View Full Version : Can someone please
13th May 2007, 06:55 PM
help me understand the different categories of bit and the situations in which they would be used?
This is what I know (I think - could be wrong on some of this!) - can you fill in the gaps?
Snaffles - basic action pulling on the bars/tongue depending on the shape. Can be a straight bar, single or double jointed. The 'usual', most mild type of bit. Would love to know which snaffles act on which part of the mouth and why each would be used (e.g. hanging cheek to give a little poll pressure thus bringing the head in/down more).
Curb bits - Uses for the different types, jointed/not, how the chain acts etc would be great...? More severe than a basic snaffle.
Gag bits - Act on the corners of the mouth to bring the head up. There's the dutch gag and the english gag (with leather or string???), the english more severe I think. Used for....? To help with horses that buck?
Any others I don't know about?
Thanks all, looking forward to the answers:D .
13th May 2007, 08:10 PM
The curb chain acts on the horses chin. If you're using a Pelham then when you ask the horse to slow down, halt etc as you feel on the reins, the curb chain comes into play by pressing against the chin groove. Hope this answers your question. As to whether it's more severe than a snaffle - I would comment that a bit is only as severe as the hands that use it!It acts in a completely different way to a snaffle and, yes, I suppose it is stronger. I personally think a Pelham should be used with 2 reins and not roundings (roundings allow you to use one rein and not two reins) as the proper action of this bit is somewhat lost).I'm about to start using a Pelham on Falcon as he's very strong in his plain jointed snaffle.
13th May 2007, 09:39 PM
i cant really answer on the three 'groupings' you have given because different bits within these catagories work very differently it would takes ages to go through every different bits - are there any in particular you are interested in?- ie within the curb group you could have a mullen mouth pelham and a ported kimblewick, both work totally differntly, on different parts of the mouth, have different rein positions and therefore the curb comes in to play in different situations.
a curb on a 2 reined mullen mouth pellham may come into play whem the lower curb rein is applied, putting pressure on the pole, causing the bit to tilt which then applies the curb to the chin
the curb chain does not necessarily mean the bit is harsher - for example a cambridge kimblewick has a ported mouth piece. as this is stationary it applies uniform pressure and is sometimes seen as being kinder to the horses mouth.
the kerb chain only comes into play when the bit is at a certain angle and only has the amount of pressure depending on how much pressure you are putting on the rein that is controlling pressure to the poll ie a looser curb chain will mean more pressure can be applied to the bit by the rein before the angle of the bit where the curb comes into play is achieved
13th May 2007, 10:04 PM
aha - there are *five* families of bits (clears throat)
lets make "pelhams" into "curbs" to cover western as well shall we ;)
the dutch gag is not a true gag, whatever its name
I can thoroughly recommend a little book called "A bit of magic" by Alixe Etherington if you can find it. It explains all the points of actions etc
13th May 2007, 10:05 PM
gags - work by being raised in the mouth, rather than just working on the corners. Thats why dutch gag is really mis-named as it is not raised by the action of the reins. It *does* have a lever action and hence will act on poll, as well as various other places.
14th May 2007, 06:36 AM
really the best thing you could do is too try and find the book 'bits and bitting' by edwyn hartley edwards or the next best is 'horseriders notebook published by the BHS
14th May 2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks, I've read lots, but most books really only tell you what the bit does, i.e. acts on the poll or whatever, they don't seem to say 'this bit would be used in a situation where... because it has .... action and that would help by.... - which is really what interests me.
I never knew until recently, that polo ponies are ridden in gags because their mouths get damaged in a normal bit due to the degree of control needed and the fast pace of play. Nor did I really think about the fact that a gag and a curb bit both provide more control, yet you wouldn't want a gag on a rearer, or a curb bit if the horses bucks a lot/when asked to slow down, as they would encourage the 'bad' action.
18th May 2007, 10:06 AM
try these sites:
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