Curb (chin strap) adjustment on curb or leverage bits is critical for safety (stopping your horse) and is also important for proper function of not only the bit and curb but the entire bridle. A curb must be attached to the cheek piece rings or curb rings of the bit. It must never be attached to the snaffle rein rings on a bit with shanks and must not be too loose or too tight. In addition to safety, proper curb adjustment will allow your horse to respond to your cues accurately.
In this photo, the curb is adjusted too tightly, causing it to have constant contact with the underside of the jaw. This tight adjustment is forcing the bit to remain in a backward rotation and the mouthpiece to apply constant pressure to the horse’s tongue, bars, and lips. The brakes are always on!
This can make the horse uncomfortable and he may throw his head or set his head behind the vertical in an attempt to escape the constant tightness. He won’t be able to carry the bit correctly when the curb is too tight.
When the curb is adjusted correctly and the reins are pulled, a forward rotation of the bit occurs, which causes the curb to tighten. In turn, this causes the horse to drop his head and carry it more vertically, and he slows down or stops. When he does this, it releases pressure on his poll, chin and mouth. This release also occurs when you release pressure on the reins.
For more information on the types of curbs available at Dennis Moreland Tack visit:http://www.dmtack.com/pcategory/horse-bits/curb-straps/http://www.dmtack.com/pcategory/horse-bits/curb-straps/ or call 817-312-5305.
Dennis Moreland Tack is full-line handmade tack manufacturer and they’re here to help you.