Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
If it has shanks, it's NOT a snaffle, it's a broken-mouth curb. A snaffle has no additional leverage (so it's leverage ratio is 1:1...for every ounce of pressure exerted on the reins, the same amount is applied to the mouthpiece). Shanks add leverage. The longer the shanks, the more leverage is added. Leverage plus the nutcracker action of a broken mouthpiece equals confusion and often pain for the horse.
That being said, do you know what kind of bit his previous owners used? If not, the best bet is to always go with the mildest bit that will work. I would try him in a loose ring snaffle (single or double jointed) and see how he goes. If he likes it, great. If not, and you KNOW he's trained to neck-rein, maybe try a short-shank low port (or Mullen mouth) curb with swivel shanks.
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