Better Barrel Races OKC Futurity slot race winner Tricia Aldridge rides Three Times The Fury in the Dave Elliott Spur Up 04 NS medium shank with a three-piece twist and chain mouthpiece, pairing it with a chain curb to get instant reaction with control at speed.

Shank: Dave Elliott Spur Up 04 Medium with Almost No Gag

“On this bit it’s not a gag, it’s more like a fixed shank. Sometimes the delayed reaction [of a gag big] does not help. I like to have the instant contact and release — what you need, right then.”

Mouthpiece: Three-Piece Twist with Copper Inlay and Chain Link Center

“I have a few with that mouthpiece. It has a really good feel. I’m not sure what I like about it, but I tend to ride pretty well everything in some kind of twist or chain. That’s what fits me the best.”

Dave Elliott Spur Up 04 hanging on wall
Photo by Tricia Aldridge

Curb: Chain

“A long time ago Jolene Montgomery told me that you should always practice riding your horses in more bridle, because you never know during the futurity year when you’re going to need more bridle. You need to make sure that when you need to change bridles, they’re not going to freak out. [Three Times The Fury] is super sensitive, and I had been riding her in a rope curb. I’d been making some passes on her and she was getting so strong, and I was like man I’m really going to have to get her in a chain, but she didn’t like a chain. [Before the OKC Slot Race in December], I’d been practicing for two weeks straight with the chain curb. I could feel I was going to need it when she went fast, and I’d need that extra little bit of control. She still didn’t love the chain, but she showed up when it counted.”


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

Write A Comment