The American breakaway roping champion and pro rodeo-winning barrel racer Jill Tanner turns to a short-shank Petska chain mouth as a daily go-to for her rope horses and barrel horses alike.

Shank: Short Fixed Shank

“On ‘Tombstone,’ the bay [I won The American breakaway on], I ride a little short-shank chain Petska. That’s my favorite go-to bit for any of my rope horses. I actually will put that on my barrel horse [Credit Ta Fame] too, and it makes him a little more round. I’ll work him in that bit a lot of times, or if [my daughter] Georgia and I are going on a trail ride or we’re just in the pasture or we go to New Mexico to work cows, that tends to be the bit that I grab the most.”

Petska chain mouth bit hanging in tack room
Photo by Jill Tanner

Mouthpiece: Chain

“I have it adjusted at one wrinkle in their mouth. That’s a pretty light bit if you don’t have a super heavy hand, which I don’t. I have to watch my hands because they’re not really that heavy, and you sometimes need a heavier hand for roping on certain horses. I just like the feel, and I like it on everything.”

Curb: Chain

“Tombstone is extremely light and stops really hard—you could basically put him in a tie down and he would lock it down—so I don’t have to have the curb very tight on him.”


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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