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Very interesting post, Tracey. I have been following this whole kimberwicke discussion with great interest. I have had horses less than 2 years and know woefully little about bits and bitting, although I am trying to learn. I have been considering trying a KW on my mare and I'd like your opinion. She is gaited and was trained on a very mild port grazing curb. When I got her I tried all sorts of snaffles including Mylers and she hates them all. She seems happiest in the curb, but I don't like the curb with shanks as I like to direct rein. So I was thinking about trying the mild port KW as a sort of compromise between us, she still has her unbroken mouth and I have less leverage on the shank side.
Although she is what some would consider hot, I suppose, she really takes very little contact in her mouth. I only use a bit as an emergency brake and sometimes to fine tune her gait. She seems to me to move with her hind end engaged well, with a rounded back. I think it mostly is because she has learned that she can power up the hills so much better that way.
So am I correct in thinking that a low port KW would 'feel' similar to the horse as a low port grazing bit, leverage aside? It would seem to me that the KW would be milder (which is what I am looking for), plus be better for lateral cues. What'cha think?
message/rfc822 Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 15:18:21 +0200
To: "Kathy Mayeda"
Subject: RC: Running martingales and Jim's post
I have tried a KW once on my horse, when I was considering taking him to the Boxing Day Hunt. My reason for trying it was not because I needed brakes (Toc will stop when I ask him to, because I ask him to, irrespective of what is going on around him) but because he has a buck from hell, and I thought the curb chain might help to keep his head up.This horse has had five years of solid work under his belt, moves strongly off of the aids, and carries himself in a balanced frame. What I found with the KW is that he backed off of the bit, even when I was riding him "on the buckle". No, he didn't get over-bent, no he didn't go behind the vertical. The "backing off" was only evident if you looked at what his back and quarters were doing. Tense through his back, with quarters strung out behind him. Oh, and the old "draw rein wither effect".I guess what I'm saying is that it seems to me that folks are awfully caught up with what their horses' heads are doing at this point, and not with their horse's backs.
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