Shanked Snaffle - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 03:30 PM
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If you pull the end of the bit into the inside of the turn, the entire bits slides to the inside of the turn. It will not tip to top into the horse's face. Not unless you jerk VERY hard and tilt the entire inside half of the bit. If you jerk that hard, the horse will have issues not related to the top of the shank!

This is a photo example. Notice the angle at which the rein is pulling on the bit. That is possible from the ground or IF you pull a horse's head 90+ degrees around. I strongly suspect the pressure at the top of the shank is not what the horse is paying attention to, not while his mouth is being abused like that!



If you pull like that, you can also pull a snaffle bit through a horse's mouth. I've seen it done once. I'd argue in both cases, the bit is being used outside of its proper operating parameters! This is more in line with how I have used a Tom Thumb bit in the past:



I see nothing very wrong with a Tom Thumb bit - or a snaffle, or a Billy Allen - provided one doesn't haul on the bit. Hauling on ANY bit is a problem. This is what a snaffle bit can do to the horse's mouth when hauled on:

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post #12 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Yeah, I've heard that there was some controversy, but I haven't heard much of the controversy. Why is it controversial? I've heard that is due to the fact the many people consider it a "snaffle"; others say it is poorly designed, but I didn't hear why it was "poorly designed" compared to other bits.
I'm sure this has been answered better but from what I've seen and heard, essentially its that its marketed by some as the same as a snaffle- causing unknowing riders (usually novices who tend to lean on their reins for balance) to use it the same as they would in a snaffle- causing more unnecessary pressure on a horse that does not need it...

I believe the reason why so many people believe it to be the same as a snaffle is because the Australian Tom Thumb is just a snaffle (no leverage)
where as the usual one is the more 'problematic' design


aussie https://www.zilco.com.au/products/123636

English https://www.greenfunstore.com/John-D...Thumb-Bit.html
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post #13 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 04:50 PM
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this is exactly why people feel a shanked snaffle bit, with rotating shanks, can cuase discomfort ; Because there is a very sloppy and mixed signal due to pressure in multiople way; against the lip, against the tongue (if the single jointed mouth piece is pulled so that it rotates downward, into the tongue), agains the edges of the mouth, and lastely, into the cheek as shown. So much discomfort, so little simple signally.





A shanked snaffle that has a Billy Allen type mouth piece won't have as much of that, since it won't form a 'V' point when the reins are pulled.


And, if you are neck reining, then presumably, you won't be pulling one side up and outward, creating that pinch.
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post #14 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 06:28 PM
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I think that by the time you move a horse from a snaffle you should not have the need to put your hand that far out @tinyliny . Putting your hands far to the side is a baby baby snaffle move, or a hackamore type move, donít you think? Even with babies it is not an upward move either.

I still plow rein some in the shanked snaffle, but my hands are inside, and it is more when I am against the neck asking for ribs or something of that sort. By the time I transition out of the snaffle I am mainly neck reining and occasionally doing that. That is why I like the shanked snaffle, because with a bridle it is much harder to request that sort of bend quickly and accurately unless a horse is completely finished. Around my environment horses are finished before moving on to the curb.
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post #15 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 07:01 PM
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I don't ever do something like this:


If the horse is taught how to get relief and what you expect of her, from the ground, using a thumb and index finger, then there is never a need to pull like that. Teach the horse the response you want before you expect her to obey the bit! This video from Warwick Schiller was critical to me when I taught Mia to use a curb bit - at a time I had never touched a curb bit in my life:


I consider myself to be a western rider. Here is a link to 730 western bits, listed by "best selling". It is scary. I'd pick a Tom Thumb over many of these in a heartbeat.

https://www.statelinetack.com/wester...t-guards/1135/

This is a close up of the X-ray of a single joint O-ring snaffle being pulled hard. It looks mighty harsh to me, too! Thus the common saying that it is "the hands" and not "the bit":


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Last edited by bsms; 04-08-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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post #16 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 07:04 PM
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@Knave a very good point. Yes, I agree that by the time any horse graduates to a curb, there should be no need to use a 'leading' rein (reaching to the outside).


the problem is that folks often put a young horse into a Tom Thumb type curbed snaffle before the horse is ready. Before the hrose is really responsive to the single reining. Then, they direct rein in it, and the hrose builds up a resistance to it.


