come naturally to them, yes they are being harsh with the horse.

Hackamores and bitless bridles are also every bit as harsh in the wrong hands.

Thanks again for a sensible, well explained thread
    08-06-2009, 01:06 PM
I just donīt agree with any shank bit without a curbstrap, and very rarely a shank bit that's not in combination with a snaffle or ridifg caesson/muserola on a horse that's not extremely well educated, and a rider that's eually educated. :P

A bit is a bit, no matter the name. What decides how it affects the horse is how it looks and works, not what it's called. My spanish curb would have the same effect as a TWH bit, so.. ;)
    08-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Green Broke
Your point being?
    08-06-2009, 08:02 PM
My point? None really :P That I don't like shanked bits inmost cases where it's asked for (gaited and none gaited) but that you're right; a bit with the same design is equally severe/gentle, no matter the name.

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