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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thoughts on this bit? It's labeled as an Argentine.

The horse is a middle aged gelding who has been ridden in a tom thumb for many years. After recently finding out how horrible TTs can be, I've decided to switch.

We don't compete, just ride for fun and do trails (western and bareback). He is pretty well mannered and well trained, but I am working on slowing him down and his 'whoa.' I ride with as soft hands as possible and am always working on refining my cues.

Unfortunately I'm not well versed in bits, so please let me know if this bit sounds like a good fit to you!



Material property Rectangle Metal Gas Stethoscope



EDIT: I just realized that the stock photo I posted is not exactly the same because the one in question has a curved mouthpiece rather than straight. Here are some pictures:
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I know people say they are nicer bits, but the action looks practically the same. Except that one may have a single joint, and the other a double.

You have to look at bits in several , often interchangeable, parts. The mouthpiece: single, double jointed, barrel jointed. straight, no joint, straight with tongue relief of varying heights, thick/thin, curved , . . .

Then consdier the cheek pieces; Is there a shank? do yoou know what that means? how long is it? is it straight, curved, markedly swept back. Or , is it a true snaffle, and if so, is it a loose ring, an eggbutt, a D ring, a Fullmar, a pelham and on and on.

There are bits that combine two , three or four of those elements, some in non-traditional manner. My teaaching was to either use a snaffle (and I prefer a loose ring or an eggbutt) . . . OR . . . if you use a curb, use either a solid mouthpiece ( no joint at all), or, a barrel type joint in the center.

I dislike very fat mouthpieces, even if they are rubber. the size of the mouthpiece is important to not pinch the lips.
so, along with the right elements combined, the size of the actual mouthpiece in ddiameter, ad it's length inside the mouth are much important.
 

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I don't care for it because I tend to dislike straight shanks. My horses tend to travel with their nose 30-45 degrees out.

With a curb bit, the weight of the reins will rotate the shanks so that the far end of the shank is resting under the mouthpiece. With straight shanks, that means it will rotate 45 degrees while there is still slack in the reins. People talk about "signal". With a curb bit, there should be 45-60 degrees of free rotation before the curb strap tightens. It is only when the curb strap prevents further free rotation that the mouthpiece applies pressure. That period of free rotation is something the horse can easily feel and respond to BEFORE any pressure is applied to the mouthpiece - a "signal" for the horse to do X before the bit applies pressure.

But with straight shanks and my horse's nose out 45 degrees, the weight of the reins will rotate the bit 45 degrees already. The curb strap will tighten and, the first time I apply pressure on the reins, it will be applied immediately to my horse's mouth - without any "signal". So for my horse and my preferences, it is a poor bit to choose.

Also: So far, none of my horses LIKE very curved mouthpieces. Used this again today - a favorite old standby Billy Allen:

More bend in the shanks and less to the mouthpiece, which works better for us. YMMV.
 

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Thoughts on this bit? It's labeled as an Argentine.

The horse is a middle aged gelding who has been ridden in a tom thumb for many years. After recently finding out how horrible TTs can be, I've decided to switch.

We don't compete, just ride for fun and do trails (western and bareback). He is pretty well mannered and well trained, but I am working on slowing him down and his 'whoa.' I ride with as soft hands as possible and am always working on refining my cues.

Unfortunately I'm not well versed in bits, so please let me know if this bit sounds like a good fit to you!



View attachment 1117472


EDIT: I just realized that the stock photo I posted is not exactly the same because the one in question has a curved mouthpiece rather than straight. Here are some pictures:
I only ever use snaffle bits bc my horses have a really soft touch/mouth so i dont need one like that
I have never in my life used an Argentine bit, when i rode another horse i had to use a tt bc that was the best bit for her behaviour
I dont think i really get an opinion in your purchases as you are the one that knows your horse and what it needs
 

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I'm not a fan of your second choice of bit either.
If you look at how straight that bit is....it gives no advance warning of "new request coming" but more a demand of "do it".
I much prefer a bit like bsms showed with a sweep to the curb shanks...the Billy Allen mouthpiece.

