The hinged port curb is popular among riders and trainers of western pleasure horses. The additional joint in the center of the bit, usually hidden under a sleeve or roller, provides a great deal of flexibility in the mouthpiece. Rather than a fixed, rigid feel, the hinged port allows the rider to pick up one rein and work just that side of the horse’s mouth. This helps in achieving lateral suppleness or a bend through a corner. Subtle rein cues with a hinged port can also help a horse to collect, balance and lift its shoulder at the jog or lope.
- Western pleasure horses can be schooled or tuned up in a hinged port because a rein can be held in each hand and the rider can isolate one rein aid at a time.
- When both reins are held in one hand, such as for neck reining, the hinged port essentially functions like a solid mouthpiece.
- Horses typically respond to light commands with a hinged port. They are not to be used by riders with rough hands or an insecure seat.
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