Which bit do I use? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
 24Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 09:53 AM
Started
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 1,691
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
This is the pressure applied by a trained rider, measured on each rein. She thought she was using light contact and giving a gentle half-halt:



Over 16 lbs total for a half-halt by a trained rider.

It is easy to teach a rider not to snatch on the reins - much easier than to teach a rider light contact. It is also much easier to see if someone has slack in their reins than to see how much pressure they are applying.

There is no jarring ring when a rider takes slack out of the reins. And a horse does not need contact to feel calm and confident. Snaffle or curb, riding with slack and giving cues with a pinkie is easier than keeping constant and gentle contact:
Thank you for posting the results of the study on this rider’s efforts to achieve light contact and gentle rein cues. It illustrates just how difficult it can be to obtain subtle use of the reins. Failure to achieve a goal, however, is no reason to abandon all efforts to approach the goal. Do you know of a similar study done with a rider that compares the difference in the use of slack reins and application of those reins?

Of course such studies only show what happens with an individual rider, an individual horse, and the individual equipment in a specific situation. The horse as well as the rider can change the tension on the reins. The construction of the reins and bit could, also, affect the results. Many more samples would be necessary to provide a sense of common variances in rein tension.

When simply viewing a horse and rider, observing the reins themselves is seldom a good guide to understanding what is happening between the rider and the horse. A better gauge is to observe the horse’s reactions to the rider. Even this, however, may not be a good gauge if the horse has been taught not to complain. A better gauge is to observe the subtle indications of tension in both horse and rider.

It is certainly not necessary for a horse to feel calm and confident in order to be ridden. Such a horse, however, provides a much more enjoyable riding experience.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
www.quietriding.com
www.quietriding.org
TXhorseman is offline  
post #22 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 11:42 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 12,069
• Horses: 4
"BSM, that jointed mouth curb with sleeves, is not a TT, regardless of how it is labelled !!!!"

I never said it was. I said the sleeves prevented the shanks from swiveling, so that a pull out on the bottom of the shank will not result in the top going the other direction.

That is true with Tom Thumbs as well. The shank will spin around, but it won't flex into the side of the horse's face the way Mark Rashid claims it will.

I also was pointing out that Mark Rashid makes the complaint against ALL shanked bits with a broken mouthpiece, without exception. That means he is ignoring important differences in bit design.

" This ring, or set of rins, as in the picture shown here, results in a large bulky area. When the bit is engaged laterally (i.e. Pull out to the side) the rings pivot and stick into the horse's face."

No, they do not. When you pull the bottom of the shank away from the face, a design like that will pull the top of the shank away from the face also. Don't believe me. Take a bit and go try it. I have. I could not make the top pivot into the horse's face the way Mark Rashid says it does.

Also, while I tried it even from 90 deg out, a rider cannot replicate a pull like that. An opening rein might get a 20 deg gap, but it won't get a 90 deg gap - and neither will pivot the top of the shank into the horse's face. At least, not when I tried it on Mia.

"When the side of the bit is pivoted, but the mouth piece isn't, a lip or other facial skin can very easily get caught and pinched."

Agreed. I prefer sleeves. But since Mark Rashid didn't mention it, neither did I. Still, MANY bits have that issue, including a great many snaffles. The vast majority of O-rings that I've seen have that problem.

"Third, the shank is straight, not curved like most curbs (blue lines). This means that each pound of pressure exerted gives that much more pressure on the face, without long shanks."

No. Shape does not impact it. Distances do. The Tom Thumb, like many other curb bits, has the distance from the bottom attachment to the mouthpiece that is double the distance from the mouthpiece to the top attachment (purchase) & curb chain. Total length is thus about 3 times the length of the purchase, so it gives about a 3:1 mechanical advantage. That is true of a Kimberwick as well.

The shape of the shank has no impact on mechanical advantage other than to slightly change the lengths involved.

The shape does impact balance and the neutral position of a curb bit. The weight of the reins will pull the bottom attachment point under the mouthpiece, which is where the bit's weight is supported. That is the neutral position.

