Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Well, if I weren't planning on showing any of horses in the future, I probably wouldn't advance beyond the snaffle. Reason? Why? It does the job just fine.
Regardless of what most people may think (and you are more than welcome to your own opinion but I still say they are wrong) a bit with a huge hook and massive shanks is NOT going to give you anymore control.
If you can't control your horse with a snaffle, you are not going to control him with a shank.
I don't have problem with shank bits. I have a problem with people who have no idea how to USE a shank bit. NOTHING drives me more INSANE than when I see a kid's horse with a six year old child yanking on their horse's mouth with a shank bit.
Parents, what're you thinking?! *Smacks forehead* Anyways, I disgress...
Although there are some pretty insane shank bits out there where I really have to wonder what sort of ****** invented that and thought it would be even remotely effective, bits are the merely the tools, we the handler.
If you have never used a shank bit before, get someone to show you HOW too. They don't work anything like a snaffle. That's why horses in the western movies all have their heads flying up in the air. Another pet peeve. :p
ANYHOW, where was I?!
I don't have a problem with any bits, so long as they are used properly. Lots of shows, especially reining, do a bit check to ensure that they bit they are using is legal, which is cool.
I don't think there is a need to move to a shank bit and I think it's sort of weird that you're required to show in a shank, but hey, what can you do? You work up the training required to ride your horse effectively in a shank, there's no worries.