types of horse bits

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Sample Our Newsletter
From "Snaffle Bits vs Shank or Leverage Bits," Issue 2, part 2 of our FREE monthly newsletter

Re: types of horse bits

The leverage (or shanked) bit doesn't give me any more control than any other bit. If I have to pull 5 pounds to stop my horse on that bit, I still have to put 5 pounds on this bit. Except I'm only pulling about a pound's worth, because a pound from me feels like ten down there because of the leverage this bit creates. It makes me feel like I have more control. It makes me feel like the horse is softer and more responsive, but pretty soon the horse will start pulling on this bit, if I allow him to, just like he does on the snaffle bit.

"A leverage bit will allow me to teach him to keep his head straight and break at the poll - but that's about all I'm going to be doing. I do use a leverage bit, if I want to work on keeping horse's head in position or to keep him square between the reins. But while the bit might be keeping his head correct, it's my body, my seat that's telling him where to go. For instance, if I were riding toward you and I tell the horse to take his hips to the left and his shoulders to the right or the left, then it's my body that's telling the horse how to move, not the bit. The bit is just keeping him "in frame."

"The reason then that I don't train in a curb or leverage bit is...

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Choosing the Right Bit for Your Horse

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bulletin format, 32 pages; 5 1/2 x 8 1/2; Paperback; illustrations throughout
Written by Jessica Jahiel
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A good bit fits your horse's mouth and facilitates a productive "riding dialogue" between you and your horse. But there are so many types and styles of bits available that making a selection can be a daunting task, particularly if you don't know what to look for.

Jessica Jahiel demystifies the bit-selection process by emphasizing that the best bit is the mildest one suitable for the horse and the job. She then discusses conformation of the horse's head and mouth, how a bit works, bit types and materials, quality, price, and accessories. She explains how to position a bit in a horse's mouth and the best way to handle the bit when riding. With proper bit selection and the "good hands" that come with experience, you will soon find that communication with your horse - and, thus, your ride - is vastly improved.

JESSICA JAHIEL is a noted clinician, lecturer, and author whose Holistic Horsemanship training method seeks to develop balanced, willing, forward horses and thoughtful, tactful riders. Jahiel conducts international clinics and seminars on topics ranging from horse management to hands-on horse care.

Since the 1973 publication of Storey's first Country Wisdom Bulletin, theirr commitment to preserving the arts, crafts, and skills of country life has never wavered. They now have more than 200 titles in this series of 32-page publications, and their remarkable popularity reflects the common desire of country and city dwellers alike to cultivate personal independence in everyday life.

Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletins contain practical, hands-on instructions designed to help you master dozens of country living skills quickly and easily. From traditional skills to the newest techniques, Storey's Bulletins provide a foundation of earth-friendly information for the way you want to live today.
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You may also want to check out these related products:

- Full Cheek Snaffle Bit (tack)

- John Lyons Rope Reins (tack)

Related (free-to-read) training articles:

- How to Pick Up Your Reins Like a Pro

- Reins: 5 Tips to Improve Your Use

- Snaffle Bits vs Shank or Leverage Bits

To see articles and products based on related topics, see:

- Bit Responsiveness - see also Give to Bit

- Bits - Snaffle

- Bits - the Right Bit

- Curb Bit - also see Leverage/Shank Bits

Next On Your List

After buying this booklet, I'd add "Full Cheek Snaffle Bit" to my wish list.
- Keith Hosman, John Lyons Certified Trainer

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Who knows his products better than one of his certified trainers? I thoroughly recommend the following - they should be at the top of every list.


Bringing Up Baby
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John Lyons Rope Reins
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Types of Horse Bits
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