Kimblewick Bit - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Question Kimblewick Bit

Hi everyone :) Just need some advice on the Kimblewick bit. I've heard some nasty things about this bit, and some REALLY good things about this bit. I have heard that it is good for a child (I'm not that young btw, lol) to build their confidence. Which sounds great for me, as around 2 months ago I fell off my 4 yr old pony and broke my left humerus bone. Before I fell off we were thinking of sending him back to the trainer to get some education in a few things, now we defiantly think that (Gotta fatten him up first though, lost some fat in the winter). And when he comes back from the trainer, I want to feel safe on him. The Kimblewick bit would only be temporary on him though, just till I get my confidence back. He is fairly headstrong. When I fell off and broke a bone, he had bolted on me. Started off trotting, then cantering. And his canter is very bumpy, and i was collecting my reins, so i just slipped out of the saddle! But, that was the FIRST ever time he has bolted, so he is not a bolter, he just got spooked by the owners (of the property who we agist at) daughter (She was moving the wings to the jumps and he is afraid of them). We THINK that's what spooked him, but, we r not sure.
Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry, i've just been telling u my life story, lol. Your probably getting bored. Anyway, it was just to give u an idea how I fell off him (He is a very good pony, only second time i had fallen off him, first time was when he was 2, oh here i go again! Sorry! haha)

To give u an idea about the Kimblewick bit i'm talking about, here is a pic.

Please no arguing, I just want a few opinions, but don't go telling someone with an opposite opinion that there wrong, u could be wrong as well!

P.S Here is an article I found about this bit :)
Kimblewick Cheeks

The Kimblewick is a fixed cheek bit that is often used on horses and ponies that prove a little too strong in a snaffle; it is also often used by children to help them have some control should they need it. There are two main types of kimblewick, the slotted version that has two fixed rein slots in the cheek piece, or the plain cheek where the reins are attached to the cheek as you would a snaffle. Both types of Kimblewicks are used with a curb chain. The hanging cheek part if the bit from the cheek slot to the mouthpiece uses poll pressure and lip pressure, and various pressures in the mouth depending on the mouthpiece. When the rein is used, the curb chain should come into play, but not straight away, there should be some give in the rein before the curb chain tightens.

The Cambridge Mouthpiece

The Cambridge mouth is a very mild bit; it is an unvarying mouthpiece, which means the pressure on the mouth doesnít change very much, as it is a fixed mouthpiece. This mouthpiece is super alternative to the straight bar for horses with a larger tongue, horses that are likely to have larger tongues are for e.g., Irish Draft x or the Dutch Warmblood. The bit puts pressure on the tongue and lips (corner of the mouth), it does use slight pressure on the bars depending on the size of your horses tongue, more than that of a Mullen mouth. This bit is very useful for those horses that have a very soft mouth and donít like complicated mouthpieces, it may also be useful for horses that back off the contact and need that extra bit of confidence in the bit.
This mouthpiece would not be suitable if your horse leans on the bit or if they tend to take hold of the bit.
Thanks everyone!!!

ShowJumping is the best sport <3 I LOVE MY PONY
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:04 PM
Green Broke
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I've never used one but would also like to know about them. My arab mare can be ridden fine in a snaffle at gymkhana events (where she's in a confined pen lol) but get her out on the trail & it does next to nothing & i spend the whole ride pulling back or circling especially if she gets past a trot! I know her previous owners used a kimberwick on her but i'd like to know more about them.
Bump ppl!

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:10 PM
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I find that english riders seem to think this is a strong bit, but I ride western, have used this bit, and compared to most western bits this is very mild. So I think it depends on how much contact you ride with. And, of course, how your horse responds to it.

I am not a bit expert, but I consider a bit to work well for a horse when they respect it, give to it with gentle pressure, and don't fuss with it or toss their heads. It other words, you want it strong enough for them to respect it, but mild enough that they are comfortable with it, will give to it, but not be afraid or irritated by it.

