Steel Buster Welch Shank Bit #B5
Description: This solid Steel Buster Welch Shank Bit #B5 with 7 1/2 inch shanks is a favorite among horsemen, especially cutters. This bit is made from high strength 4130 steel and the shanks are overlaid with hand engraved nickel silver. The steel mouthpiece is 5 1/8 inches wide, 7/16″ in diameter with a flat low port, and is inlaid with copper strips to promote salivation.
How it Works: The angle of the shanks make this a particularly easy bit for the horse to carry and gives the horse time to respond after the reins are adjusted (pulled) before the mouthpiece makes contact with the sides of mouth, tongue and roof of the mouth, and the headstall crown piece makes contact with the poll, and the curb strap makes contact with the chin. This is a great shank if you require a little more response than you are getting with a shorter C style shank.
8″ Aluminum Shanked Bit #B8
Description: The 8″ shanks on this bit are made of aluminum. They are lighter weight than a steel bit which makes this a milder bit than a steel bit. It’s designed so the junction at the mouthpiece and shanks will never pinch a horse.
This bit is available with your choice of 9 mouthpieces. All the mouthpieces are 5 1/8 inches wide (see picture at left). All except the #0 mouthpiece are made of steel with inlaid copper strips to promote salivation. The #0 mouthpiece is made of soft rubber. The #1 Correction mouthpiece is 3/8 inch in diameter, the remainder are 7/16 inch in diameter. Make your selection in the dropdown below.
This bit comes with the #BH51 3/8 inch Latigo Leather Bit Hobble, shown here.
How it works: Bits with aluminum shanks are milder than steel bits because of their light weight. This bit offers the ultimate in feel and control when you need a light touch but want the quick signal the 8 inch shanks provide. This is a nice switch when a horse needs a softer signal than a steel bit and it helps promote relaxation in a tense horse. It’s also great to lope in before showing. Many horses can be ridden continuously in this bit.
Shown is Gary Gonsalves riding Reyzin The Cash in the 2016 NCHA Super Stakes Finals with this Aluminum Shank Bit, Curb Strap with Flat Chain #CU10 and XXX Harness Leather Split Reins #ASR2. Photo courtesy of Mark Michels.
Bit is shown with mouthpiece #4F.
Steel C Shank Bit with Silver #A4
Description: The bit has “Buster Welch” style 6 1/2 inch shanks made of high quality 4130 grade steel and overlayed with beautiful hand engraved nickel silver. Mouthpieces are available for every need (see pictures at left). All mouthpieces are 5 1/8 inch wide, are made of steel or steel and copper, have inlaid copper strips to promote salivation (except #42), and are made in the diameters listed in pictures and dropdown. The bit comes with the #BH51 3/8 inch Latigo Leather Bit Hobble (shown here).
How it works: The angle of this shank allows time for the horse to respond to the reins being adjusted (pulled) before the mouthpiece contacts the sides of the mouth, tongue and roof of the mouth and the curb strap makes contact with the chin or vice-versa when the reins are released. This truly is a great little shank! Almost all horses respond to this shank with confidence and content. This is a favorite with professional horsemen.
Shown with mouthpiece 2F.
Shown on horse in addition to the #A4 Steel C Shank Bit is the #HU1 Bosalita 3/16 Inch, the #DMR3 Round 3/8 inch Nylon Mecate, the #HS53 Two Buckle Slide Ear Headstall With Rawhide, the #CCR1 Rawhide Romel Reins and the #BC2 Shaped Breast Collar, custom stamped.
Spanish Bit with Frog Mouthpiece #B92
Description: This beautiful handmade Spanish bit has 8 1/4 inch loose jaw shanks covered with hand engraved inlaid silver. The frog mouthpiece is 5 inches wide and has a 2 inch high port with a copper cricket. The cricket rolls beautifully and sounds soothing to the horse as well as helping to keep the mouth moist.
How it works: Both the shanks and the port are angled making the action in this bit slower than in a straighter shanked Spanish bit with or without a straighter port. The horse will also be able to hold his head more naturally in this laid over port than in a straight port making this a good bit for the two rein stage of training the bridle horse.
Sliding Gag with Link Mouthpiece #20-50
Description: A link mouthpiece gives this sliding gag a stronger signal than the common snaffles or the twisted wire mouthpiece and is easily accepted by horses. This Sliding Gag w/Link Mouthpiece #20-50 is made with your choice of a stainless steel twisted wire crown or, for the more sensitive horse, a 3/4 inch harness leather slide ear crown piece or a 3/4 inch brow band headstall (photo at left, please see dropdown to order).
The center bar on this bit’s cheeks limits the movement of the sliding mouthpiece to provide a quicker action and instant relief. The hard lay nylon cord allows the bit to slide easily. The cord is attached to a stainless steel buckle on each side. The buckle is attached to adjustable single ply 3/4 inch harness leather cheeks (see diagram at left). The link mouthpiece is a life-saver if your horse is resistant to the pull and does not want to follow his nose through the turn. This mouthpiece gives the strongest signals of all the gag bit choices.
How it works: The simultaneous pressure on the mouth from the sliding gag bit and on the poll from the twisted, shaped, stainless steel or the leather crown increases control of the nose and improves total balancing power to produce the ultimate in vertical flexion and feel. Because your rein aids are strengthened with the gag, your leg cues given at the same time become reinforced and easier for the horse to respond to. You will be able to better concentrate on fine details of your training rather than large rebalancing or repositioning efforts regardless of your type of riding. This gag bridle is an excellent training tool for both young and older horses that need to improve flexibility and response. Your horse will learn that when it breaks at the poll the release will be instant, smooth, and consistent. Since these gags release so quickly your horse is not trapped in position while it waits for the release to occur. This helps horses stay calm and confident in training and also when they are in competition. The leather crown is designed for horses requiring less pressure on the poll than the stainless steel twisted wire crown produces. The leather crown works well with this link mouthpiece on horses that are sensitive to pressure on the poll but very resistant to giving to the bit. There is instant relief when the pull is discontinued.
The Sliding Gag is sold without reins. Any Dennis Moreland Tack split reins or roping reins will work. To select your reins visit the rein category.
If you don’t have experience with sliding gags Dennis Moreland Tack recommends you seek the help of a professional who has experience as you are learning to use them.
Curb Strap with Flat Chain #CU10
Description: This Curb Strap with Flat Chain #CU10 is 1/2 inch wide and is AQHA legal. It’s made of two 1/2 inch burgundy latigo leather straps that are hand-edged, hand-rubbed and waxed. The beveled buckles, flat chain and wire loops are all made of stainless steel.
How it works: The flat chain gives a stronger signal on the chin when the reins are tightened than any of the leather curbs. If the chain is twisted the signal becomes even stronger than with the flat chain (but is then not legal in AQHA shows).
Please see my Tack Talk article “Curb Your Enthusiasm” to learn more about curb straps.