Check it Out!
Re: Long shanks and "stopping power"...
At our 4 Corners Back Country Horsemen meeting last night, there was a guy
there who brought several bits and a horse skull. It was interesting to see
how small and thin the bone under the bars really is and then to see how
different bits lay against them and function as they are pulled back. He
also showed us where the nerve that runs along the jaw lays that the curb
strap works on. I am not against long shanked bits - I have a couple of
them - but it was very educational in terms of their action and how much
pain they can inflict. If you can ever get a good look at a horse skull,
check it out. Simulate what your bits do when you pull back with both reins
or with only one rein. Think of whether or not the tongue can hold the bit
off the bars and how your bit works on your horse. It's quite interesting.
He showed how the three piece snaffles can be quite severe as they can wrap
around the bars and the horse's tongue cannot protect the bars much. He
also said that standard snaffles form a V that sort of pushes the tongue up
into the V and then the bit can act on the bars and that he has seen more
mouths injured with snaffles as people tend to think they are less
dangerous. He said that it's good to think about whether your horse can use
it's tongue to hold the bit off the bars and comfortably pack the bit when
riding out on the trail for long days.
I'd be interested to hear corrections or comments on this. It really got me
thinking about bits and how to better use them...
m (aka Michelle Rowe), CO
p.s. I'm finally using my married name of Fink. :-)
Check it Out!
Back to TOC