Is It The Wrong Bit In My Horse’s Mouth? Or My Hands?
Another question to ask is “Is my body strong enough to handle my horse?” We receive many horses that are beautiful, previously expensive, and now broken, not BROKE. When a horse is capable of running through your hands in that “perfectly designed” gentle snaffle, it is time to quote George Morris. “GO TO THE BARN AND GET A KIMBERWICK.”
I have many riders who are not physically strong enough to influence the horse unless we engage technology. A leverage bit, one with a curb chain or strap properly attached, can be a fabulous, temporary, tool in the retraining of such a horse. The secret is that we get inside of the horse’s brain, not just their body. The release of pressure is more important than the application of pressure. In my Western world we use a “correction bit” for that phase of retraining, and in my English world I love the simplicity of the Kimberwick. Just like George, I can’t watch as a strong horse drags my rider around. Somewhere along the way we need to teach our riders how to FIX horses, not just ride them.