National Finals Rodeo qualifier and champion futurity trainer Jordon Briggs uses a short-shank lifter bit with a square mullen mouthpiece to balance out overly bendy horses.
About the Bit
“I honestly don’t know who made this bit. Several of my horses this year are very honest and a little too round. I’m the kind of person that I drop to one hand [before the barrel]— I’m not very good checking a horse two-handed. I either lift or bring them toward the barrel. This bit has a lot of lift, but when I bring them toward the barrel it’s pretty locked and will pull the outside shoulder where I need it to come. This has been one of my favorite bits all year; I’ve probably used it on four horses.”
Mouthpiece: Square Mullen
“For horses that have a tendency to put their weight to the outside, the mullen helps square them up so when you drop to one hand and pull them toward the barrel, they don’t put all that weight on the outside shoulder and float away from you. It brings the shoulder more to you so you can get that weight to the inside.”
Shank: Short, Locked
“It has a real instant reaction and it doesn’t pull their head down. I have a couple horses that run with their nose out, and they like to be like that, so the short shank lets them run with their nose out but I still have a real instant grab.”
Curb Strap: Loose Chain
“I really don’t adjust the curb. I guess it must be set that it fits good for all horses. The mouthpiece is pretty bite-y and the shank is pretty straight, so once you get it a hair tight in their mouth it has a pretty instant reaction so you don’t have to worry about your chinstrap so much.”
This article was originally published in the June 2019 issue of Barrel Horse News.