Severe or not?? Argentine snaffle - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 32 Old 05-11-2009, 12:46 PM
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I know nothing about the Argentine snaffle but I personally don't care for anything with the combination of shanks and a broken mouthpiece. I start all of my younsters in a loose ring snaffle and then when I feel they are ready (neck rein pretty well and are well behaved), I move them up to a swivel shank curb with a solid mouth.

This is the same type that I use on my finished horses.

The swivel shanks allow one handed correction when necessary and there is enough of a port for tongue relief but not enough to interfere with the roof of the mouth (in most horses).

On another note, any bit can be mild or harsh depending on the hands of the rider. All bits have the potential to inflict pain if used improperly (even simple snaffles). However, there are many people who absolutely love those bits that all others say are "incredibly harsh" because they use them softly and have good results. I have known people that had wonderful results in a tom thumb, spade, cathedral, etc. However, I have also seen the disasterous aftermath of those same bits in other hands.

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post #12 of 32 Old 05-11-2009, 07:28 PM
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I really don't understand why people think argentines are so severe. They are less sever than a tom thumb due to the bend. A curb bit has a lot of tongue pressure and will not work for two handing at all, which makes it tough to train a horse to neck rein in. Therefore, I always move my horses into an argentine and once they get neck reining down I may consider using a curb. I think your plan is perfect for training your colt. spirithorse, have you ever used an aregentine? They have a totally different feel from a tom thumb, and she will eventually have to move up to a bit with shanks if she is going to neck rein. So yes, I like argentines. I have used them on many successful horses in different disciplines. However, any bit with shanks is severe in the wrong hands. But if you are soft handed an argentine is not a severe bit. Just my two cents.
ANY BIT with leverage, is a curb. Any bit with zero leverage, is a snaffle. A bit with a broken mouthpeice and shanks, is a curb with a broken mouthpeice, not a snaffle. A snaffle doesn't necessarily have a broken mouth piece, it can be mullen mouthed.

Also, you don't have to be in a curb to neck rein. I neck rein both my horses perfectly fine in snaffles.

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post #13 of 32 Old 05-12-2009, 11:38 AM
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Amen to that, Wild Spot.

Remember, the mouthpiece has NOTHING to do with whether or not the bit is a snaffle or curb. It's all about whether there are shanks or direct contact with the mouth.

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post #14 of 32 Old 05-12-2009, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by EternalSun View Post
Remember, the mouthpiece has NOTHING to do with whether or not the bit is a snaffle or curb.
A broken mouthpiece has a snaffle action and IS less severe than a solid mouth piece.
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post #15 of 32 Old 05-12-2009, 06:05 PM
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you would think so, but it's exactly the opposite simply because of the bits design. the Argentine, however, is a tad bit less severe than the TT because of it's curved cheeks, but other than that the bits function the same.

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post #16 of 32 Old 05-12-2009, 06:23 PM
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A broken mouthpiece has a snaffle action and IS less severe than a solid mouth piece
Why do you think that? A broken mouthpeice has a nutcracker action and can stab up into the roof of the mouth or down into the tongue. The sides also collapse on the bars of the mouth. Combining that with shanks drives the point of the broken mouthpeice down into the tongue as well as the bars collapsing on the sides of the mouth, as well as the increased pressure with all but the lightest aids creates a LOT of pressure on a lot of different places in the horses mouth.

A solid mouthpeice does not have a nutcracker action, and does not collapse onto the bars of the horses mouth. A ported mullen mouth, the more common type in curb bits (I think?) is even more mild. As the mouthpeice rotates in the horses mouth with the effect of the shanks, the port still allows the horse tongue relief. If the port is SUPER high, it can contact the roof of the mouth, but because it is solid it is still softer than the pointed end of a nutcrackered broken mouthpiece.

As said above, the mouthpiece of a bit has nothing to do with the distinction between curb and snaffle. The difference? A snaffle has a 1:1 pressure ratio. 1 ounce of pressure is put on the reins by the rider, and 1 ounce of pressure is felt by the mouth of the horse.

In a curb, this ratio starts at 1:2 and increases with a few factors, mainly the length and angle of the shanks. 1 ounce of pressure is put on the reins by the rider, and 2 or more times that pressure is felt my the mouth, chin, and poll of the horse.

That is the difference between a snaffle and a curb. Both snaffle AND curb can have broken, mullen, or ported mouthpieces.

Last edited by wild_spot; 05-12-2009 at 06:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
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post #17 of 32 Old 05-13-2009, 07:27 AM
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Wild spot is correct concerning the differences between a snaffle and a curb. What constitutes the severity is the mouthpiece and (on a shanked bit) the ratio of the purchase to the shank plus the shape of the shank.

As to the original post, I would use the sequence you mentioned but without the Argentine bit. It simply serves no good purpose especially if you are going to use a Billy Allen. If you are going to use it anyway (which, again, I would avoid), then that should be the last bit.

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post #18 of 32 Old 10-18-2009, 07:48 PM
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Smile Snaffle & Shank Bits Don't Work The Same Way...

Originally Posted by Spirithorse View Post
I would never use Argentine. But I have ridden horses who were ridden in a TT and Argentine and there was no good communication that came from those bits, IMO. The horses didn't respond to them at all. I rode them just like I ride my own horse, who's in a snaffle, and it was horrible.
Spirit Horse, In my understanding of how a snaffle bits and a shank bit work...they do not work the same, therefore you cannot ride them the same. While I have never used an Argentine Bit, I have used similar bits. Snaffle bit puts pressure on the lower bars and corners of the mouth where has Shank bits work off the upper bars and palette of the mouth as well chin and poll pressure. Shank bits are leverage bits, and when you are using one you want to use lift rather then pull back like in your snaffle.
Just my two cents.
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post #19 of 32 Old 10-20-2009, 11:21 PM
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I was about to say that, QH. Going from a full cheek snaffle to a shanked hackamore caused a lot of communication problems for Hoover and fault, not his or the bits! I was still pulling straight back, and actually had him fall over on me he was so confused.

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post #20 of 32 Old 10-20-2009, 11:37 PM
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A snaffle with shanks and a curb chain is very severe. It uses the "nutcracker" of the snaffle with a curb chain/shanks that pull it hard onto the bars of the horse's mouth. Use a simple curb bit or a snaffle, not a bit that is both.
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