Shanks over or under - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Shanks over or under

I had been told in the past by someone to always put the chain over the nose, however with talking to more people I am finding that a lot of people put it under. Is there a time when one works better than the other? Im curious to see whether it is a personal preference, discipline preference?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 09:11 AM
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Are you talking about a stud chain on a halter?
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 10:04 AM
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It does sound like the OP is talking about a stud chain on a halter, but the reference to shanks in the title has me confused then. Now I have an iching feeling Ive heard people call stud chains shanks??

Anyways, with a stud chain you can thread it up over the nose, under it and ive even seen people manage to wrap it all the way around. I personally have used over and under on different horses for lunging. My current lease horse is a strong son of a gun who will once in awhile decide to buck/start pulling on me on the lunge. Threading the chain so it can't get caught tight (like an improperly done choke chain on a dog) I can give a tug on the line and the chain gives me some extra help to remind him to behave. It's a precaution. I've used one under the chin hoping it would help urge a lazy horse forward on the lunge too. Same kind of idea on both over/under can be used when simply leading too. Some horses get hard to handle, maybe a stud, and the chain helps to regain control.

If OP is talking about a curb chain, like is commonly used with a shank (curb) bit, the proper way is attached under the bit. Over the bit makes me think of slightly barbaric hackamore.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 10:28 AM
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Yeap, the title had me confused too. If a stud chain, over or under depends on what needs to be accomplished. Just never ever wrap it all the way around, there is no out then.

I didn't even think about it possibly referencing a curb chain, that makes me uneasy to think someone would put it over the nose, ick.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-17-2012, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yes talking about a stud chain, never heard it called that before
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 08:48 AM
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The term stud chain came about for handling stallions in halter classes. It has to be on starting at the off-side upper ring, down thro the lower, across the nose to the near lower ring. Now haltershowmanship horses, mare/geldings wear the same. I'd like to see it done away with with non stallions. Too often I've seen it abused. If you've really done your homework it isn't needed.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 09:03 AM
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Yes, a stud chain. They are referred to as 'lead shanks' also. In halter & showmanship, depending on where you are showing they are a requirement. I, personally like a lead with a short chain that can just be doubled over in the ring under the halter and neither used over or under. If it has to be used (I've seen some places that it is a requirement that it be over/under in an in hand class - don't agree with it but it is what it is), I don't like seeing them under because if they actually have to be used, the horse's typical reaction is to get away from the pressure and with it under getting away means going up.

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post #8 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 09:06 AM
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I use it over the nose on ST, but I put it under for Dude. ST will fly up and rear with it under if you touch it even the least bit, and Dude reared if you barely touched it while it was over his nose. I think it depends on the horse, personally.
Our judges around here supposedly like it better under, but it doesn't matter what they like since ST will only go one way with it. I could probably work on it, but I'm leaving in 2 weeks and it would be pointless for me to go through that work when she's done showing after I'm done leasing.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 12:29 PM
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In general, under is a bad idea because it will cause the horse to jerk his head up in response to pressure.

On the rare occasion that I actually do use a chain, I go all the way around. It never occurred to me until I read it above that the horse would need a "release" probably because if I need the chain I give a quick tug and release the pressure, so *I* provide the release before the horse feels a need to look for it. Does that make sense? Also, I wrap the chain around the halter noseband and put it through both side rings so that it doesn't constrict around the horse's nose, again removing the need for release since it never constricts. I find that this is the best way to protect the horse from the potential dangers of using a chain, and the only way to truly prevent the halter from twisting.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-19-2012, 12:37 PM
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Never ever put the chain all the way around. Doesn't matter how you do it, it doesn't offer an out. Chains don't always slide easily, what if you pull on the chain and release but the chain doesn't automatically release. Its a bad situation waiting to get worse.
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