Treatment Type: Tack
Rated for: American Paint Horse
Cashmere, Washington, United States
Posted Jun. 15, 2018
There are many people who believe that leverage bits, like the curb bit should be used on hard-mouthed horses. While these bits indeed have a much greater "bite" to them that allows for control of a runaway horse better than a snaffle in these cases, the curb bit is actually much more appropriate for a horse that is beyond the need for bit-pressure at all, but rather whose body works lightly off of neck reining, leg, and seat cues. Higher level western riders often use leverage bits for the purpose of encouraging greater lift in the forehand, rather than for trying to get a handle on a horse that runs through the bit.
For horses that do run through the bit and ignore direct-rein contact the best option for effectiveness and the horse's welfare is to go back to the basics with a training halter and lead rope to teach them to move off pressure with well-timed releases and rewards, and then build back up to a snaffle with lots of practice bending and getting lateral control of the horse's shoulders.