Kimberwickes? Yay or Neigh? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 20 Old 10-23-2013, 08:55 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 2,529
• Horses: 0
A snaffle bit by definition to me is any bit that does not apply leverage pressure.
So, a single joint mouth, a Britstol or French-link, a mullen {straight bar} mouth are all "snaffle bits".

As soon as you put any shank or leverage to any bit regardless of the mouthpiece design it is no longer a snaffle.

Here is the definition from Wikipedia...

A snaffle bit is the most common type of bit used while riding horses. It consists of a bit mouthpiece with a ring on either side and acts with direct pressure. A snaffle is not necessarily a bit with a jointed bit mouthpiece, as is often thought. A bit is a snaffle because it creates direct pressure without leverage on the mouth. It is a bit without a shank. Therefore, a single- or double-jointed mouthpiece, though the most common designs for snaffle bits, does not make a bit a snaffle. Even a mullen mouth (a solid, slightly curved bar) or a bar bit is a snaffle.

Technically, a kimberwicke can be snaffle bit with either the broken mouthpiece, the straight bar or the ported bar.
As long as the chain is not applied to produce leverage, no ring slots are there or being used {yes, they make a Kimberwicke with a plain ring} they are acceptable as a "snaffle". As soon as you use the chain as a leverage maker or the rein slot application it causes leverage and you now have a curb ...even though you don't have "shanks".

Any bit regardless of how the mouthpiece is designed can be a curb, which pretty much just means a leverage action to the bit occurs.
Gags, elevator, shanked walking bits, pelhams... all are considered leverage bits.

Here is Wikipedia definition of a curb..

A curb bit is a type of bit used for riding horses that uses lever action. It includes the pelham bit and the Weymouth curb along with the traditional "curb bit" used mainly by Western riders.
A curb bit is, in general, more severe than a basic snaffle bit, although there are several factors that are involved in determining a bit's severity. Liverpool bits are a type of curb bit commonly used for horses in harness.
Kimblewicks or "Kimberwickes" are modified curb bits, this has to do with that "curb chain and rein placements" and how you use your actual bit on your horse.

Please, do remember that any bit whether a true snaffle or a curb is only as strong and "mean" as the person holding the reins.
A soft and gentle contact is not punishing in a English bit such as a Kimberwicke.
I can though have rough & tough hands on that O or D-ring or Eggbutt any mouthpiece and be more punishing.
Not every chain needs to be adjusted either...hanging attached but with no "up-take" on it... it is just there. Hanging loose, it creates no leverage action. That is according to both English and Western rules of showing and equipment used.
Curb bits have more to do with the rein placement and mouth proximity than anything I believe.

Dressage is a whole different kettle of fish and rules of what those horses must "pack" in their mouths.
The rules are of their making and not any other discipline of riding most partake in or follows with 2 bits in a mouth, dropped nosebands or flash attachments to my knowledge.
I don't ride dressage so truly am not versed in their rules & regulations and equipment allowed and how it is to be applied to the horse. I know what I see when watching and how it is to be used but do not use such on my horses.

To me it is more important that the hands guiding the reins are educated and versed in how the bit is used correctly and with as little pressure as possible.
Any bit can be used harshly........

horselovinguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #12 of 20 Old 10-23-2013, 09:11 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 24,602
• Horses: 3
I've had several horses that didn't ride well in a jointed snaffle work much better in a low ported bit like a kimberwick - you don't need to use the lower slot and it is possible to buy them with no slots at all so the action isn't that much different to a D ring snaffle as far as where the pressure from the reins lies - the main difference is in how it sits in the mouth and affects the tongue
If anything it should lower the head not raise it so maybe you need to work on schooling issues that might need addressing - raising the head is often a sign of trying to evade the bit - how steady are your hands when you're trotting?
jaydee is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old 10-23-2013, 10:12 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2,964
• Horses: 3
my BO has a gelding that hates a jointed bit of any sort, needs slightly more than a snffle on the trail, but is being ridden two handed. A low ported kimberwick is perfect, I have never seen him happier in a bit.
BlueSpark is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old 10-24-2013, 08:45 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,045
• Horses: 0
Kimberwicke bits = mouth opening on most horses.

I hate these bits.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
Elana is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old 10-24-2013, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 304
• Horses: 0
My Thoroughbred is a Western Pleasure and an English Pleasure, her Western bit has a curb and she isn't a fan of single-jointed bits. I bought a Kimberwick that doesn't have slots for leverage so it is pretty much a snaffle but the mouthpiece has a small port. I have to say she works better in that than her WP bit. A lot of horses around here that do English and Western use Kimberwicks because they are the most similar. My horse also does gaming and works cows, so we have 3-4 different bits and she knows exactely what we are doing when we put that bit in.
Thrill Ride is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 01:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 707
• Horses: 4
I always saw a lot of QH's being ridden with Kimberwicks in the local shows, but my BO always advised against it. So I never bought one, never tried one. Always rode my QH in a 'grazing bit' as the people out west call them- the simple med port curb. Ride all my horses in it (even the gaited ones) except my youngster, who is still in a snaffle.
disastercupcake is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 02:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 749
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post

Technically, a kimberwicke can be snaffle bit with either the broken mouthpiece, the straight bar or the ported bar.
As long as the chain is not applied to produce leverage, no ring slots are there or being used {yes, they make a Kimberwicke with a plain ring} they are acceptable as a "snaffle". As soon as you use the chain as a leverage maker or the rein slot application it causes leverage and you now have a curb ...even though you don't have "shanks".

