Switching Lenox from snaffle to curb?

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Switching Lenox from snaffle to curb?

This is a discussion on Switching Lenox from snaffle to curb? within the Western Pleasure forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Imus Comfort Bit
  • Moving to a western curb from snaffle

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    02-01-2011, 03:55 PM
Switching Lenox from snaffle to curb?

At fair this summer, I'm hoping to show Lenox in some Western Pleasure walk-trot and Western Horsemanship walk-trot. Her canter still needs work, and once I move up from the walk-trot classes I can't go back down. Anyway, since she's over 5 (12) she has to be ridden in a curb bit. Right now I ride her with contact in a Mylers D-ring, but she supposedly neck reins a little. I'm curious as to when I switch her over from a snaffle to a curb, when I start riding her one-handed, and what bit to switch her to when I do switch to a curb. Thanks!

P.S. The bridle she came with is good-quality, but older and REALLY stiff. Like, if I hold the end of the rein up, the entire rein will stand up straight, with no bend. Any idea how to loosen it up? The oil I usually use did nothing.
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    02-04-2011, 06:45 PM
    02-04-2011, 06:53 PM
Switching her to the curb shouldn't be hard. A lot of horses catch onto neck reining fairly easily. Is she good with leg/seat cues?

On the reins, I'd soak them in oil. Lay them flat in a container, then pour over just enough oil. You can do this for however long/short you want. Just be sure to wipe them off WELL, a few times after doing this!
    02-04-2011, 06:57 PM
^Thanks, I'll try that with the reins. If that doesn't work I might have to get new ones for her, because they are reaaalllyy stiff.

We're still working on seat and leg cues, I haven't been able to ride her much because of the weather so I haven't quite gotten the feel of her yet. However, she has a hard time going on the vertical, she carries her neck with her poll and withers even, but isn't to the point where she will drop her head naturally yet. I wiggle her head down and she's okay with keeping it there, but I'm not sure how to do that one-handed. With finished western horses, I kind of squeeze them up into the bit with my legs, but she isn't to that point yet.
    02-04-2011, 06:58 PM
I just had to switch Vinnie to a curb from a snaffle.
He did great, though I found that I relied on leg cues for a lot of that ride as he was trying to figure out neck reining. I never "trained" him to neck rein, but he did pick it up himself, I wouldn't worry about that. It should come with time.

I would say to just make sure you can do a lot of steering with leg cues until your horse figures out the curb. Vinnie had it down in two or three rides.

I also found that V was very respectful to the curb, and he stayed bridled much easier with the curb and was very soft for me.

Good luck! :)

ETA: I just looked at Lenox in your barn, (cause I'm a creep like that).. how pretty is she?!
    02-04-2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks. What kind of curb should I switch her to?
    02-04-2011, 07:03 PM
I'd say a short-shanked bit with a copper roller, but that's the only curb I like to use. It's so light, but you have your refining tools.
    02-04-2011, 07:06 PM
Hmm, I have an Imus Comfort gait bit for my gelding. It's short-shanked and has a copper roller, would that work? Might be a bit small, I'll measure her to see what size she needs.

    02-04-2011, 07:09 PM
When I switched V I just chose the most mild thing I had in the tack room. It was just something like this:

I think the rule of thumb is shorter, more swept back shanks=less harshness. Same with the port, a lower port means a nicer bit. Also, if the bit has a chin strap a leather one is less harsh than a chain one.

ETA: That bit looks very comfy :)
    02-04-2011, 07:11 PM
It's supposed to have lots of tongue relief and encourage horses to round up. Attached to the lower rings for curb, upper rings for snaffle action. Fits horses 4 1/2 - 5 1/2

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