Bit cheek pieces and shanks
   

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Bit cheek pieces and shanks

This is a discussion on Bit cheek pieces and shanks within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • What is the mildest cheek piece on a snaffle
  • Parts of cheek piece on bit

 
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    11-05-2009, 08:16 PM
  #1
Foal
Talking Bit cheek pieces and shanks

We just got a 5 year old gelding. I rode him prior to buying him and the owner had him in a loose ring twisted wire snaffle. She said she rode all her horses in the same headstall, that he could go in anything. He's well broke and knows all the basics+. I currently have a mid-weight loose ring snaffle that I was going to work him in to start out with. I am starting to become interested in the myler comfort snaffles and, once I see if he is OK in a standard snaffle, going to get one.

I was wondering when I should move up to a shank. I know that it uses poll and curb pressure but I wasn't sure whether I should go ahead and buy one with a 5" shank or stick with a O or D ring. If I DO stick to an O or D ring, when should I move him to a shank?

He knows all the basics, side pass, haunch and front end turns, lead changes etc. I also saw her do a sliding stop with him but for me he stopped more on his front end.

I really appreciate your help. My goal is to keep him in the mildest bit possible, as I ride more with my legs and seat. I also want to make sure that he isn't trying to run through or invert out of the bit.

I appreciate any and all advice.
     
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    11-05-2009, 08:44 PM
  #2
Trained
Why do you NEED to move into a shank? There isn't much you can't do in a snaffle, neckreining and cow work included.

If you can, I would stick with the snaffle - Especially since he will be recovering from the twisted wire - I wish they could be outlawed!
     
    11-05-2009, 08:56 PM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild_spot    
Why do you NEED to move into a shank? There isn't much you can't do in a snaffle, neckreining and cow work included.

If you can, I would stick with the snaffle - Especially since he will be recovering from the twisted wire - I wish they could be outlawed!
There goes the bit ignorance again. Bits are a refining tool. If you want to do everything in a snaffle that's fine but some people like a little more refinement or need a leverage bit to achieve the refinement. Some horses get to pushing on a snaffle but give very well to a curb with a snaffle mouth. This horse will not have to "recover" from the use of a twisted wire snaffle just because he was ridden in it. There is nothing sinister about it. If you want to go to a shanked bit witha snaffle mouth then do it but buy a good quality bit with either a mild steel or copper mouth piece or a mild steel with copper inlay. Five inch shanks are about standard so that would be fine. In my opinion, the myler bits are borderline gimmick bits but I have only looked at them in the store I have never ridden with them.
     
    11-05-2009, 09:09 PM
  #4
Trained
Excuse me! I am NOT ignorant about bits. I never said there was no need for a curb. That is why I asked WHY they need to move to a shank, and mentioned if they CAN to stick with a snaffle. A lot of horses are put into shank bits needlessly and before they are ready. I am well aware of the role a curb plays.

Also - No such thing as a snaffle mouth. Snaffle refers to the pressure ratio - A snaffle is 1:1. A curb can have a borken mouthpiece, but not a snaffle mouthpiece.

Quote:
This horse will not have to "recover" from the use of a twisted wire snaffle just because he was ridden in it. There is nothing sinister about it.
I beg to differ - Unless the reins were never picked up then then bit HAS contacted the motuh and in my opinion (Note - Opinion) There is NO place in the horse world for any sort of twisted wire bit.

There is no mention of discipline, intentions etc. in the OP. I was simply saying that if you don't need a curb, then you can do everything just fine in a snaffle.
     
    11-05-2009, 10:31 PM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterh    
My goal is to keep him in the mildest bit possible, as I ride more with my legs and seat. I also want to make sure that he isn't trying to run through or invert out of the bit.
If you indeed want the mildest bit possible go with jointed snaffle (either loose ring or eggbutt or D-ring, depending on what he prefers). By jointed I mean french link or oval mouth.

BTW, I agree with wild_spot, if the OP put the question the way it sounds then there is no need for the curb bit. Unless it's needed for something specific. And at the cutting barn we are using snaffles 99% of the time.
     
    11-05-2009, 10:45 PM
  #6
Foal
Ok, well I guess my main question was what negative reactions to a snaffle would make me want to move up to a curb? Would it be running through the bit? Would pole and curb pressure theoretically help in that respect (this is all just speculation at this point)? My experience has been barrel racing and in training I ALWAYS used a snaffle. Although I have also ridden alot of finished horses in curbs.

As for discipline, the horse was purchased as a prospective trail/ arena pleasure riding horse for my older mother. I also intend on doing some extensive arena/flat work with him as I am getting involved in drill team and thought it would be good for him. 100% western.

Hope this helps. I am very interested and want to hear ANY other opinions I can.
     
    11-05-2009, 10:49 PM
  #7
Showing
I've never seen negative reactions with snaffle (considering teeth are in good shape lol!). Using loose rings will prevent him from going on bit. If he's so well trained he should be just perfect in snaffle. In fact he may really appreciate you going to the double jointed (or even single jointed, but NOT twisted wires) bit and can go much happier and relaxed in it.
     
    11-05-2009, 10:50 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterh    
Ok, well I guess my main question was what negative reactions to a snaffle would make me want to move up to a curb?
You shouldn't WANT to move up in bits if your horse does something you don't like whilst riding in a particular bit. This creates WORSE problems.

I'd advise for now to work in a snaffle ;)
     
    11-05-2009, 10:55 PM
  #9
Showing
Well, any issues like running through the bit should be handled before you ever get out of the snaffle because they would just re-appear later in the curb and be harder to deal with. I would stick him back in a regular snaffle for a while and see how he does with it. If you want something softer, you might look into the double jointed snaffle or Myler/Billy Allen type mouth. As for whether you should move him up to a curb or not really depends on your preferance. Many horses go their whole lives and are very successful just being ridden in a snaffle. Curbs do help with more finesse and smaller cues than a snaffle but IMHO, no horse should need to be ridden in a curb. If that is what you choose to ride in, that's great. I ride all mine in a short shanked solid mouth curb. However, if you think it best to keep him in a snaffle, that is great too. The only negative reaction I can think of that is common with a snaffle is that some horses don't respond well to the nutcracker action of a single jointed snaffle. Gaping his mouth open when you pick up the reins could be a sign that he is not comfortable in the bit.
     
    11-05-2009, 11:11 PM
  #10
Foal
Awesome well you anwered the vast majority of my questions. Again, this was all theoretical as I havent even ridden the little guy yet since he showed up at our place. I'll go ahead and work him in the standard O ring that I have and see how he works. At this point neither he nor I is at the level that we are looking for refinement.
I'm SERIOUSLY considering a myler, I was looking at the myler comfort snaffles with the D rings, possible a low port but was also considering a french link.

Any advice?
     

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