National Finals Rodeo qualifier Cheyenne Wimberley rides KN Fabs Mist Of Fame in a Jim Edwards ball correctional port with a short sliding shank to keep the mare square yet soft while maintaining effective communication through the bit’s forgiving design.
About the Bit
“I wasn’t very educated in the port at all. Jim Edwards came over to my house and helped educate me and rode with me on a couple different horses. When I got used to ports with my hands on multiple horses and could feel how they worked, I enjoyed it because it seemed like the horses really liked the tongue pressure and release. Try a port! You can’t be scared of them. It’s taken me a long time in my career to grab one of those bits. It’s stepping outside your circle and giving it a try and falling in love with something that was really effective to my training program that I was looking for that I hadn’t really found.”
Mouthpiece: Non-Palate Pressure Ball Correctional Port (Correctional = jointed; not fixed)
“It’s a port but [it doesn’t touch the roof of the mouth]. I like that it’s got the rounded corners around the tongue with the balls on the corner. It keeps them squarer than a regular broken gag bit. With a three-piece [dog-bone or similar mouthpiece], you have direct pressure [across the mouth] and you don’t get tongue relief. Jim helped me a lot, and it was tremendously different on a horse that wanted to struggle with the bit—they always want to chomp, get away from the bit or don’t really settle in—riding them in a port has helped tremendously. The release of the tongue pressure itself—making them hold the tongue pressure and then releasing the tongue pressure—is almost like teaching a headset. Just educating the horse has helped a lot.”
Shank: Short 4½-inch J-Shank with Some Gag
“I like that it is a quick release—when I pick up she feels it, and when I let go she doesn’t. It still allows you to hold them. It’s a pretty forgiving bit; it’s really not a severe bit. What I like is that it’s not heavy in your hand. A lot of ports get real heavy and stiff in your hand.”
Curb: Leather Strap
“It’s just a leather piece, and it’s a pretty loose curb.”
This article was originally published in the September 2020 issue of Barrel Horse News magazine.