I would also offer caution that a bit you may decide on is not a form of a gag/elevator that the mouthpiece can slide to exert pressures as the rein contact is increased with a tighter rein used..
The bit that bsms showed allows independent side motion and is by design not going to slide and pivot higher as you can see.

The below bits that slide and become a lot more than what you need/want unless you need that "special" these bits can offer.
Also, don't look at the mouthpiece, look at the edge of the bit and how it fastens to the shank.
With that, the choice of bit you use must fit and be the correct length so the sensitive lips not get pinched if you use a design such as these below...where as the bit bsms shared, the mouth is protected by having a design that offers a barrier so the lip is not sucked into and ouch...
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Vision care Medical equipment Eyewear Eye glass accessory Amber

It is the small things we need to be aware of to have our riding partner be happiest...and the bit we need be what we purchase.
If you really get into how a bit is constructed and what it means as "force applied" there are many things you need to learn.
How high the headstall loops are, the angle of those headstall loops, how far above the mouthpiece are those headstall loops, the positioning of where you curb strap/chain hangs from...a whole education many have near no knowledge of. :cautious:
🐴...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@tinyliny @bsms @horselovinguy

Thank you all for the very informative replies!! I'm definitely glad I asked this question before switching to that bit, because it 100% sounds like there are better options out there than the one I picked.

I really like the recommendations of the billy allen bit. I am looking at ordering one online now. Is there a certain brand that is preferred? Also, do these bits have variation in the shank bend or do all billy allen bits have a standard amount of bend?
 

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Each bit is a individual...

I happen to like Reinsman bits, but there are plenty of quality brand bits sold today.
Weaver also has many choices..
If you have a Tractor Supply store, Rural King store or farm supply they might have a display to look at and you would see the options and handle the product.
Or...let your fingers do the shopping via the internet works too.
🐴...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Each bit is a individual...

I happen to like Reinsman bits, but there are plenty of quality brand bits sold today.
Weaver also has many choices..
If you have a Tractor Supply store, Rural King store or farm supply they might have a display to look at and you would see the options and handle the product.
Or...let your fingers do the shopping via the internet works too.
🐴...
I will shop around and check out a few different brands. Thank you again for your suggestions!
 

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I didn't read the replies so if I repeat something, sorry. A few things...
First, technically that isn't an Argentine bit. Usually those are called a "colt bit" as they are considered a transition from the snaffle and the cheek style.

A true Argentine has rings for the use of double reins or a rein connector and may also have rings for a lip chain as colts tend to play with the shanks and the lip chain discourages the habit.
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Secondly, the stock photo in the OP, the bit was photographed incorrectly- the shanks are swiveled to the the front rather the back of the bit as you have correct in your photos of the bit on your headstall.

Third, the big rein loops buts weight behind the mouthpiece and the bit will lay flatter in the mouth when a horses head is in a natural position than a Tom Thumb will.

Fourth, the horse will tell you whether he likes the bit or not. I have a bit similar that I use after the snaffle. Doggone with lifesavers mouthpiece, short shank, however my shanks are more swept back making it slower.
Some colts get a little offended by that much movement in their mouth and will flip their nose, nervous chew, or hide behind it.
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For those that get worried about all the movement I use a mullen mouth colt bit. I'm usually not a fan of fat mouthpieces but this seems to sooth and take the worry out of them. It also works good for colts that stick their tongues over the bit.
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Point being, you might find it works great for you and your horse or it might not and you'll have to make a bit change based on his reaction.
 

