Originally Posted by kickshaw
i know many gaited horses that ride in a bit similar to that - - if he responds to it, I say there is no need for a wh bit - they tend to have longer shaks = more leverage.
Yes, the longer the shanks the more leverage.
Once upon a time I didn't weigh much (early 60's). During that time I raised/trained an Arab/Saddlebred from birth.
Not a mean bone in his body but boy was he "up". A wise Amishman suggested I buy a swivel,long-shanked Walking horse bit and he taught me how to use those shanks.
They were only 6" shanks on a low port curb, but the day that bit went into Sonny's mouth was the day I started riding on a fairly loose rein because he knew I now had control.
My 21 yo TWH still has a huge motor and still wears a low port swivel-shank bit whose shanks are 8 inches.
I don't recommend those long shanks to anyone who doesn't know how to use them. It takes really soft hands because the longer the shank, the more leverage the rider has, and the faster someone can ruin that horse's mouth.
If the horse is performing well with whatever's in its mouth now, I don't think I would change to a bit with long shanks.
I also have a TWH who wears a mechanical hackamore and another one who wears a low port curb with 6" shanks.
I am strictly a trail rider, so all my horses will neck rein with just a slight flick of the rein. We have no need for direct reining :)
The horse will tell you what he's happy with and "if it works, don't fix it"