Hi! So I don’t show at all, just ride western on trails and some small fun shows every once in a while. I recently acquired a pony that has been ridden in a curb bit. I personally don’t use curb bits and I dont trust myself with one as I tend to lean on my hands for stability, causing a curb bit to be an uncomfortable experience nonetheless. What type of snaffle should I get when I’m basically going from ground zero? The only thing I know about this mare is that she doesn’t like stainless and her curb bit had a roller in it. Should I get blue steel, copper, sweet iron? Roller/no roller? And what joint should I get? Single or double? Thanks
Well, I would look for whatever mouthpiece she has on her curb, but in a snaffle! So yes to roller, and whatever material she currently uses.
Thank you What would you reccomend as far as joints/links? I read that a linked snaffle is gentler than a single joint, but that doesnt really help me…
If you know your balance and hands are a weak point, stay away from single jointed snaffles and 3 piece snaffles with regular links. They collapse in the mouth when both reins are engaged. I personally prefer Myler Level 1-3 snaffles without hooks, over anything else as they have good independent side action, good feel and can’t collapse in the mouth if you accidently hang on them.
I ride all my horses past/ present in a copper full check snaffle. Every horse no matter what we do does great.
Just a note that some horses have shallow mouths (ponies being smaller, even more likely to have this problem.) A shallow mouth and/or a thick tongue combo are not good with broken mouth pieces – any rein action nutcrackers that joint right into the roof of their mouths.
So, you err in either direction if your horse has this conformational issue. Either a straight bar mouthpiece (as is found on many curb bits), or a many-jointed mouthpiece, so it curves over the tongue and doesn’t have a straight, gouging joint.
Your horse may not have this issue.
Your horse might like the Myler comfort snaffle: https://www.toklat.com/Products/BP/89-21043
You can get the mouthpiece with an o-ring, d-ring or shanks. All of the Myler bits are sweet iron.
Also, I’m sure you know this, but the ultimate solution if you’re riding Western is to work on riding with a loose rein. Your horse will thank you, no matter whether you’re using a snaffle or curb bit.