3 piece shank?
 
 

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3 piece shank?

This is a discussion on 3 piece shank? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Shank bit that will allow for direct rein
  • Horse shank bits that don't rotate

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    04-29-2014, 07:31 AM
  #1
Weanling
3 piece shank?

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?

10269384_10203145519550783_2248789481125814940_n.jpg
     
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    04-29-2014, 08:07 AM
  #2
Green Broke
I ride my mare is a bit with a mouthpiece similar to that one, she seems to like it. The shanks are much smaller though, about 3 inches. I don't believe it sends mixed messages because each side rotates independently.
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    04-29-2014, 10:56 AM
  #3
Trained
It looks similar to this one:



My mare works fine it it and I see no signs it sends mixed messages. I stopped using it because it doesn't have a roller, and she substitutes chewing on the bit for playing with the roller.

I've also used this one. I stopped because it was a $12 bit and it looked and felt like a $12 bit and I'm a bit of a bit snob...but other than fit & finish, it worked fine.



I can direct rein or neck rein in either of those without a problem. I've been tempted to try this cheap bit:



http://www.statelinetack.com/item/we...bit/SLT650861/
     
    04-29-2014, 11:18 AM
  #4
Yearling




These two bits really aren't that similar. The top one has a 3 piece dog bone mouth piece while the bottom is a single jointed mouth piece. The 3 piece will have much more tongue contact and much more independent side movement which translates to clearer signals to the horse (if the horse is comfortable with that much contact on the tongue). The single jointed curb can send mixed signals to the horse. You can't pick up on one rein without affecting the other side of the bit which muddles the signal.

While many curb bits kinda look similar, the different mouth pieces act very differently on the horse.

Look at the last bit someone posted and compare that to the 3 piece dogbone above. The similarities stop with the mouthpiece. The one the previous poster posted has 1:1 purchase to shank ratio while the one above has like a 1:5 purchase to shank ratio. All of these differences FEEL different in the horses mouth when hands touch the reins.

None of them look similar to me.
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    04-29-2014, 11:48 AM
  #5
Trained
"The single jointed curb can send mixed signals to the horse. You can't pick up on one rein without affecting the other side of the bit which muddles the signal."

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.

Shank ratios cause some change, but no change that cannot be compensated for by the rider's use. If someone snatches on the reins or likes to yank on the reins, then no bit will be gentle. If you give a horse a chance to respond, and release when the horse does, then a long shank bit can remain a gentle bit.

Based on this: "I've always had a general rule of no 'broken' shank bits. Would this send mixed messages?", I believe the OP's main interest was in what folks have experienced using broken shank bits. I attempted to address that concern with my experience as a somewhat green rider who taught his green horse to use a western curb - several of which have broken mouthpieces - with very good results.

For the OP, this is a very good video by one of our fellow forum members on the design and use of western curbs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTyM...TOE2D5kF7OxdRA
     
    04-29-2014, 12:24 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    
"The single jointed curb can send mixed signals to the horse. You can't pick up on one rein without affecting the other side of the bit which muddles the signal."

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 -
Good for you, then, I guess. Use what works for you. I have no qualms with curb bits. However,

I can see and feel a huge difference between this



AND this


I can lift on one rein with that second bit without ever engaging the opposite shank. Clear and concise and more comfortable for my horse. I also work on tons of transitions, circles, serpentines, figure 8s and softening so any bit that allows me to send a clear signal to one shoulder/leg is a huge bonus for my horse.

Lots of people will get by with that first bit without causing problems for the horse especially if they have quiet hands and don't ask much of the horse, I agree. There are just so many better options out there that I don't know why anyone would argue FOR a single jointed curb.
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    04-29-2014, 01:03 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by EquineObsessed    
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.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    

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).
     
    04-29-2014, 02:04 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159    
...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...
Actually, you can rotate one side at least 45 deg without having any impact on the other side. That is a function of mechanical design. The two sides are connected by a knuckle, and that knuckle will allow 45 deg of motion on one side before it starts pushing on the other. It then primarily tightens on one side, because a knuckle is an inefficient way of transferring a rotating motion.

No one needs to take my word. Go stick one in your horse's mouth, stand next to the horse's head, and ask someone on their back to make certain motions with the reins and see what happens. And what happens is not what a lot of folks think, because a lot of folks have been told wrong and not looked for themselves.

You can also use an opening rein, and the bit will not collapse, do funky things, tighten curb straps or any such thing. The signal from an opening rein is less clear with a bit like that than with a D-ring, which is why I like snaffles for some sorts of things. But yes, it will work. If the horse already knows an opening rein, as Mia & Trooper did after being ridden in a sidepull halter, then it will work fine for cuing an opening rein. It is not the best for TEACHING an opening rein.

This has nothing to do with years of riding. It has to do with trying something and watching the results. I've tried it. I've stood a foot away and watched what happens when the reins are moved in certain directions. And mechanically, the results I saw match the mechanical design of the bit.

It is not my favorite. I prefer bits with rollers because my horses all seem to prefer bits with rollers. But you can absolutely take a single joint bit like in my picture, pull an inch or two on the rein on one side, and not have the other side do funky things. And if the bit has sleeves, like the one I showed does, then pulling on both reins will rotate the mouthpiece like a solid one rotates.
     
    04-29-2014, 02:26 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms    

You can also use an opening rein, and the bit will not collapse, do funky things, tighten curb straps or any such thing.
I am playing with one in my hands right now. If you used an opening rein it will do one of two things:

1) swivel the whole shank so that the purchase gets turned and presses into the horses face and at the same time removes any slack out of the curb strap which then transfers pressure to the opposite side of the horses head , or:

2) flat out lifts the bottom of the shank out to the right which causes the purchase to dig into the side of the horses cheek.

All of this translates to muddled and confusing signals to the horse. Why make it harder than you have to?
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    04-29-2014, 03:19 PM
  #10
Weanling
Beau, I was just asking about the bottom bit. Sorry! Really, I was just scrolling through ads, saw this, and was curious about it. I didn't do much research, I just did a copy and paste picture and wanted to know of anyone had used one before.

Slide, I know you do reining. Do you use this bit (or the one you have that is similar) to help transition horses into a curb, or for extra refinement after they are already in one? How many horses have you used it on?

I've used or seen most of the bits you are all posting, though I really don't like a single jointed curb. I'd just never seen a 'dogbone' shank, and was wondering if it is a decent bit or has the same mixed reputation of a single-jointed curb.

Bsms, thanks for the video link. I've already watched it, and found it very informative. I need to watch it again sometimes, so glad to have a link handy.

Most of the horses I ride prefer a roller. I'm usually riding in a snaffle, just because the majority of horses I'm working with are green. I plan on bringing my mare up in a curb, but she's not ready for the transition yet. She doesn't like a roller, so she is in a regular snaffle and will go into a bit like the one below when we're ready for that.
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