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Different Types Of Bits

Kimblewick, Kimberwicke or Kimberwick Bits

Both the names Kimberwick and Kimblewick refer to the same bit however may have a slightly different action when the reins are pulled.

The mouth piece of the Kimberwick / Kimblewick terminates at the top of ‘D’ shaped rings with slots in the ‘D” shaped ring and has a curb strap or chain, which should always be used to prevent the bit from rotating back too far in the horse’s mouth. Kimberwick / Kimblewick can have straight mouthpieces, jointed or a straight mouthpiece with a port (a port is an inverted “U” in the middle of the mouthpiece).

This bit is commonly used in general riding and provides more curb action (allow the rider to give much more subtle rein aids than with many snaffles) to a horse that tend to be a strong puller or needs slight curb action to lower its head.

Kimberwick Bits
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Tom Thumbs and Pelham

The pelham bit has leverage action, a curb chain or strap that fastens under the horse’s chin to prevent the bit from rotating too far.

The pelham bit can have a solid or jointed mouthpiece with the larger ring directly connected to the mouthpiece on to which the ‘snaffle reins’ is attached. The shank extends downwards terminating at rings to which the ‘curb reins’ is attach.

Tom Thumbs have a jointed mouth piece and medium length shanks from 15 to 18 cm. It is jointed and has a nutcracker action in the mouth and combined with the leverage action provided by the shanks this could be a very harsh bit in inexperienced hands.

Pelham Bits

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A snaffle bit consists of a bit mouthpiece with a rings on either side and acts with direct pressure.

A snaffle is not necessarily a bit with a jointed bit mouth piece but because it creates direct pressure without leverage on the mouth. The snaffle bit is regarded as a relatively mild bit.

Snaffle Bit Action

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Gag bits gives a rider the ability to use either a standard direct action or a gag action. The gag bit is similar to the Pelham and double bridle without the curb strap.

The gag bit has a lifting action on the head, works by applying pressure on the horse’s lips and poll simultaneously and is commonly used for horses that are strong pullers.


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