What kind of bit is this?
 
 

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What kind of bit is this?

This is a discussion on What kind of bit is this? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • How harsh are chain port bits
  • Why put my pony in a hanging cheek snaffle

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  • 2 Post By waresbear
  • 2 Post By blue eyed pony

 
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    03-25-2012, 12:23 AM
  #1
Foal
What kind of bit is this?

I just bought an old box of tack and this bit was inside. What is it, and what is it used for? Is it a "harsh" bit?

Please help:)

     
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    03-25-2012, 12:24 AM
  #2
Trained
Mullen mouth kimberwick, it's not that harsh, has curb action because of the leverage & curb chain.
smrobs and JustMuckItxD like this.
     
    03-25-2012, 12:35 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
Mullen mouth kimberwick, it's not that harsh, has curb action because of the leverage & curb chain.
Thanks! So since I don't know much about bits, do you use it with the curb hanging from the top or the bottom?
     
    03-25-2012, 12:37 AM
  #4
Trained
I always use the bottom hole, but the top can be used as well, depends on what the horse responds to better.
     
    03-25-2012, 01:10 AM
  #5
Weanling
I have and use one of these for driving. My horse responds nicely to it. We use the bottom hole to attach the reins.
     
    03-25-2012, 10:32 AM
  #6
Yearling
Bridle cheeks buckle through the small slot immediately adjacent to the curb hooks. Your pic shows it upside down.

Reins can be fitted through either slot or simply buckled around the ring so they slide up and down which was the original idea - you dropped your hands to get more curb action or raised them to get less.

This bit is more correctly called a 'Kimblewick' in the UK - it's named after the village where it originated. The model with slotted cheeks is an 'Uxeter Kimblewick' (or Kimberwick if you must).

They used to be popular for ponies, which could be strong for a young rider, because it provided a little of the action of a pelham, but without the difficulty of managing two reins or the potential for harm in inexperienced hands.

They fell out of favour in the 1980s with the introduction of the frankly awful 'Dutch Gag', which can cause far more damage IMO.

We last used a Kimblewick on a pony who had the habit of charging out of the schooling ring in a snaffle. After wearing the bit for a fortnight she went back into a snaffle and had no more issues with running off.

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    03-25-2012, 10:43 AM
  #7
Trained
I use an Uxeter kimblewick on my horse for jumping and cross country

This one is not mullen mouth, it is a low ported mouthpiece. A mullen is either dead straight, or (preferably) a single continuous curve, not straight with a curve in the middle.

The curb chain is designed so that if it's twisted correctly it lies flat against the horse's face, and is most often used with a chain guard so it doesn't rub or pinch. However, it can be hard to find chain guards that will fit a smaller horse or a pony - that's the problem I have at the moment, the chain on my kimblewick is way too long for my horse and so is the chain guard, so MY kimblewick has the action of a hanging cheek snaffle, or if I use the slots, somewhat closer to the action of a dutch gag. The chain just never engages.
     
    03-25-2012, 12:04 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
I use an Uxeter kimblewick on my horse for jumping and cross country

This one is not mullen mouth, it is a low ported mouthpiece. A mullen is either dead straight, or (preferably) a single continuous curve, not straight with a curve in the middle.

The curb chain is designed so that if it's twisted correctly it lies flat against the horse's face, and is most often used with a chain guard so it doesn't rub or pinch. However, it can be hard to find chain guards that will fit a smaller horse or a pony - that's the problem I have at the moment, the chain on my kimblewick is way too long for my horse and so is the chain guard, so MY kimblewick has the action of a hanging cheek snaffle, or if I use the slots, somewhat closer to the action of a dutch gag. The chain just never engages.
If you've got a pair of bolt-cutters you can shorten the chain without too much trouble, though you often have to cut the link in two spots - stainless steel doesn't bend very easily!

The main problem is with double chains, if you need to shorten one that much you get to the double link. You have to check carefully which link to cut.

Curb bits are often supplied with a full sized chain even when they're pony sized
     
    03-26-2012, 06:15 AM
  #9
Trained
Half the problem is that a full-sized chain is more often than not closer to warmblood or even draft! Monty is about cob sized around that part of his muzzle, he takes a cob sized flash strap. I don't want to cut it though because I may end up with a horse in the future that needs the full length of the chain.

My main problem is the chain guard, I've ridden in that bit several times and never been picked up by a gear checker for the chain being so long I have to put the ends together with a velcro loop to keep it from smacking him in the face. They just don't like chains being totally unprotected because they can pinch or rub some horses, and so of course I got a chain guard only to find out that it's too big for my horse. I do know one person who uses vetwrap as a chain guard and has never been gearchecked out because of it.

The OP asked if the kimblewick is a harsh bit, which I didn't realise when I first posted. I'll answer that question now. It depends on whether or not you use the slots, and which one you use if you do - no slots and it's basically a hanging cheek snaffle with a chain. Top slot has minimal leverage even if you ride with your hands very high, bottom slot has a lot of leverage. The kimblewick can be anywhere from the softest curb bit out there, to fairly harsh, depending on the configuration it's used in. Not as strong as a pelham, but not to be used by anyone with bad hands in its harshest configuration.

There are about 4 people at my pony club who I have seen riding in a kimblewick. The rest ride in snaffles, gags or pelhams. But kimblewicks are great bits if you need just that little bit more than a snaffle, and don't want to go to a harsher mouthpiece.
yadlim and unclearthur like this.
     
    04-03-2012, 08:54 PM
  #10
Foal
I completly agree with Blue Eyed Pony and I have also seen the curb chain pass gear check just wrapped with electrical tape
     

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