Bits are a pretty hot-button issue, so I'm sure you will get lots of different ideas. This is simply mine.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:16 PM
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I use a Kimlewick on my eventing horse when I jump him. I find it to be quite a handy bit to have incase something goes wrong. It's not the best bit to use if you don't have good hands. I stuck a rider with harsh hands on Joe with it once and he ended up with rub marks where the curb chain was (curb chain was on the loosest link :O ) and rubs at the side of his mouth. I also find that Joe settles into a snaffle a lot easier without any pulling "I-don't-wanna-do-dressage" crap after I've used the Kimblewick. Dunno why haha -shrugs-.
I, personally, would never give a little kid or a rider who hangs off their horse's mouth a kimblewick simply because unless their horse has a mouth of steel, it'll probably do damage. If you are confident that you keep keep your hands steady and soft then you should be fine. I do quite love this bit. =]

Also, if you do want more information, you could try googling "Spanish Snaffle" as it's sometimes called that.

Ohh, I just wanna add that I agree with trailhorserider, it's mild bit if you don't ride with much contact - especially compared to other western bits. But, going by your name ShowJumpng Girl, I would say that you'd be riding with quite a bit of contact.

...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...

Last edited by ellygraceee; 09-19-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:29 PM
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I love Kimberwickes, I believe they make it easier to collect and soften my horse with, but I'll go with everyone else and say you must have steady hands :)

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:30 PM
Green Broke
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Someone correct me if i'm wrong....but i'm pretty sure it's called a Kimberwicke, not a Kimblewick. Anywho....the only thing with a kimberwicke is that is not a snaffle, it is a leverage bit, so it shouldn't be ridden on much contact, if any. You need mild, soft hands, although that is true for any bit. However, I don't reccomend it for your case. The pony doesn't sound like he needs a stronger bit....just more training. Also, if the pony just started trotting, then cantered, it isn't technically a bolt. One of my peeves is when people think a harsh bit will solve a bolter, but the thing is that if a horse is truly bolting out of fear, no bit will stop them. Only trust and training. What bit is the pony in now? I reccomend staying in a mild, simple bit and working on the pony's "whoa." Not a bigger bit.
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 09:50 PM
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I use a (jointed, slotted) kimberwicke with my mare- out of the couple bits we have tried out, she seems to respond to this one best. She listens, she doesn't get irratated with it and I always have a good ride. I do take a little contact with it, but I have steady hands, so I don't find any problem with it. However, I know other horses at our barn that I doubt would ride quite as well with it, for whatever reasons. I really think it's more of a preferance thing. If your pony likes it and works well in it, then there's no reason not to use it.

That being said, I don't recommend getting a stronger bit to help with a so-called bolter. I agree with Sunny- maybe work on fixing the holes in training instead? Let us know how everything goes. Perhaps the trainer will help with this issue as well.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
Someone correct me if i'm wrong....but i'm pretty sure it's called a Kimberwicke, not a Kimblewick.
It is called a Kimblewick. It can also be refered to as Kimberwick, Kimberwicke, Kimblewicke or Spanish Snaffle. It depends on where you come from mostly, but I can assure you, it's definately called a Kimblewick.

...Every rider has that one horse that changes everything about them...
ellygraceee is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 10:54 PM
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I have used one on my new spooky mare and it worked wonders. I have switched barns and she is now not so spooky so I no longer use it and am back in a double joined snaffle. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on trails until I know what she's like there.

It does tend to make the horse more behind the vertical to avoid the pressure. It's not great for creating bend etc and it's no guarantee your horse won't still freak out - mine still did, though it was MUCH MUCH less. I wouldn't bother getting a joined Kimberwicke because that defeats the point of the leverage part... so I'm not even sure why those are made.

It is a tool, like any other. Great in the right hands/sitation, not so much if not. I never felt badly using it.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-19-2010, 11:04 PM
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How young is "not that young"? And why is someone referring to themselves as such riding a 4 year old? Anyone really with under 5 years riding experience beyond adolescence should be on something safe, quiet and broke so that they can learn to develop a stable seat, soft hands and an ability to really ride and not just be a passenger.
The problem is not the bit, it is the mismatched experience level of horse and rider. When you can safely ride out a bolt, a buck, a rear, a kick, etc either singly or in combination then you should be riding a 4 year old. Before your seat is able to ride through those things, and you are a skilled enough rider to be correcting them, you should not be riding a 4 year old.
Sell the horse before there are major issues created by your inexperience and buy something that you can learn from, not that will terrify you and break your bones. Riding needs to be fun, not scary.

Good luck!
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bits , kimblewick , tack

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