Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
You do not direct rein in a curb of any kind, but ESPECIALLY not in a bit like a spoon! Spoon bits are for FINISHED horses who need the absolute slightest signal to turn or stop. Watch someone who knows what they're doing ride in a spoon bit. They barely shift the reins at all.
I'm not sure you comprehend the leverage action caused by shanked bits. It magnifies the amount of pressure applied to the reins based on the length of the shanks. The longer the shank, the more pressure is applied to the mouthpiece.
True snaffle bits have no shanks, so therefore have no additional leverage beyond what the rider applies directly through the reins. This makes for simple, clear directions, making them ideal for training green horses. Some horses (like my gelding) don't like the two piece mouthpiece and prefer a three piece. There are also Mullen, or straight, mouthpieces with no joints. As long as they don't have shanks, they are still considered a snaffle.
Any leverage/shanked bit with a broken mouthpiece is poorly designed and shouldn't be used. You're adding leverage to the nutcracker action, which does nothing but send muddy, unclear signals. If you have a jointed leverage bit, do your horse a favor and use it as a toilet paper holder.
For a good explanation of bits and their various levels of use, might I direct you to these informative, easy-to-understand threads:
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Last edited by DraftyAiresMum; 09-11-2013 at 02:59 PM.