Curb bit in the horse’s mouth

For the fine lessons

Double bit

Curb bits are mostly only used in advanced dressage and serve to refine the aids in higher lessons. They are usually used in combination with a snaffle bit.

Please note that we do not provide a guarantee against scratches. Please do not test the bit in the horse's mouth if you are unsure about the size, as we cannot take back bits with scratches.

Only for delicate hands

Double bit

The curb bit is an unbroken bar, with or without tongue clearance, which should be 1/2 to 1 cm smaller than the snaffle bit. To the right and left of the bar, outside the horse's mouth, are the so-called trees. It is important that the sides of the curb bit fit tightly to the corners of the mouth. If there is too much play between the corners of the mouth and the sides, the curb bit can block and, in extreme cases, jam. The chin chain increases the leverage and ensures pressure on the lower jaw.

For these reasons, the curb bit and the curb bit should only be used by experienced, calm riders. The curb bit is complemented by a snaffle bit, which is mainly used for riding. The curb bit is only used to refine the aids, which is why the reins usually sag a little.

Types of curb bits

Dressage curb bit / French curb bit

French or dressage curbs are available with short or long stripes, usually 5 cm or 7 cm. Curb bits with short stripes are also called baby curbs. This does not mean that this type is "softer". The short stripes naturally create less leverage, but the rein aids reach the horse's mouth much more quickly. With a long stripe there is a little more leeway and you can dose the pressure in finer increments. Remember: the angle of attack created by a certain shortening of the reins is smaller the longer the stripe. This means that with the same amount of grip on the reins, the "baby" curb acts much faster and therefore more sharply. Basically, you now have to consider whether your hand is fine enough to work in millimeters and whether your horse needs more direct, clear aids, or a little more time to think.

Curb bits with tongue clearance

The French curb bit differs from the standard dressage curb bit only in the shape of the bar. This is a bar that is only slightly curved upwards and has no tongue clearance. All other curb bits have little to a lot of tongue clearance. Tongue clearance is controversial these days. The more tongue clearance the bit offers, the sharper the curb bit appears. The horse's mouth must also offer enough space, otherwise the curvature will press on the palate. According to the latest findings, the tongue is more likely to be trapped by the tongue clearance and the horse is unable to push the bit upwards with its tongue to counteract too much pressure. With a bar that is only slightly curved, the pressure is applied evenly across the entire tongue. However, if too much pressure is applied on one side, there is a risk of jamming.

Post curbaries / Liverpool curbaries

An exception are the broken curb bits, which are also known as driving curbs, post curbs or Liverpool curbs. They are used without a snaffle. Driving curbs have up to three "eyelets" one below the other into which the driving line can be buckled. Post curbs with two eyelets that together form the shape of a "B" are often used. The deeper the driving line is buckled in, the sharper the driving curb is.


Which double bit now?

Which curb bit you want to use depends on many factors. Are you and your horse so advanced in training that you have already achieved what is known as "curb maturity"? How much space is available in the horse's mouth? Observe your horse's reactions to the respective bit very carefully and find out which curb bit your horse prefers.

Measure bits correctly