Starter Curb Bit?

I currently ride my horse in a snaffle and I’d like to introduce her to a curb bit. I ride her in either a Stubben golden wings 4 in 1 or a Neue Shule turtle top snaffle. Looking for a good starter curb bit that will lay well in her mouth without shanks that are too long. If it’s pretty that’s a bonus. Thanks in advance

I’m transitioning my Paint mare from a snaffle to a curb. She’s going to be a star (hopefully!) in ranch riding and I can only use a snaffle for the rest of the year before she ages out. But I’m also doing western dressage with her so I try to be extra careful with her mouth.

My go-to bit for transitioning is a short shank Myler with a low port. The so-called independent movement of the shanks makes the bit less fixed or rigid in the horse’s mouth so it’s easier to continue to ride with two hands if necessary and keep a light feel of your horse’s mouth. It is spendy but I think it’s worth it.

This particular model has some understated decorations/dots on the shanks. (Why it’s sometimes listed as a “snaffle” I have no idea. ARGH!) Hope the long link works:

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I don’t want something with a center joint. Hard to find something and believe me I’m looking!

Can you please elaborate on “I don’t want something with a center joint”?
Based on what you said you’re using now(which I had to look up, not familiar with those brands as I’m a purely western rider) I would of suggested something close to what Paint Party did as a transitional bit.

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I use Myler bits for my horse. One bit is the MB04 (comfort snaffle) mouthpiece configured as a true snaffle (that is, no shanks). The other bit has the MB33 mouthpiece configured as a curb bit (that is, with shanks). Both bits are jointed in the middle, but the joints can’t poke the horse’s mouth because the joint is covered with a bushing. They swivel in the middle, as as Paint_Party said, so you can ride with two hands if necessary. My horse goes really well in both Myler bits, and especially well in his Myler curb bit. I think the bit Paint_Party recommended would be an excellent bit for transitioning.

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Just to be clear, if you aren’t familiar with this line of Myler bits, it’s not an actually center joint, like a French link or Dr. Bristol. The mouthpiece in these Mylers remains in a line. The center of the mouthpiece, which has a nearly inconsequential “sleeve” over it, has the ability to rotate when one shank (or rein) is raised or activated. Otherwise the mouth of the bit remains solid.

This type of Myler works great for greenies who are used to the pliability of the snaffle because there’s still some amount of play in the bit yet you’re also introducing the concept of leverage with the short shanks and a leather curb strap.

I believe you mentioned you were interested in western dressage. These Myler bits are great for that, in my opinion, because they allow you to get decent bends and lateral movements that a more fixed, rigid curb won’t permit. Hope that helps, and good luck in your search. :smiley:


I agree with @Paint_Party. These Myler bits are not the nutcracker type Tom Thumb bits of my youth. They do have a joint in the middle but they have limited mobility, so that the bit functions more like a Mullen mouth with a port than a snaffle mouth.

I have a short shank Myler curb with a 33 mouthpiece that I have used for several horses and they all really like the bit.