Everything Else Tip of the day

Tip of the Day: hooking on a curb chain.

This should probably be titled “Stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know, until someone told you”, IMG_4531since I blush to remember how many years I had used a pelham for, before someone pointed my error out to me. In fact I’ve seen them fitted incorrectly many times since, so at least I wasn’t alone!

Apparently you are supposed to put the chain through the bit ring before hooking it on, as in the photo, rather than having the hooks hanging inside the bit rings, where they could pinch. Just a little thing but it does make sense, and I think it could make a difference.

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  • I have always done it this way but thought I was the odd one out – great to know I am actually doing it correctly πŸ™‚

  • You are completely wrong.
    This is NOT, and has NEVER been, the correct way to attach a curb chain!
    OMG people! Use your heads! Don’t believe this nonsense.

    • Hi Bellson.

      Although we fully respect your right to comment actually it is not incorrect in the same way as not putting it through the bit rings is also not incorrect. Just with many things horsey (studs anyone!?) there are many correct ways to do some things. As the phrase goes there is more than one way to skin a cat.

      I would also ask and welcome you to state why it would be incorrect so opening up this article to discussion which we fully support. πŸ™‚

  • Interesting! A trainer I used to use in Belgium who was both a BHSI and had trained at Saumur also did this, which I had not seen before. He said it prevents the curb pinching the lip next to the bit. I’ve stuck to the way I was taught but can see why it would work with a thin-skinned horse.

  • Vicky, that’s exactly the reason that my (incredibly experienced) trainer gave when he corrected me and told me to fit it like this.
    Bellson Yurtoes (great name, by the way), do you care to expand further on your comment?
    Of course, there are lots of differing views on the thread about this post, here with lots of people in favour of each way of doing it!

  • I have had the honor of training under an array of horsemen in many disciplines, from several countries, of the highest credentials respectively, for several decades. It is interesting that across the board, they all shared the same method for applying a curb chain first through the rings before attaching it to the hook, on both sides of course, and I was admonished by them all that this was the only “correct” way a curb was applied. The only time I go straight across from hook to hook sans bit rings is if the curb chain itself is of poor quality and too short to do so. I have found that horses are more comfortable, less defensive and soften more easily with this method and this has been true for me in Polo, Dressage, Hunters and the Jumper ring so, I’m thinking it works pretty well.

  • No that is absolutely incorrect. The chain should never go through the bit rings….
    This is for several reasons: 1) when you put the chain through the bit rings, you eliminate a VERY important function of your bit, and that is the leading or opening rein… 2) if the horse needs to be led by the reins or ponied (for example, out hunting) and even sometimes over a jump, by pulling on the reins you are activating the chain. You do NOT want this! 3) if you have extra chain, or the hooks are in jeopardy of catching on your horse, this simply requires a quick adjustment with a pair of pliers; the hooks should face away from the horse, and the extra chain either removed, or extra links added to the open hook (one is always open while the other is always closed). There are other reasons as well, for example, putting the chain on this way inhibits the movement of the bit within the horse’s mouth, which is bad as it should be able to move around a bit so that the horse can carry it in the place that is most comfortable, or move it slightly if the bars of his mouth get sore…… hope this helps!