Sunday, April 19, 2009

Correctional Bit

I have several of these correctional mouthpieces in my collection. I would believe it's the most common type of mouthpiece for reiners.
It was originally called a correctional because it offered great tongue relief and a bit of palate pressure (if port is 2.5"+ high) and with the swivel shanks, it allows for lateral work. Or corrections.
Unique Feature
The unique feature about the correctional is the knobs at the bottom of the upside down U or port. This will create pressure points on the horse's tongue which gets the horse to flex at the poll more easily. It also helps with collection.
Horse Has Completed Their Training
This bit is obviously for a horse that has completed their training in a snaffle and a simpler curb bit and is ready for more advanced training. The advanced training would be for the rider to have lighter hands and therefore more sutler rein cues.
Advanced Horsemanship
Also, with that too... as I just wrote.... the rider is learning or is ready to advance their training where they are able to learn to use lighter and lighter rein cues. The mark of a skilled horse person.
I really like the correctional mouthpieces that have the copper rollers along the bars. Again, this acts like a pacifier similar to the Billy Allen. It also has a slight delay in the curb action as the bit rolls along the tongue; also like the Billy Allen.
1st Few Years As A Finished Horse
This is the bit that I usually keep a horse in during their 1st few years reining. Of course as long as the horse is comfortable and responsive, I will stay in that bit.
I want to use any bit that works for the horse at this point in their finished training that will keep the horse responsive and will keep my hands light. I have very light hands to begin with... my hands are physically very small and so I am able to use a stronger bit to send the most of light signals to my horse. (I don't want to develop rough or hard hands. That translates into a hard mouth on the horse.)
I also like this bit for any other finished horse as it still allows me to do lateral work... fix a shoulder leaning.... flex laterally to remove resistance.... work on collection...... that's why it is called a correctional.
My Intro to the Correctional Bit
When I first started into the reining and bought a correctional, it was because all the reiners were doing it. All the reiners were using a correctional. It was the thing to do.
What I was surprised to feel was how responsive and light the horse was with this mouthpiece. I had never felt this before. It was an incredible feeling. It's hard to describe a total lack of resistance in the horse's mouth. 'Like a hot knife through butter'. It was incredible. I definitely wanted to preserve that and so I am always careful to be light.
A rider could make corrections and yet the bit would also be a solid curb for one handed light rein cues. A great all around bit for a finished horse!
Questions and comments are always welcome.
If you have any questions or comments, please do so.
©Copyright KISS Reiners


  1. Thank you very much Susan for this article. It's the best description on a correctional bit I've seen....and I've searched quite a few.

    I've always kinda wondered whether the tongue relief was really effective on the correctional bits. The gap is pretty narrow where it contacts the tongue.

    Even with my limited experience with them, they really do offer a very light touch. Seem to really encourage a horse to break at the poll even on a slack rein.

  2. You're welcome Al.

    I believe stronger bits are really meant to train skilled hands and not for force.