I agree with the majority of your post except for this bit. I thought the same thing for a while until I was enlightened. I thought that without using the chain and rein slots that a kimberwick would function the same as a baucher, however there is one big difference that will have a kimberwick exerting a small amount of leverage when used in this manner.

Here is a kimberwick with a very low port. See how the mouthpiece is at the top of the D rings? In order to have curb action you need a purchase and a shank. If you attach your reins to the bottom slot then you will have both of these things and thus have a curb bit. If you choose the 'middle' option and do not put your rein in either slot your rein will move around as you ride and move to the spot of least resistance, which would be the middle of the d most of the time ( right between the two slots). This would still be a curb bit, though a bit less than if you were riding on the bottom slot. The next option would be the top slot. The top slot is in line with the mouthpiece giving you a snaffle type action.

With the last option chosen if you were to keep the chain on it would just hang there throughout the ride and not tighten.

With the other two options a curb chain is needed, with a curb( leverage) bit you need the curb chain to keep the mouthpiece from over rotating.

Last edited by BreakableRider; 10-25-2013 at 02:03 AM.
BreakableRider is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old 10-25-2013, 02:06 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 525
• Horses: 4
I feel like any bit these days are going to have people who say yay or nay. The biggest thing this forum as taught me is if you know how to effectively & properly use the bit & your horse goes well in it - stick to it.

My mare rides phenomenally in her Kimberwicke. She had always been ridden in a single joint loose ring snaffle by my trainer, I then switched her to a double joint D ring. We decided to try a Kimberwicke for her jumping bit since she can get strong & she loves the thing. It has a low port & no slots. The only thing applying leverage is the curb chain when it's activated. For her it works. It's not too strong but it's got enough "bite" to remind her of her manners when she gets strong.

So you have to ask yourself: Does he like it? Does he go well in it? I'm going to assume it's a no from the brief description & advise trying something different. He might like a jointed snaffle, or maybe a mullen, or perhaps ported or otherwise like a Myler bit. I had a gelding who hated anything except his Myler Comfort Bit. You just have to find what works for him & go with it. Everyone can tell you all day long how they don't like or do like Kimberwickes or bitless or any other type of bit. You need to figure out what suits YOUR horse.
Cat and bsms like this.
SketchyHorse is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old 10-26-2013, 04:59 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 3,015
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
OP, I hate kimberwickes. They're the worst of both worlds. It is a leverage English bit - thus it's ridden with contact. But the bit by design discourages contact through a curb chain, which acts off pressure points. Either look at a Pelham or a snaffle. Your horse will not want to seek contact, nor want to hold contact. Vicious cycle.

You're a bit misinformed there... The cheek piece doesn't really affect comfort so much as the mouthpiece. I would like to direct you to my sticky at the top of the Equipment section.

Bitless does NOT mean gentler. Bitless bridles such as the Nurtural/Dr Cook etc work off of head and jaw pressure. My gelding went nuts when I tried one on him - they cannot get away from the pressure if there is any contact. I'd hate to have that vice around my face. Bitless bridles just employ different pressure and systems, yes even halters. Not to mention that a lot of disciplines require a horse to carry a bit.
I must have been misinformed in that regard, and thank you for pointing that out! My only thought was to encourage the OP to think of bit less as another option - I too, have heard of painful bit less bridles, (such as the Dr Cook) and do not use them. I simply clip rope reins on my mares' halters and ride in that fashion -my horses don't display any distress whatsoever, but rather easy compliance and obvious comfort... :)
Northernstar is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old 10-27-2013, 11:38 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 24,602
• Horses: 3
The Dr Cook synthetic bitless doesn't release very well - but as long as you aren't hauling on it then it wont tighten up anyway
The leather version slides through immediately you give release
The tightness of them totally relates to the amount of pressure you apply - so if you have a horse that's heavy on the hands or pulls then it likely wont work for you
I have used one on all of my horses with no problems at all
jaydee is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grain Free - Yay or Neigh? swimminchikin Horse Nutrition 19 07-23-2013 09:38 PM
Fly Sheets: yay or neigh? maddog1991 Horse Grooming 5 05-07-2013 09:54 AM
Yay or neigh? Saddle *If I won the lotto* myhorsesonador Horse Tack and Equipment 17 02-15-2012 12:33 PM
Myler bits...yay or neigh? SidMit Horse Tack and Equipment 11 05-23-2011 10:29 AM
standardbred's...Yay or Neigh? englishcowgrl Horse Breeds 25 10-22-2008 01:33 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome