Originally Posted by EquineObsessed View Post
I saw this bit in an ad this morning. Not interested in it, just curious because I've never seen one. Would it be a useful bit at all? Has anyone ever used one? I've always had a general rule of no 'broken' shank bits. Would this send mixed messages?
OP, do you have any questions about the top bit (actually a hackamore) that you have posted? Or simply wondering about the bottom bit?
Myself personally, I really like bits that have 3-piece mouths (sometimes called a "dogbone" center). I feel that I get a better response from the horse I am riding.
My absolute favorite bit is just a cheapie from Horse.com. Can't even find it anymore, actually. (So I hope it never breaks!!!) It's worked well for so many different horses. It does have a very slight amount of gag (since the mouthpiece can slide) so I always use bit guards with it, to prevent my horse from accidentally getting pinched. Kind of off-topic, but you cannot show with this type of bit because most associations consider gag bits to be illegal for showing events like western pleasure and reining (for example).
I like it because it is very easy to ask for a direct rein if I need it (and affects only one side of the mouth, and not both), yet I feel it helps my horses understand how to flex at the poll.
Curb bits that have a solid mouthpiece are NOT good bits to use direct reining with, because the shanks are literally attached to each other through the mouth. If you pick up on one rein, and affect the mouthpiece, you are also going to affect the opposite side of the bit. Doesn't mean you can't direct rein with it, but it's going to give a much more confusing signal to the horse. Depending on how the horse is trained, they might be okay or they might get frustrated because they don't understand.
I have this particular bit that I use one-handed for showing.
Actually, you can. Or I can, and if I can, others can too. I pick up a single rein frequently riding with curb bits, and the single joint and double joint bits send no mixed signals that I can see - not when standing on the ground and watching the bit move, and not when on my horse and watching her respond.
I don't mean any offense by saying this BSMS, but you are largely basing this statement off of only one horse
(your Mia). And you are probably correct. She is probably fine in it and not at all confused. But you can't base findings off of the results you get with one horse
For the bit you posted, you are absolutely affecting the opposite side of the mouth when you pick up on one rein. The wide swivel on the shank and the single-joint in the mouthpiece don't allow for a completely clear signal on only one side of the horse with a direct rein.
I'm in agreement with Sahara. I'm just not a fan of single-jointed curb bits (heck, or snaffles for that matter).