Saturday, August 22, 2009

Les Vogt on Western Curb Bits

I was looking through YouTube for western classes and somehow this video popped up in my search. Since understanding bits can make most horsemen I know crazy, I thought it might be helpful to post this.

While Les Vogt is "selling" his Performa Biting System the theory is all the same. The amount of leverage directly affects the height of the horse's head AND the severity of the port directly affects "stop."

My selection of curb bits is limited. I have what Les Vogt would probably call a 1, 2 and 3 on mouth pieces. However, I probably have all two's on leverage. To totally round out my bit collection so I would have a bit to fit "any" horse, I would need to add all three mouth pieces in both a 1 and a 3 shank to more and less leverage respectively.

If you're confused, you're not alone. Many people don't really understand what is more and what is less, let alone what's the right thing for their horse. For me, I'm thinking I need a 2 mouth piece with a 1 shank piece, which, of course, I don't own!

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by the number of votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. "I bought them because I thought they looked interesting, or they were pretty, or that, that someone else said, 'try that one'."

    I'm guilty!! I have bits I know I'll never use!

    Thanks for sharing! I'm probably in the 1-1 or 2-1 category. Actually, I ride 2 of my horses in snaffles and the third in a low port curb. However, I don't show, only trail ride, so I haven't set their heads properly for the show ring. I completely understand a fully trained horse in a full bit or bridle but I shudder when I see some of the Arabian show bits- twisted wire and barbs. Too many people take shortcuts with their horses and try to use a bit to control an untrained horse in the showring.

  2. Fantastyk Voyager, I'm guilty as well. I have a collection of bits that's I'll never use, but not show bits.

    As for twisted wires and barbs, people might be schooling with those but they're sure not showing in them in the Arabian division. Western bits must be smooth and there are restrictions as to how narrow they can be. as well as how long the shank may be. Bits are inspected in the reining and cow horse divisions and can be inspected in the pleasure divisions as well.

    But I won't tell you I haven't seen trainers schooling with bicycle chains because I have. That's why I train my own horses.

  3. It's good to hear that they inspect the bits during the classes. I've been going to the Nationals and Youth Nationals for years, but only as a spectator. I always visit the tack stores in the vendor areas and, in my opinion, there are too many harsh mouthpieces for sale. They far outnumber the milder bits. I'm afraid there are too many ignorant horse people out there thinking that those bits are the ones to use.

    It breaks my heart to think that people actually buy these bits and use them. I like to ride a horse that doesn't need to be controlled, only guided.

    I'm sure that there are unscrupulous trainers in all horse breeds, unfortunately.

    I'm glad you posted the video about Les Vogt and his bits. It's always good to learn more about horses and horse training.

    Also, congratulations again on your win with your colt. I hope you do go to Nationals. Maybe I'll meet you. My mom and I are considering going to Tulsa this year since they don't come to Albuquerque anymore.

  4. Congratulations! Our selection committee compiled an exclusive list of the Top 100 equine Blogs, and yours was included! Check it out at

    You can claim your Top 100 Blogs Award Badge at