Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Simple Mouthpieces in Bits

Another Jointed or Simple Mouthpiece

Larry Trocha has some good information on bits. Both photos shows a simple jointed mouthpiece, like the ones shown in the last article only these bits are curb bits.

You attach the reins to the end of the very short shanks and use a chin strap/chain which is attached to the top reins. So it will have a bit of leverage action. I normally use a chin strap rather than chain when I am 1st introducing this bit to a horse.

In My Inventory of Bits
I'm a big collector of bits. These short shanked, simple jointed mouthpiece bits were a staple in my collection. I use these types of short shanked curb bits a lot but with a different mouthpiece. They are often referred to as 'transition' bits.
It's usually the 1st type of curb bit that I introduce a horse to.

It's great to teach horses in their foundation training to accept or understand how leverage works. Particularly if they are used to a snaffle that has a  small ported mouthpiece to start with.

Other Uses
I also use these short shanked bits for types of riding where I will use my hands a lot.
I use these types of bits for team penning where I have to direct my horse quickly to follow the cow. The bit on the right is the shank I use for team penning. I also use this shank on my reining horses when I use them at pennings to herd cattle or change the cattle.
I also use these types of shanks for riding in the open where I want a bit more security with the curb or leverage action (if I need to) rather than a snaffle.
Nutcracker Effect
I do want to mention that the jointed mouthpiece does have a nutcracker effect on the bars and the tongue. Ouch. This means that when the reins are pulled tight, the mouthpiece will bend in 1/2 at the joint causing the cheekpieces and shanks to pinch either side of the horse's face. Or the lower jaw will be put in a vice between the shanks. Not good....

So that is why the simple, jointed mouthpiece is meant to be used either very lightly (with little or no contact with the reins) or with 2 hands so as to prevent the nutcracker effect. Not always an easy thing to do so I avoid it.

I use a short shanked bit like the one's pictured above but with a small port with a roller for a mouthpiece. I only follow the Myler Bitting System philosophy. fyi The bit on the right, I now use as a decoration in my bathroom!

Next article I will talk about one of my favorite transition bits. My buddy Billy Allen.

Questions and comments are always welcome.
If you have any questions or stories to tell, please comment.
If you need any help with bits, please contact me.
©Copyright KISS Reiners

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to your thoughts on the Billy Allen bit. Also a favorite of mine but seems to be a love it or hate it bit for the horses.

    I'd also like to know of any experience or opinions you have about correction mouthpieces.

    As always, good work.