Mild curb bit recommendations - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Mild curb bit recommendations

A couple yrs ago I rode in a tom thumb, but realized it was destroying my horses mouth (as far as softness goes), so i rode bitless for a while, then switched to a good ole snaffle. I ride in a snaffle right now, when I ride both English and western. Bad thing is, i cant show in a snaffle because Specs is 12 yrs old. So i need a curb bit now for my western bridle. Any recommendations for our first curb?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 11:27 AM
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Something with a short, swept back shank, and a soft mouthpiece. I don't know Western bits very well but from my reading on here the swept back shank gives the horse more warning before the bit is engaged, and a short shank decreases the leverage.

IMO a bit is only as harsh as the hands that use it, though, and if you have good hands and Specs always has the option to respond to the lightest possible aids, then you could put whatever you wanted to in his mouth without doing him or his mouth any damage. The problems arise when you have a lot of bit, and bad hands - THEN you have a horse with problems.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 12:14 PM
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Here's my favorite curb. It has the swept back shanks, no joints in the mouth, swivel shanks so a quick 1 rein correction can be used if needed, and the shanks are very short (5 inches). In all, it's a very mild bit.
I have my mare in it for western and she goes back and forth, nearly daily, between this, a snaffle, and bitless.

NP Sweet Iron Loose Cheek Western Curb Bit 5in -

It does get rusty pretty quickly because of the materials it's made of so here are a few more "showy" bits with similar action and gentleness:

I think this one is just gorgeous. I really want one just so far I've been unable to justify it. The one thing with this one is that it does have the smallest amount of gag action. Your horse may or may not like that. The reviews seem to indicate that most horses like it, but who knows until you try it.
The shanks are also longer than the first one I posted, meaning that you'll be able to use even less rein contact to get the same result.

SS Hinged Ported Roller Futurity Bit 5in -
The copper roller will also encourage acceptance which is a plus!

Here's one very very similar to the first bit but a bit more showy. It has the really short shanks, no gag action, the ported mouth, all good stuff. I think this is the one that SMRobs (who's basically the forum's cowgirl captain) uses on most of the horses she trains as well as her own horses.

AT Low Port Loose Cheek Low Port Western Bit 5in -

Good luck choosing! :)

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 03:20 PM
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I see my 9.99 bit is now 13.99, I have alot of miles on walking horses with that one,
My new horse will be using that third one. I just got it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 05:52 PM
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You could show in something like this:
AL Engraved Medium Port Western Show Curb Bit 5in -

Innocuous and very pretty. Though something with sweet iron would be better, as it will rust.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-07-2012, 07:43 PM
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I use D&L Reiners, with various mouthpieces. I have one medium port curb, one with Billy Allen mouthpiece and one snaffle that is sweet iron with copper inlays, and a low port curb too.

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
I see my 9.99 bit is now 13.99, I have alot of miles on walking horses with that one,
My new horse will be using that third one. I just got it.
Ha ha, I see that too! Both my horses ride with this bit.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-12-2012, 06:10 PM
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Here are some links to a couple of my favorite mild curbs.

The main thing you want to look for is short, swept back shanks.

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