Wow!!! Great post! I would have put the Waterford under for experienced riders- but that's just me opinion Oh and at my riding stable, the only bits they used were curbs (western) and kimberwike (english)... And for COMPLETE beginners!!!!! Poor horses... I L-O-V-E my loose ring herm-springer bit! My horse loves it to. I think mine is this one- Herm Sprenger KK Shaped Loose Ring Bradoon Bit < Bradoon Bits < Horse Tack|Dover Saddlery .
I got it free from a riding instructor!
I don't know where the idea that a broken mouthed ringed snaffle has a nut cracker effect when it is used as it is designed to be used. The reins run in a horizontal line from the horses mouth to the rider's hands. This forms a ninety degree angle from the attachment of the bit rings to the bridal and to the hands. Any hinged effect, therefore, is also horizontal, the break in the bit pointing more toward the horses nose and not to the vertical or the roof of the horses mouth. The distance of the break is also restrained by the width of the horses mouth and the span between the hands. The bit was designed to work on the corners of the horses mouth. While the corners of the mouth on a green horse might become irritated from a broken mouth snaffle the bit does not normally cause damage to the bars. As the horse's face becomes more vertical the bit does have more contact with the tongue and bars but by this time the horse should have less resistance to the bit. Studies have shown that even moderate ports do not contact the roof of a horses mouth because of the space caused by the arch of the pallet. If they did every time there is the slightest rein pressure the bit shanks would act as a fulcrum on the port prying open the horse's mouth. As soon as any kind of shank is applied to a broken mouth snaffle the bit becomes a very severe leverage bit, even a Tom Thumb with short shanks. Some French link snaffle bits are not as humane as they are portrayed to be, either. The ones that have a link with a thin edge that sits vertically on the tongue, like the edge of a butter knife knife blade, can irritate the tongue. Imagine scraping that back and forth across the top of your horse's tongue. I do not understand why the Pelham is banned from dressage competition. The bit is condemned because of it's shank confirmation which has a mild ratio. Absolutely no consideration is given to the various types of mouthpieces available, some of which are very humane. Conversely, the Liverpool is the most universal of driving bits in the dressage competitions and driving generally. There is no limit on how long the shanks can be and a broken mouth snaffle mouthpiece is perfectly legal. This can be a very severe bit. It's no wonder so many horses go around behind the bit.
Just dressage it - great information but will disagree with your description of the action of a single jointed snaffle - it does not dig into the roof of the mouth - it is impossible for it to do so unless the horse has it's head very high with nose pointing to the sky and the pull on the rein is downwards. The horse holds the bit in position, by the pressure of its mouth around the bit, the joint hangs downwards an doesn't rotate upwards when the rein is used. When the rein is used the action on the bit is to fold applying pressure to the lips and bars only.
The full cheek snaffle is not normally used with keepers but the Fulmer is. I'm sad that you find it hard to find as it is an excellent bit to start a young horse in.
Double jointed mouthpieces increase pressure on the lips and bars because the fold starts closer to the side of the mouth. The Dr Bristol also works on the bars of the mouth in quite a degree, the jawbones are only a small distance apart and this angled plate sits right over the top of the bars.
I'd like to see you move the Waterford into the 'Icky' mouthpiece part! This bit is not a nice bit especially if the rider has unsteady hands, try running a row of beads accross the corners of your mouth to feel the pain it inflicts. It bumps over the bars and lips!
I personally would prefer to see a little person with a pelham on its pony than trying to stop in a snaffle. Correctly fitted with the chain through the snaffle bit ring and with roundings this bit can be very helpful for little people to be able to control their pony.
Correct fit of chain
The bit you show as a Kimberwicke is an Uxeter and a Kimblewick (correct spelling of the town of origin) is the one below
Yeah, that's the one. Can it be used for riding though?
It's a halfspoon snaffle (the ends looking like spoon handles) and is also used for riding. It's great if the horse/pony is inclined to open it's mouth and resist turning as the lower cheek prevents the bit sliding through and also applies soome pressure to the jaw to aid in turning. Also great for those that don't like the pressure against the side of the face/teeth.
Bit keepers are a whole different deal. They keep the bit from rotating in the horse's mouth by attaching the top cheek to the bridle like this.
I'm really unsure of their full purpose though because we seldom see full cheek snaffles in the western world and we certainly never see bit keepers .
Totally agree with you here - the Full cheek is not meant to be used with keepers. With keepers it digs into the side of the face just infront of the molar teeth - pinching the cheeks between the cheek and teeth.
The Fulmer cheek is longer and tapered so that it doesn't press into the face. The tip is curved outwards to prevent it digging into the face and to stop the keeper from coming off.
The keepers also hold the mouthpiece very still and assist in taking pressure off the tongue and placing it directly on the lips. It's static nature is very encouraging for the young horse to learn to accept the bit. It is the bit of choice at the Spanish Riding School and is used from breaking to advanced work in hand.