Not so stupid questions?


pAin't Nobody's Bidness
Nov 12, 1999
South Carolina, US
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Hi, elise.:) Found this on Wikipedia and thought it was a pretty good short definition of a curb bit:
The Action of the Curb Bit
A curb bit works on several parts of a horses mouth.

The bars: applied by the mouthpiece, and directly related to the length of the shank of the bit. The curb chain and a high port can also increase the pressure placed on the bars of the mouth.
The tongue: applied by the mouthpiece, with the pressure related to the thickness and type of mouthpiece.
The roof of the mouth: only applicable if the mouthpiece of the curb bit has a high port.
The poll: severity is directly related to the length of the upper shank in relation to the lower shank. All curb bits apply at least a little pressure on the poll.
The chin groove: pressure applied by the curb chain when the curb rein is used.
Side of the jaws: a curb bit may add some pressure to the sides of the jaw due to its length.
According to the article, the curb strap or chain acts as a fulcrum and allow the rider to amplify the pressure exerted on the bars/poll. So you're right - it does sort of keep everything together, in the same way a fulcrum keeps lever and load together.:)

What don't you like about your broken-mouthed curb bits?


New Member
Oct 10, 2005
Western New York
The previous owner of Mister said that he always uses curb straps even on snaffles for the extra brakes. He did a lot of collecting with Mister, trail rides, and was a blind rider (He can see shadows)! Maybe it just gave him extra confidence that he could stop him if need be. Plus Mister was about 4 yrs old when he had him and was gelded late.
I believe in the philosophy if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I feel confident in my handling of Mister and he responds well to my aids without it so I don't think I will use a curb strap. I always count on the one rein stop because it puts him off balance and effectively stops him without launching me anywhere, I rarely have to use it. I pull back on the reins gently and release when he slows down and he stops with a whoa. He has a softer mouth than when I got him at first. Thanks for telling me what it is and how to use it.