If the horse carries its head vertically, then you want straight shanks. If your horse carries its head at a 45 deg angle, as is most common with western horses, then you want the shank to bend 45 deg so the bit is balanced in the horse's mouth:



This is important because the curb strap tightens after the shanks (or cheeks) swivel 45-60 deg, depending on how tight your curb strap is. That motion tells the horse you want him to do something (it "signals" the horse), but it doesn't apply pressure to the mouth. Ideally, I want my horse to always respond during the signal phase, so that I can give release and he NEVER gets pressure in the mouth.

If you put a bit with straight shanks in the mouth of a horse whose head is at 45 deg, the weight of the reins will cause the bit to swivel until the curb strap tightens. Now the bit will apply pressure to the horse's mouth the moment you do something, and the signal phase - the area I want to spend the entire ride using - is removed.

That is why you should pick the cheeks & shanks to match how you want to ride. For a horse with a vertical face, such as dressage, you WANT straight shanks so the bit will balance correctly. For horses like mine, you want a 40-50 deg bend.

"It illustrates just how difficult it can be to obtain subtle use of the reins. Failure to achieve a goal, however, is no reason to abandon all efforts to approach the goal."

Correct. That was my point - it is not easy. That doesn't make an English rider wrong to learn it, but I've been a beginning rider trying to do it without an instructor watching me...and it is much more likely that such a person (me) will do it badly than well.

I'm not objecting to the traditional English riding approach, only saying it is more difficult to do well and easier to screw up the horse. That is why Littauer, an English riding instructor, refused to teach it to his beginning students. That is also why English riders are more likely to learn on a lunge line than most western riders are. Where I live, most riders learn riding by getting on a well mannered horse and heading out. When I was much younger and would visit a ranch, I'd get about 30 seconds of instruction, then we'd get on the horse and go ride.

When my daughter's friend went riding with us a couple of days ago, that is what she got. I told her if things got rough, drop the reins (one piece 8' reins), hang on and try to relax. Her horse would stop if she did that, but any horse can get scared if you jerk on the reins. "If you need help with balance, grab the horn instead of the reins". That's the same thing I was told 35 years ago.

"It is certainly not necessary for a horse to feel calm and confident in order to be ridden. Such a horse, however, provides a much more enjoyable riding experience."

That is obviously true. However, there is no connection between riding with constant contact and a "calm and confident" horse. In fact, with many western horses, they NEED to be given their heads to feel "calm and confident". Trooper is an ex-ranch horse (as all of mine now are). Stay out of his mouth and he'll take care of his rider. Regardless of the bit, if you insist on getting in his mouth and riding his mouth instead of his back, he'll get ****y.

Even with Mia, if I wanted her to stay "calm and confident" while riding along a road, I needed to ride her like in the self-portrait I posted above. A horse does not require constant contact to be "calm and confident". Horses that require constant contact to be calm are trained to respond that way. Normal western training is the opposite.

The OP wrote, "I am planning on using her only for western riding and only for pleasure riding. I just want a horse that I can take out a few times a week and I do not want to confuse her or hurt her with the wrong bit as a beginner rider."

Thus I strongly recommend getting used to having slack in the reins unless you need to tell your horse something with the reins. Then say it and get off the line, so to speak. Trooper doesn't care what bit you use, as long as you don't use it often. A lot of western horses are like that. They are also calm and confident.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is online now  
post #23 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 11:42 AM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
I agree that studies are just that- and often don't even take into account as to how the bits are used (contact, versus teaching a horse to have total self carriage, on a loose rein
I don't do half halts.
Dr cook, for instance, in his study where he concluded all horses ridden with bits had mouth damage, used race and polo ponies as his subjects-horses that are ridden with contact, and in many cases, with very strong contact
If a western horse is ridden with a loose rein, the type of curb in his mouth has little significance, far as that study, and it';s design instead, gives variance in signal
Then, important points to consider, is :

Ratio of total shank length to purchase
Loose jawed or fixed
Angle of shanks
Diameter of port, on a curb with a port, in regards to tongue relief


Far as the original question by the Op, here is a good source of info on bitting, by the well known bit maker, Greg Darrnel

A BIT OF INFORMATION - A Western Horseman Booklet: Texan Greg Darnall Discusses Bits and Bitting by Smith, Fran Devereux: Western Horseman Magazine Soft cover, 1st Edition - Deja Vu Books


