Curb Bit - Styles


Curb bits have tremendous variation, from the relatively simple English Weymouth curb or the simple western medium-port curb to very elaborate designs with complex mouthpieces and shank designs. Some of the more common include:

  • Weymouth or Weymouth curb: commonly used in a double bridle. It is an English style with a straight shank. The mouthpiece can be one of numerous styles, but usually it is solid, with a low port.
  • Grazing bit: A western curb with shanks turned back nearly 90 degrees, allegedly to allow the horse to graze while wearing a curb bit. Modern western bits with moderately curved or angled shanks are sometimes called grazing bits, even if the angle is less extreme than the original design.
  • Spade bit: A historic vaquero design with straight, highly decorated shanks and a mouthpiece that includes a straight bar, a narrow port with a cricket, and a "spoon," a flat, partly rounded plate affixed above the port, supported by braces on either side. Considered a highly technical piece of equipment to be used only on a finished horse.
  • Liverpool bit: A curb bit with several rein-attachment slots on the curb arms, giving a choice of leverage – the reins may alternatively be attached directly to the bit to use it as a simple snaffle. Used for horses in harness, especially when working in teams, when different horses may require different treatment – their bits can be adjusted so the same tension on the reins of each horse gives a similar result. This allows the reins of the different horses in a team to be joined together, minimising the number of reins the driver has to manage.

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