Weymouth Ported Bit 4.5ins Ref: 2673-31

$16.99 $13.59

Size: 4.5 ins

Diameter: 20 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.

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Weymouth Bit

In a double bridle arrangement, the curb or Weymouth serves to assist in achieving maximum flexion from the horse while preserving a light contact. The curb acts on several parts of the horse at once to achieve this result. In the mouth, the curb puts pressure over the tongue and bars, which can be more or less severe depending on how tight the curb chain is kept, how much of a port the mouthpiece has, and how long the shanks are (a too tight or too loose curb chain, a higher port, and longer shanks are all more severe).

The curb uses a leverage action, since it attaches to the cheek and headpieces of the bridle at a point above the mouthpiece, and the reins attach to the end of a shank (essentially a lever) a few inches below the mouthpiece. When the rein is engaged, this lever action puts some pressure on the poll of the horse through the cheek and headpiece, and on the mouth and jaw through essentially squeezing the lower jaw between the mouthpiece and the curb chain running under the jaw.

A tighter curb chain limits the amount of angle that the curb shanks can travel, thus causing less pressure to be put on the poll and jaw. However, this does mean that the action comes into play more immediately upon contacting the rein. The ideal point at which the curb chain should engage is when the cheeks are approximately at a 45 degree angle to the mouth of the horse.

In any case, it should be clear that the curb is a very sharp instrument and should be used only in the hands of those that have a very sensitive touch.

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