Here is agood article on bit basics

Reiner – August 2011 : Bit Basics
Smilie is offline  
post #24 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 11:54 AM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
Shank configuration certainly have an effect on the amount of signal and thus severity. Shanks that are straight up and down, givel little signal


he longer the shank, the more leverage is applied with rein contact. A longer shank bit should
be used with lighter co
ntact and only on a more
advanced horse and by a more experienced rider. A
straight or more vertic
al shank bit (Figure 4)
encourages the horse to maintain a more vertical
headset and gives less of a
pre-signal before the rein
engages. A more angled shank (Figure 5) allows for
a pre-signal and permits th
e horse to more ideally
carry its nose in front of vertical.
Smilie is offline  
post #25 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 12:44 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 12,069
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smilie View Post
Shank configuration certainly have an effect on the amount of signal and thus severity. Shanks that are straight up and down, givel little signal...
Actually, straight shanks give proper signal IF the horse is ridden with the poll flexed and the face almost vertical. For a horse like that, my curb bits would be unbalanced. But since my horses are ridden with their faces at 45 deg, I need a bent shank.

A Tom Thumb would be a reasonable bit for a horse ridden with a vertical face, particularly if used with bit guards to prevent pinching. It would not be a good choice for me.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is online now  
post #26 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 02:41 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
BSM, yes, straight shanks promote a more vertical head carriage, BUT that does not change the fact that signal time in acurb bit is related to both shank length and angle of those shanks

Please allow for the fact that I have ridden and trained many horses, not on or two, have attended numerous bitting clinics by such people as master bit maker Greg Darnnel, have taken clinics with some of the best in the industry, that make their living training horses in various disciplines, thus do know how various feature on a curb influence action and signal
I don't read Rashid, soon as I saw that people opposed to all jointed mouth curbs, used him as a reference
many studies are flawed, for example, one of the rants of bittless advocates, is that a bit inhibits swallowing ability in ahorse. This has been completely de-bunked by Dr Elleanor Kellon in her study
I wish I could find the excellent article I once had, which illustrates signal time ina curb
Both longer shanks and angled shanks create greater signal, but since longer shanks also promote more leverage, some signal time is thus sacrificed in agreener horse, when first going to a curb, by using shorter shanks.
I never said there was absolutely no signal with straight shanks, BUT the fact remains, using short shanks that are straight up and down, decrease signal time, and that is fact, known by anyone familiar with western curb bits
Here is some info, and I will try and find that shank angle info

The shank

Main article: bit shank



A decorative fixed shank on a western Salinas-style curb bit


A curb bit is a leverage bit, meaning that it multiplies the pressure applied by the rider. Unlike a snaffle bit, which applies direct rein pressure from the rider's hand to the horse's mouth, the curb can amplify rein pressure several times over, depending on the length of the curb's bit shank. Shank sizes vary from the Tom Thumb (2 inches long) to more than 5 inches. The longer the bit shank, the more powerful its potential effect on the horse. For this reason, overall shank or cheek length, from the top of the cheek ring to the bottom of the rein ring, usually cannot exceed 8½ inches for most horse show disciplines.
Leverage principles




Bit shanks, such as those on this spade bit, work as a lever


Main article: Lever
The relation of the upper shank (purchase)—the shank length from the mouthpiece to the cheekpiece rings—and the lower shank or lever arm—the shank length from the mouthpiece to the lowest rein ring, is important in the severity of the bit. The standard curb bit has a 1½" cheek and a 4½" lower shank, thus producing a 1:3 ratio of cheek to lower shank, a 1:4 ratio of cheek to full shank, thus producing 3 lbs of pressure on the chin groove and 4 lbs of pressure on the horse's mouth for every 1 lb placed on the reins (3 and 4 newtons respectively for every newton).
Regardless of the ratio, the longer the shank, the less force is needed on the reins to provide a given amount of pressure on the mouth. So, if one were to apply 1 lb of pressure on the horse's mouth, a 2" shank would need more rein pressure than an 8" shank to provide the same effect.
A long lower shank in relation to the upper shank (or purchase) increases the leverage, and thus the pressure, on the curb groove and the bars of the mouth. A long upper shank in relation to the lower shank increases the pressure on the poll, but does not apply as much pressure on the bars of the mouth.
However, longer-shanked bits must rotate back further before applying pressure on the horse's mouth than shorter-shanked bits. Therefore, the horse has more warning in a long-shanked bit, allowing it to respond before any significant pressure is applied to its mouth, than it would in a shorter-shanked bit. In this way, a longer shank can allow better communication between horse and rider, without increasing severity. This is also directly dependent on the tightness of the curb chain.
Smilie is offline  
post #27 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 02:45 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
Until I find that better article, here is the info on angle of shanks and signal time