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One thing I'd like to add is to make sure whatever you get is not chrome plated (usually anything suspiciously cheap is). I've noticed that some of Weaver's bits, and I believe some of the cheaper Reinsman bits as well (I believe those are branded Circle R) tend to be. I had chrome plated bits as a kid and they flake and form rough edges that irritate a horse's mouth (and they also do not last, and are not at all worth the cheaper price), so I think it's important to make sure you're getting something quality made. With that being said, I have plenty of Weaver and Reinsman bits that are not chrome plated, but I like to see the bits I'm getting in person to verify that they aren't. I have a local farm store that has a wall of bits from Weaver, Reinsman, Circle R, Partrade/Metalab, Professional's Choice, etc. and I like to take a good look at them in person before buying. A chrome plated bit IME will typically weigh significantly less, be of a brighter/shinier color (more so than stainless steel), and have noticeable flaws in the finish that almost have a bubbled/rippled effect, especially in corners. AFAIK, none of Metalab's bits are chrome plated (and I don't think Professional's Choice or the regular, non-Circle R Reinsman are, either), so that is a good choice. I'm not sure if Korsteel makes Western bits (I don't think they do), but those are a good choice as well. Mylers are also great, but expensive, and Metalab has a few good Myler knock-offs that I've seen.

I have a Billy Allen bit from Professional's Choice I really like:
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It has swept back shanks for better pre-signal (I think the angle of the stock photo makes these shanks look a bit straighter than they really are), and the bars of the mouthpiece are slightly curved to conform better to the horse's mouth. There isn't much give to this bit, it's mostly a mullen type mouthpiece (kind of like my Mylers I have). I have ridden a lot of horses that like bits like these, but every horse is also different, so it's also a matter of finding what works for you and your horse.
 

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If you are struggling with breaks. Most likely this is more to that problem and the basics need work. You need to train your horse and not use strong bits to fix a problem. They were made to be used a tool for refinement of cues after their is a strong foundation. I know this from making this mistake and turning to gadgets and quick fixes. Short term it did work, but in the long run I ended up with a unbalanced and nervous horse. She also became much more explosive. My horse is no longer this way because I took the time to work on the basics. She has became so much less explosive although she still has her moments.
JP KORSTEEL STAINLESS STEEL COPPER OVAL LINK EGGBUTT SNAFFLE BIT
The first two bits most horses like although some like the french link.
 

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Some horses WILL have better brakes with a curb bit than a snaffle. When a horse's head is nose out, a snaffle that pulls back in a straight line will pull the mouthpiece against the molars. The term "bit in his teeth" - meaning an uncontrollable person - comes from this:
A curb bit rotates. Once the curb strap tightens, the top of the shank is fixed and pulling rotates the bit AROUND that point. The mouthpiece then applies pressure down against the tongue and bars. The horse feels this, particularly if you pulse the pressure and don't keep it constant. Curb MEANS "control or limit something harmful". A curb along the side of the road helps keep you ON the road. But they work, not by leverage, but by WHERE the pressure is applied.

It is also important to RELEASE the pressure as soon as the horse starts to slow:

"I am going to ask you a question, and before you read on I would like you to answer it clearly – to yourself.

Question: “Why does a horse stop or go slower if you pull on the reins?” If you answer, “Because it hurts the mouth,” I am sorry to have to break the news to you – you have failed. But no, I'll give you another chance: “Why do you jump up instantly if you sit on an upturned tack or drawing pin?”

If you answer again: “Because it hurts” - you really do need to read every word in this book!

The horse stops – and you jump up – not just because it hurts, but to stop it hurting. By no means the same thing.

And there isn't any doubt: if jumping up didn't stop the pain, you would try doing something else. So, too, eventually, does the horse. These are not trick questions. If you really believe in and act on the answer you gave to the first, then you think that all you have to do is to hurt your horse's mouth and he will stop.

On the contrary, the important thing is to let him know – to teach him – how, by doing what you want of him, he can avoid any pain, irritation, inconvenience and discomfort the bit (or whip or spur) might otherwise cause.
" - Tom Roberts, Horse Control: The Young Horse

This X-ray is revealing in more ways than one:
 
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