Cutting the shanks off a curb bit?....Anybody done that before?

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Cutting the shanks off a curb bit?....Anybody done that before?

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  • 3 Post By apachiedragon
  • 1 Post By COWCHICK77

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    03-01-2012, 11:48 PM
Super Moderator
Cutting the shanks off a curb bit?....Anybody done that before?

Is it possible to cut the shanks off a curb-type bit? What would I need to do so?

Basically, because of Lacey's mouth melanomas, she has a very small selection of bits available to her. I had been planning on buying a legit snaffle that's ported like she likes, but what if I spend all that money (nearly $50 including shipping) just to find out that she doesn't like that bit?

Her favorite bit ever, the only one she's completely and totally relaxed in, is her "saddleseat pelham":

I don't really need the shanks on it, I don't use the curb portion really ever anymore, and using double reins for no reason is kind of a pain. If I could just cut the shanks off, I would have Lacey's perfect bit, kind of a ported Baucher...

Would that even be possible?

This is just me thinking, so if it's impossible, tell me!
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    03-01-2012, 11:58 PM
I have never done it, but I don't see why not. My only question is if it would change the balance of how it sets in her mouth.

But other than making sure you get a nice smooth edge, I see no reason not to take them off... actually, my gelding would probably love one of those too...
    03-02-2012, 12:12 AM
Super Moderator
That's true about changing the balance... I hadn't thought about that!
I'm planning on getting another one like this one off ebay to do this to, in case anything does change about it, I'm not changing her favorite bit, yknow? I figure if I buy an identical one, she should like it just as much.

This link gave some helpful tips for cutting the shanks off, so I guess it can be done!
Baucher Snaffle Axwood Farm Library

We shall see! Luckily my dad is generally handy with these things so maybe I can pull a "I need help!!" and get him to do it for me.
    03-02-2012, 12:18 AM
Green Broke
Why don't you just remove the curb rein and leave the bit alone? Just because the shanks are there doesn't mean you have to use them.
    03-02-2012, 12:28 AM
Super Moderator
I could do that but I hate how that looks (I've tried)...and I worry that that would be like a crazy version of a full cheek snaffle - with the shanks getting caught on everything and all. Those shanks are about 6 or 7 inches long, they aren't unobtrusive.

And no worries, I just have reins on the curb part to keep the curb part from getting caught on anything. I don't actually use the curb (aka I ride with the curb rein totally loose, drape in that rein at all times) since she doesn't need it.

I'm just trying to see if there's a better option than what I'm doing now. If there isn't, there isn't and I'm not too worried. :)
    03-02-2012, 12:28 AM
One other thought, have you tried a kimberwick? That is what my gelding drives in and he does pretty well with it. What I really need to find is a kimberwick with a copper roller...
    03-02-2012, 12:34 AM
I agree with yadlim, I think it would change the balance...

If you bought the bit that you think she would like, but doesn't, you could resell it?
Do you know anyone with a similar bit to borrow and try, trying borrowed bits might narrow down what she actually likes in order it make an accurate purchase.
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    03-02-2012, 12:37 AM
Super Moderator
I'm trying to stay away from the constant leverage factor of a kimberwick, you know?
I've considered it though! The other curb I often use with double reins has kimberwick-like action when I just use the snaffle rein and while my mare goes ok with that, she goes 10 times better in this bit on the snaffle rein. She seems to lean on the kimberwick-like one while she picks herself up and has much better self carriage with this one.

She also salivates quite a lot more in this bit which seems interesting to me since the kimberwick-like one is sweet-iron while this one is stainless steel... In any case, since she never noticeably salivates on bits, I figure more means she likes it better.

I wish I knew someone with a similar bit to the expensive one I'm considering! Around here, people are all direct-reining in their Tom Thumbs and I've never seen a fancier snaffle than a single jointed one. No french-links, mullen mouths, anything. Basically, it's a bitting wasteland.
I could resell it online, or something, if she didn't like it. Good point! It is kind of a Myler knock-off so there's probably a market for that... Thanks!
    03-02-2012, 12:44 AM
I am not familiar with a Kimberwick, the one pictured or any kind of English bit, so bare with me...

What if you hold the bit that you are using and see how its balanced by laying it your hand, is there something with the same mouthpiece that would lay the same and have the same action when you laid it in your hand?

So basically instead of ordering off the internet it might require packing your bit with you to tack shops and comparing(****...doing it the old fashioned way..tee he)

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