Types

Main article: Bit shank



A western curb bit with a loose-jawed shank


Shanks come in a variety of types, which may affect the action of the bit. Some shanks are loose-jawed, meaning they swivel where the mouthpiece attaches to the shank. Others have a loose, rotating ring at the bottom of the shank for rein attachment. Both of these functions allow slight rotation before the bit engages, again providing a "warning" to the horse before the bit engages fully and allowing him to respond to the slightest pressure, thus increasing communication between horse and rider.
The cheek-shank angle also varies, with some straight up and down, others with the shanks curving backward, and some with an S-curve in the shank. The straighter the cheek-shank line is, the less signal is provided to the horse before the bit engages. Those that curve backward provide more of a signal to the horse. Therefore, the type of shank needs to be considered according to the use of the horse. Horses that maintain a more vertical head position, such as dressage horses, generally use a curb bit with straight shanks. Those that have a nose-out head position when working, such as cutting and roping horses, more commonly use a curved shank.

THEREFORE, the three features that DECREASE signal time are:
Fixed shanks
Short shanks
Shanks that are straight up and down
And, that is the features that make a true TT a very bad bit, but does not apply to all curb bits with ajointed mouth piece
Smilie is offline  
post #28 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 02:52 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Actually, straight shanks give proper signal IF the horse is ridden with the poll flexed and the face almost vertical. For a horse like that, my curb bits would be unbalanced. But since my horses are ridden with their faces at 45 deg, I need a bent shank.

A Tom Thumb would be a reasonable bit for a horse ridden with a vertical face, particularly if used with bit guards to prevent pinching. It would not be a good choice for me.
You need to get more complete info, besides how those straight shanks affect more than head set, regarding signal time.
When I showed Smilie, as a'finsihed horse in western pl, I did use a Klapper, with pretty straight fixed shanks, but she was at that point,a very broke horse, thus you can ride such a horse with less signal time, and help promote that very quiet head carriage, rewarded in western pl, on a loose rein
Smilie is offline  
post #29 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 02:57 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
Signal time:

The time it takes between the rein cue and the shank moving far enough to engage the curb strap is known as the “signal” time. If the shanks are adjusted at a proper angle (usually about 45 degrees), the horse will have time to realize that the shank is moving and prepare for the action before the bit is actually engaged. If properly trained, he will anticipate the request the moment the rider picks up the reins, and only leg or body aids will be needed to direct his movement. (See Signal)
A bit with a looser curb and a longer shank will have a longer “signal” time because there is more distance from reins to curb strap engagement – giving the horse longer to compute the next step. Additionally, when a bit is balanced so that its rein loops hang a little forward of center when not engaged by the reins, it takes just that fraction of a second longer for the reins to take up the slack, which lengthens the signal time. A bit balanced this way is an advantage for quick release of pressure and reliable neutral position. A bit is “balanced” if, when the reins are dropped, the bit immediately swings forward to its “home” or vertical position and releases the pressure
A long signal time is desirable. Short signal time is to be used only by the most experienced riders. Quick Release is critical for all training.
Smilie is offline  
post #30 of 33 Old 05-30-2015, 03:02 PM
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
• Horses: 0
here is a fairly good article that explains effect of purchase length, angle of the shanks etc;

Bit Structure & Function
Smilie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

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

Password:


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

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









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
my horse goes behind the bit then grabs the bit in his teeth and runs thru it ellen hays Horse Training 24 03-24-2014 02:41 PM
Horse who doesn't like taking the bit, maybe a bit change? LovesMyDunnBoy Horse Tack and Equipment 10 09-13-2012 07:25 PM
How long does it take for a horse to adjust to new bit? and the problems with old bit manca Horse Training 11 06-30-2011 04:32 PM
Jr Cowboy Bit?? Stop & Turn Bit? Chele11 Horse Tack and Equipment 9 12-16-2010 03:33 PM
Bit Search...if anyone is bored wanna try and find this bit? SonnyWimps Horse Tack and Equipment 4 08-11-2008 08:35 PM

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