Western Shank Ported Curb Bit 7ins Ref: 3658-16

$39.99 $25.00

Size: 7 ins

Diameter: 16 mm

Ported Bit

With no joint, the ported snaffle bears some similarity to the mullen mouth. However, the port acts to reduce pressure over the middle of the tongue and hence increase pressure over the bars. This bit is not as mild as a mullen mouth, and is often used as a corrective bit for horses that have learned to get their tongue over a snaffle, since the port makes this more difficult.

Most curb bits have some degree of port, which is to say an elevated curve in the middle of the mouthpiece. The port makes room for the horse’s tongue to rise up when the bit is engaged, thus putting less pressure over the middle of the tongue and more pressure over the bars. Ports vary in shape by how high they are – a low port puts more pressure over the tongue, but has more clearance for the palate, while a high port gives more room to the tongue, but has a greater danger of interfering with the palate.

Most ports seek a compromise between these two effects, although one alternative is the forward angled port, or Conrad curb. Ports also vary in width, with the main consideration being the width of the tongue groove. On average, 34mm (1 1/2 inches) gives maximum tongue clearance, while still allowing the sides of the mouthpiece to lay comfortably on the bars (which are on either side of the tongue groove). Wide port curbs are made for horses that have particularly wide tongue grooves.

1 in stock


Western Shanks

The shank can be either a solid cheek or a shank that can swivel (swivel cheek). It is also critical to determine what length and shape of shank is desired. Shanks are available in several styles. They may be straight, have a gentle sweep (C-bit), an acute sweep (grazing bit) or a variety of patterns (S shank, 7 shank, cavalry shank). Shank length determines the bit’s severity. The average shank length is 6 to 7 inches, but may vary from approximately 4 inches to 8-plus inches. It is important to understand certain principles about leverage bits. A straight shank, in comparison to a curved shank, is quicker acting. A longer shank produces more leverage than a shorter shank, but is slower acting. The ratio of the amount of shank above the mouthpiece to the amount of shank below the mouthpiece also helps to determine bit severity; the longer the shank is below the mouthpiece in comparison to the length of shank above the mouthpiece, the more leverage the bit will have.