Using a Kimberwick / Kimblewick Bit on a Horse or Pony

kimberwick or kimblewick bitA Kimblewick or Kimberwick bit is a type of curb bit that has a very mild curb action.

The Kimberwick bit has shanks, D shaped rings and hooks to attach a curb chain and is used with just one pair of reins.

Kimberwicks can have different types of mouthpieces: Straight, jointed or with a port.

Kimberwicks can also be found with vulcanite, mullen, sweet iron or "Happy Mouth" mouthpieces.


Photo of Uxeter Kimberwick Bit for a horse or ponyThere is a type of Kimberwick, the Uxeter Kimberwick, which has slots in the rings which allows the rein to be fixed in one position - this increases the leverage or curb effect.

There are usually two slots in the rings of the Uxeter Kimberwick - the curb action is increased when the rein is attached to the lower of the two ring slots.

When the reins are attached to the upper slots of a Uxeter Kimberwick the pressure applied to the horse's poll is less than when reins are attached to the lower ring slot.


The Kimberwick or Kimblewick bit is mostly used for general riding activities.

It provides a mild curb action to help to control a horse or pony that pulls or which requires help from a slight curb action to encourage it to lower its head.

When using a Kimberwick the bit applies pressure to the bars of the mouth, causes leverage on the poll and the curb chain applies pressure to the chin.

If the bit has a port, there may also be pressure applied to the roof of the horse or pony's mouth.

A Kimberwick bit provides allows the rider a bit more control of a horse or pony than a snaffle bit.

This can be useful for smaller riders or children riding strong horses or ponies. Kimberwicks are seen most commonly being used on ponies.

The Kimblewick Bit cannot be used in the dressage arena, and is not commonly used in the show ring.


A bit is only as severe as the hands of the rider using it. A kimberwick bit is a leverage bit and so is a lot easier to be harsh with.

If the curb chain is done up tightly and the rider has rough hands and poor balance then a lot of discomfort can be caused.

Using a Kimblewick, Kimberwick bit with mild curb action on a strong horse or pony