I used to ride a horse that wore a Tom Thumb. His owner said that she had the best control over him in that. But, when I rode in it, he curled behind the bit in a defensive manner, and if I used one hand to rein, him (direct rein), he braced real hard against that. His neck muscles bulged against it. He turned like a swinging gate.



I just used a snaffle for my rides, but he was already in a mental place where even the softest contact made him move into a protective stance. It's just really hard to transmit a really soft and clear signal when there is rotation AND direct pull, AND curb action happending.


Just direct pull (a loose ring REAL snaffle) cuts this down to a simpler action. Yes, some horses need a double jointed snaffle, which changes the action a bit. But no rotation, no squeezing of a curb, etc.


I am not saying this is THE answer. I know many horses prefer a solid mouth curb. But, when it comes to training, I think the simpler, the better. There is a reason that training of a bridle horse starts with snaffle.
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post #17 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 07:16 PM
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@bsms


your photo and video present fodder for an entirely different (and lively ) discussion on the whole issue of 'lateral flexions".


the first photo:





shows a horse being PULLED into a position. It is not achieving the desireable results that might be sought after by teaching lateral flexions, either from the ground or in the saddle.


This horse has been pulled much further back than needed, and in so doing, the horse has rolled it's head over (ears to the outside, nose toward the pull), in order to achieve this hard degree of flexion. In so doing, it has avoided actually 'stretching' and so loosening, the area most needed to be suppled; the poll. by moving the bend to several vertebrae below the poll, with this 'rolling' action, the horse avoids the lateral flexion of the poll that is so helpful to horses who are really stiff. . .



AND


this disconnects the rein from the hind feet. . . . AND . . throws the horse's weight onto the outside (in the photo, it would be his left) shoulder. This does not help a horse rebalance, or re=supple, or prepare for a correct hind quarter disengagement. It pushes a horse hard onto his forehand and teaches him to actually LEAN on that pulling rein. It is a worthless exersize. worthless. and even destructive , as in the extreme it can create a 'rubber necked ' horse.


This has really nothing to do with the discussion on Tom Thumb bits, and other shanked snaffles. I cannot see the connection.
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post #18 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
...This has really nothing to do with the discussion on Tom Thumb bits, and other shanked snaffles. I cannot see the connection.
It has quite a bit! As I've explained, I've used Tom Thumb bits and cannot get it to act remotely like that Mark Rashid claims! When I pull on the reins to the inside, the entire Tom Thumb bit slides that way. I have direct reined a horse at least a thousand times in a Tom Thumb, and my horse behaves fine - both Mia and Bandit. Neither had ever been ridden in a curb bit before I started them in one. I used a Tom Thumb bit for Bandit's second ride in a curb - and he did fine!

Why? Two reasons. First, I taught him (from the ground) how to get release, and then GAVE him release. Second, I never tried using the bit in a way it wasn't intended. DO those things and a Tom Thumb bit will work just fine.

Use it to manhandle a horse (Clinton Anderson flexing a horse nose to knee), or use it without teaching the horse how to get release, or use it without ever giving release (Clinton Anderson flexing a horse nose to knee), and it will be a harsher bit. Although it will still be less harsh, by design, than this well respected western bit:


A Jr Cow Horse will pivot at the mouthpiece at the slightest pressure. It will very easily twist the top of the shank into the horse's face. It is almost as straight as a Tom Thumb and has a thinner mouthpiece to increase the PSI on the tongue and bars. The same leverage.

Yet I owned one and used it off & on for several years without problem. Many people swear by this bit. But the people who buy one are typically people who know how to use one - unlike the Tom Thumb.

"It's just really hard to transmit a really soft and clear signal when there is rotation AND direct pull, AND curb action happending."

