Curb bits are one of the most powerful types of horse bits. Comparing the snaffle bits you see in most tack stores to the curb bit is like comparing a bicycle to a car. By allowing the rider to employ leverage, curb bits are capable of amplifying rein pressure to exert a far stronger guiding effect on the horse. Weymouth bits are popular among curb bit users because they provide ample bit control without compromising the horse’s comfort.
What is a Weymouth bit? Well, a Weymouth bit is used only with a double bridle, also known as a Weymouth bridle. It consists of a mouthpiece, two straight bit shanks and a chain. The bit shanks decide how much leverage a Weymouth bit provides. The theory of levers tells you that the longer the shank, the greater the leverage provided. Bit shanks that are 8 to 10 cm long are capable of amplifying the rein pressure applied by the rider several times over, allowing the rider to turn the horse or cause it to change speeds with small, and precise rein actions. What purpose does this serve? First, this gives the impression that the rider is in better control of his horse. It’s definitely a preferable alternative to having to tug violently on the reins to bring the horse under control, especially in the show ring where appearances are everything. Second, it allows riders to control strong and stubborn horses with ease. Any equestrian rider will tell you never to underestimate the strength of a horse. If your horse is willful, using milder types of horse bits can easily allow it to evade bit control and run wild. Using a curb bit like the Weymouth bit ensures that bit pressure is so intense the horse cannot possibly ignore your orders, leading to safer rides for both rider and horse.
Some riders have the misconception that the Weymouth bit is one of the harshest types of horse bits around. While it can be a severe bit, its level of severity depends strongly on the tightness of the curb chain. The tighter the curb chain, the more severe the bit because a tighter chain reduces the amount of forewarning a horse will have before the bit pressure fully kicks in. If your horse is well-disciplined and very experienced, a loose curb chain will allow it to better anticipate your orders and react quicker to them. If your horse in inexperienced and headstrong, a tighter curb chain keeps it under better control. Expert riders appreciate having the freedom to adjust the severity of the bit as needed. Although this also means a harsher bit, it is for the horse’s own good. Weymouth bits are one of the most essential equine supplies. Tack stores selling a wide variety of equine supplies will have several varieties of Weymouth bits for your perusal.