Originally Posted by Cherie
It is simply attached to a flat leather halter with snaps. The lead-shank goes through the bottom ring of the halter and the bottom ring of the bit. They are very commonly used in the racing industry where the horses are so fed up to such a 'high' and goofy state that it is not just a matter of 'manners'. The last thing you want to do with the young horses that these are usually used on is longe them in circles when they are only high as a kite. People feed them up to be crazy and then cuss them because they are.
I used to get in some of these long yearlings that came from the big TB sales. I had to 'let them down' just like a horse coming off of the race track before I could start them under saddle. Until they started to come down, you could not handle them at all with out a Chifney bit or a chain shank. They would come out of a stall and their feet barely touched the ground. They were snorting fire like dragons. Once they came down a little, they trained just like any other horse, but not before.
The Chifney bit I had (and the others that I had seen) were thicker than this one and were straight across on the straight side and did not have the bow in it that pushes down on the tongue. I do not like the design of the one shown.
I cannot even imagine trying to ride in one. That is certainly not what they are designed for.
Thanks for explaining that Cherie. We used them a lot at the track, and yes the horses were beyond unmannered, they were high. We always snapped the bottom ring through the lead snap and the halter.....never ever did anyone snap the lead solely onto the bottom ring of that bit....that's a disaster waiting to happen, a broken jaw for sure. When using one of these bits, a lot of people think they are pulled on or down on, experienced people will bump the horse with it - you pull down on one of these bits and you're asking for trouble.
To be very honest, using one of these bits to manage an unruly TB 2 year old is better than having it run off or hurt someone. In saying this, a lot of people condemn the use of these bits and preach groundwork.....if you've ever worked in the intensive TB racing industry you would understand that this is just not feasible, staff donot have all day to fix a horse that gets hyper.....because most of them are that way. It's the nature of the industry.