OK, I'm still in the learning stages of this (so take it with a grain of salt...) but so far I have to agree with everyone's replys so far.
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
I I would steer clear of any twisted wire bits, or even a slow twist bit - you can do very great damage if you don't have good hands.
Absolutly. A twisted wire (or even a small diameter bar) works on a distrubution principal. The larger the bar, the more surface area the load/pressure is distrubuted across.
Example - (DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS - just imagine it) IF you took a regular steak knife, and laid it flat on the table, then you pushed your thumb on the flat side of the blade, and pushed fairly hard - what would happen - not a whole lot, maybe gouge the table. Now IF (this is the don't try it at home part) you took the same knife, and laid it on the table so the sharp part was facing up, and you pressed your thumb on it fairly hard - what would happen - OUCH!!!.
Example 2 - Try to carry a 5 gallon bucket of water to the end of your driveway using the plastic roller handle that slides over the wire - a touch uncomfortable, but tolerable. Now carry the same bucket back, just using the wire - bet ya it hurts alot more!
The principal is the same - equal force being distrubuted over more surface area. In both cases your hand (or thumb) is the horses mouth. A wire bit (or smaller diameter bar) increases in force because there is less surface area to distribute the pressure. Keep in mind that this effect is multiplied when using a leverage bit (I'll get to that in a minute).
Now, I'm not trying to start a debate here - I'm just repeating information that was given to me. My last horse had a western curb bit. I attempted to give this to my new horse, and he thought the world was ending.... So I read different threads here, and I saw a handful of people say to stay away from a Kimberwick because it's harsh, ect.ect. So after further reading I had self perscribed a D ring snaffle and headed off to the bit store. I told the lady what my delema was, and she directed me to the Kimberwick. I told her no, too harsh and all the other negative things I had read. She asked what I wanted, I told her a D ring snaffle. She handed me a Kimberwick - I was puzzled!! She then explained to me what a Kimberwick was, how it worked, and why it was better than the D ring I was eyeing up (not to mention the Kimberwick was cheaper)...No offence to the D ring at all - but this is what she told me. I have included a (POOR - no laughing) drawing I made in paint to help describe what I'm attempting to say...
A kimberwick could kinda be called a multi-use bit I guess. I was told that it mimicks several commonly used bits simply by changing mounting points for the reins. It can simulate a D ring snaffle by attaching the reins in the upper holes in the D ring (attachment point A in my doodle). It can simulate a curb bit (lessened in sevarity) by using the lower attachment holes (attachment point B). It can simulate a loose ring by attaching the reins around the D (attachment point C). Each position has its uses and circumstances.
Now before anybody snaps on me, let me explain the way this works - simplified.
If I want to simulate a D ring, I attach my reins to the point A in the diagram. On a D ring, the rings pivot in and out, but cannot rotate. When the reins are attached to point A, pressure is applied along the same axis (imaginary line) as the pivot point (bar in the horses mouth) - the effect is virtually the same.
If I want a more aggressive (right term??) bit, getting closer to a curb bit, I can attach at point B. Rein pressure is multiplied (about twice) through the levarge action of the D to the pivot point (bar).
If I want to simulate a loose ring, I can attach the reins at point C. Now, since the D of the Kimberwick only pivots (in and out) and doesnt rotate, the pinching is eliminated that can be found in a loose ring. The reins are free to slide up and down on the D, simulating the action of a loose ring. At this point in training, the horse shouls consider the slight pressure of the rein sliding up the D as a preque - and respond to the command before any pressure is applied.
I now own a Kimberwick - and will not own anything else. The lady at the tack store told me that I could chose whatever I wanted. So I decded to go with the one bit, instead of 3!
PS...I spent the extra money I saved on pony treats!