The Johnson hack combination bit by Reinsman allows three-time world champion Hailey Kinsel to engage either the bit or the noseband at different points in the turn on DM Sissy Hayday.

About the Bit and Leather Tie-Down

“As a young horse ‘Sis’ would put her nose in the air and stiffen, and I wanted to bring her head down without forcing it down. The noseband [on the combination bit] let her feel that touch on the nose and gives them a barrier that they know is there. When she started turning faster, she’d lose her balance a little on the backside because she elevates a lot, so I put a super loose leather tie-down on to give her something to brace on so when she went to make that move on the backside, she could elevate herself and come around.”

Shank: Medium Sliding Gag with Rope Nose Combo

“The thing about a combo to me is, if they’re built correctly, it allows you to do two separate moves. The bit and the noseband don’t work at the same time. You either engage the bit or you engage the noseband. For example, when I’m going into a turn on Sister, this bit gives me a lot of stop-and-go protection. I can reach and engage the bit, which does engage the poll a tiny bit, and it gives some whoa. My hand is thumbs-up pointing to my knees, but then when I shift my hand around the turn and turn my pinky out, I can reach and guide around the turn, and that engages the noseband and it almost works like a hackamore or halter. That’s the way it fits my hand.”

The Reinsman Johnson hack combination bit is not actually a hackamore. Kinsel prefers the chain mouthpiece for ‘Sister.’ Reinsman photo.

Mouthpiece: Chain

“Sis is pretty long, and she really reaches around a turn with her front end. That bit allows me to ride a loose rein and have my hand forward but still have lateral control to where I can help on the backside if I need to. I’m not changing the trajectory of the turn or her body position at all, but at that point in the turn it almost becomes like a halter the way it pulls around, versus a ring snaffle or gag bit where you touch it and it’s a direct pull. This is one you can use laterally.”

Curb: Snug Chain

“It fits more like a gag bit, a finger-and a-half length.”


Blanche Schaefer is an avid barrel racer and managing editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments or questions to [email protected]

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