Many western bits are curb bits, however a beginner who mistakenly balances with their hands with these bits might brutally jab their horse’s mouth. If a rider is heavy-handed, a snaffle bit can be harsh, but a curb bit’s leverage action can more emphasize any faults. If you must use a curb bit, go for one with the shortest shank possible. A curb bit should be used only once your horse has mastered all of his lessons with the snaffle bit.
Bite of the Curb
When a softer bit doesn’t have enough “whoa,” riders will often turn to a curb bit or a long-shanked mechanical hackamore. If you’re having difficulties stopping, it could be a good idea to go back to school and brush up on the basics. If a horse has a hard mouth, it’s because the rider has been using his hands carelessly.
There’s nothing wrong with riding with a curb bit if you know how to use it and how it works. If you’re depending in a western show, you’ll almost certainly require a western curb bit. Remember that when you use a curb bit to draw on the reins, your rein aid is magnified because to the leverage motion. You’ll need to practise riding with light, careful hands.
The Mouth of Your Horse
The form of the horse’s mouth and its dental health are two things that are sometimes disregarded. If your horse has trouble holding the bit, is lolling its tongue, tossing his head, or stiffening his jaw and poll, the bit may be uncomfortable in its mouth. Some horses have narrow palates, thick tongues, or other conformation issues that make carrying bits problematic. The way the bit rests in the horse’s mouth may be hampered by overgrown teeth and wolf teeth. A veterinarian or an equine dentist can treat 1 Dentition disorders. Finding a bit that is comfortable for your horse to carry may require trial and error. For hard-to-fit horses, consider a bitless bridle.
Consider what the horse has previously been ridden in when selecting a bit for a new horse. It would be unfair to expect a horse that has only ever been ridden in a snaffle to comprehend your aids entirely if you used a long-shanked curb bit on it. If the horse is accustomed to a long-shanked curb, you may discover that the horse does not respond effectively in a basic snaffle—you may not have enough brakes.
This isn’t to say that switching from one bit to another is impossible. Horses that have learned to disregard a gentler bit and are ridden in a curb bit can be re-schooled. If you must ride with a curb bit, you may teach your horse to recognise your aids using caring hands.
If you have to buy each one to try out different components, it might get pricey. Borrow parts to trial or go to your local tack shop’s consignment area.