Friday, March 27, 2009

Bits - Snaffle & Curb

2 Types of Bits
There are 2 types of bits: a snaffle and a curb.

Photo on left shows a typical D-Ring snaffle (D-ring to describe the checkpieces) with a copper jointed mouthpiece.

Def'n of a Snaffle

A snaffle applies direct pressure on the horse's mouth, with no use of leverage and the reins are attached to the check piece. Works on the bars of the mouth, the corners of the mouth and the tongue. For 1lb. of pull on the reins = 1lb. pressure in the mouth. Wikipedia has good information on snaffles here.

Photo at top shows a curb bit called a correctional showing an example of a port, bars, purchase, shank and cheekpiece.

Def'n of a Curb
A curb bit uses the leverage principle or indirect pressure by means of the shanks and the curb chain as the fulcrum point. Works on the bars of the mouth, under the chin (via curb chain) and over the poll. For 1lb. of pull on the reins = more than 1lb. pressure in mouth. (A 2.5+ inch port will add pressure to the pallette). Again, Wikipedia has some information on curbs here.

All other bits are really just variations of these 2 basic types. There are special bits or training equipment like bitless bridles, easy stops, gag bits, hackamore etc... that I can touch on as well.

Next article I will talk about the different types of mouthpieces and some materials that are used. This is where it gets interesting....

I want to cover the mouthpieces and the materials used so that we can get into talking about the special purpose of some bits and when to use each type of bit.

If you have any bit that you want to talk about, please contact me and I will include it.

Until next time.... oh! I have a quiz for you next article... :) Here's a cute quiz from

Questions and comments always welcome.
If you need help with bits or training equipment, please feel free to contact me.
©Copyright KISS Reiners

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