Grazing bits (shank bits/ curb bits)
Grazing bits (also commonly called shank or curb bits) are leverage type bits. The mouthpiece is usually solid across with some type of port (raised area) for tongue relief. The shanks (or sides, to which the reins attach) can range anywhere from 3” to 8” (or more). In the right hands on a horse that is ready or trained, they are very effective.
This type of bit can come in many designs from the old slightly curved aluminum shank bits (we’ve all probably got these laying around the barn) to the “3”and “7” check bits designed by the U.S. Calvary. They all work on the principle of compounding leverage or pressure. The snaffle bit is designed (when used right) to put the pressure on the corners of the horse’s mouth. Whereas, the shanked bit puts pressure on the tongue, the bars and depending on the part the palette (roof) of the horse’s mouth.
I always tell people to remember that the responsibility all comes back to us when it comes to horses. They don’t come looking for us; we go to them, and as such, should be sensitive to their needs.
For more information on grazing bits, please contact us.
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