What’s that strap?
The arrow is pointing to a bit hobble. A bit hobble is designed to be used on bits with shanks and is always attached to the rein rings (loops) of the bit and in front of the reins.* Bit hobbles are used to keep the shanks of the bit moving together as a unit.
A bit hobble will prevent the cheek piece ring (loop) of the bit from turning into the side of the horse’s face and will prevent the curb strap from tightening inappropriately when a direct rein pull is made on a swivel shanked (curb or leverage) bit. You may think you shouldn’t need to make a direct rein pull on a horse trained well enough to ride in a bit with shanks but it’s unusual to not have to remind a horse with a direct rein cue on occasion. The bit hobble also makes neck reining more black and white to the horse since the shanks always move as a unit. This can be particularly nice to help horses transition smoothly from the snaffle to the leverage bit.
The bit hobble should be adjusted to be approximately the same width as the bit or very slightly longer. Most bit hobbles are made of leather and often will have rawhide accents as shown here. They also can be made of braided nylon. Some bits have them designed into the bit and made of the same steel as the bit.
Bit hobbles are required on all leverage bits at National Reined Cow Horse Association approved shows.
*Some people use the term bit hobble when referring to the strap that runs between the rings of the snaffle to keep them from being pulled through the mouth during a direct rein turn. Dennis Moreland Tack bit hobbles are not designed for that purpose and we recommend Dennis Moreland Tack curb straps for your snaffles.
For more information on Dennis Moreland Tack Bit Hobbles visit http://www.dmtack.com/pcategory/horse-bits/bit-hobbles/ or call 817-312-5305.