No. It isn't. NOT IF THE HORSE IS TAUGHT. Horses are not engineers. They do not break things down into each individual component, then try to figure out what each component is asking, and then try to resolve the differences. THAT is a human approach. Horses just memorize the overall feel. "If I feel these 12 things at once, what should I do?"

Consider this picture where I'm asking Bandit to do a tight 180 in a solid shank curb bit:


When I applied pressure to his neck, I told him to turn. Tight, since I've applied more pressure than normal. So far, good. But the solid shank curb has rotated in his mouth, telling him to stop quickly! It has also pulled and twisted in the mouth, applying pressure against the inside of his face, which means turn the opposite direction! What is the poor horse to do?

Well, he's doing it. Making a tight 180 turn to the left. He has felt all those things before and is giving himself relief - by listening to the neck pressure and ignoring the rest. Or more accurately, by feeling all the rest and still knowing how to get relief. He's a horse. He hasn't broken it down.

There was no one to take pictures when I rode him today in the same solid shank curb. I used one hand part of the time. I direct reined some of the time. According to all the books, Bandit should have been confused or panicked when I used both hands. But Bandit hasn't read the books. I've direct reined with him before, in the arena, using the same bit. I also showed him, from the ground a la Warwick Schiller, to flex laterally when two hands are used with the solid shank curb. And so he did what he was trained to do.

Would I hop on a strange horse and try it? No. Did it take Bandit more than a couple of minutes of ground work to figure it out? No.

Horses notice and accept the totality of what they feel, and respond as they are trained. The problem with the Tom Thumb is that most people who use one skip the training...

Oh...and there are also a lot of horses whose previous owners used a Tom Thumb badly. Those horses will have issues with one. They do not forget.

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post #19 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 08:23 PM
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Let me add this. My first ride on Bandit, we started with an O-ring snaffle. He was doing fine at a walk. I asked for a trot. He braced his back rigid - he was used to carrying 300 lbs of rider and gear - but was fine other than that. Then I started to take the slack out of the reins.

Bandit dropped anchor and did an emergency stop! Good thing I was using my Aussie saddle or I would have gone over his head.

Later that day, I called his previous owner. He explained he had most ridden Bandit in a bosal, but also had a snaffle to make him stop whenever he got excited. So...Bandit did largely as trained. When he started to expect pressure on the simple snaffle, he stopped ASAP! It took a while to convince him I could take slack out of the reins while we kept going forward.

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post #20 of 34 Old 04-08-2019, 08:47 PM
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Why not just use the double jointed snaffle, if your horse is taught to respond?


That bit you posted, and the photo of the horse gaping it's mouth a couple of posts back DO show a shank rotated back so that it gouges into the horse's face. As long as you never offset the rein to the side, it won't happen, . . true.


But, if you have a horse that is not turning well when you ask softly, that is not capable of softly flexing, or responding to the rein, and you ask with more lift, and more lateral offset, (as I would with a horse that is ignoring a rein in a snaffle), it will gouge into there face. it will literally be pushing against the face, making themn want to move AWAY from that push, or at least brace into it.


A snaffle CAN be pulled right trhgou the mouth, that is why you can avoid this with a chin strap.


And, I am most certainly glad Horses aren't Engineers!


They can learn to understand 12 signals applied concurrantly, but they will do much better if they have only one or two, that can be increased without adding in even more different ones (as happens when you increase pull with a tom thumb). In a snaffle, if horse does not follow a light signal to turn left, I would increase the lift the feel, then move the hand outward a bit to make it really clear I mean "left, please", if they get stuck , and start leaning on the bit, I would lift my hand and say, 'please get off that , . . now, listen to this rein that is saying gently bend your head to the left, and follow it that way"



You can transmit all that with any bit, I suppose, if you have the finesse. But, horses that I have seen ridden in the bit we are discussing, tend to not be laterally soft, and tend to curl up behind the bit, giving their rider the 'impression' they are soft and collected.
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