December 15, 2017

A Day of Equine Education!

SEPTEMBER 21, 2013

“A Day of Equine Education”

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Great Speakers!
Group Riding Lessons
Private Lessons
Networking Opportunities!
Silent Auction

What is it?- An educational event with Speakers, Riding Demonstrations, Silent Auction, Vendors and Private Riding Lessons

Where Is It? PepperGlen Farms 3563 Pedley Ave. Norco, CA  92860.

Who Can Attend?- Anyone who loves horses!

Who can ride in the lessons & demonstrations? Riders must be at least 9 yrs old, bring your own horse & tack and be able to ride a walk, jog/trot and lope/canter.

How much does it cost?- Spectator Pre-sale tickets $40.00 w/lunch included. Children under 14 years $25.00. At the gate tickets $45.00/$30.00 no lunch. Riders are $25.00 per lesson or $110.00 all day in addition to spectator fee. Stalls $10.00-20.00 per day. Private lessons $25.00/30 min. Lunch tickets $8.00.

How do I sign up?- Spectators may purchase tickets at Search for “CHA Conference”. Pre-sale ends September 15, 2013 @ 6:00 pm or when sold out.

Riders must contact Cheryl R. Kronsberg directly. Rider spots and stalls must be paid in advance.

 For More Information-  714-693-4886    

Or to register-


“A Day of Equine Education”

Speaker and Demonstration Schedule

8:00 -8:30– Registration and Introductions.

       Silent Auction and Vendor Booths Open

Main Arena Riding Demonstrations-

8:30-9:30How to “Open the Doors” for Riding Success- Dallas McClemons- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

 9:45-10:45-“Sideways”-Teaching Sidepass and Pivot to riders and horses- Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg-CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

11:00-12:00Canter/Lope- From first time to lead changes-  Christy Landwehr- CHA Chief Executive Officer, Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

12:00-1:00- Lunch- Included in pre-sale ticket price!

1:00-2:00Extension and Collection at all gaits- Theresa Kackert- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

2:15-3:15How to Conduct a Safer Trail Ride– Dallas McClemons- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

3:30- 4:30Riding Hunter Courses– Theresa Kackert- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

All Day-  Private lessons– Sign up with your favorite instructor. Only $25.00 for 30 minutes.

Lecture Area-

8:30-9:30–   What Would You Do?- An Interactive First-Aid Experience-  Dr. David Treser, DVM-

9:45-10:45How to Save $$ on Your Taxes- Rebecca Bambarger E.A

11:00-12:00– California’s Dual Agency Law in Horse Transactions- Lisa Lerch, Esq.    

12:00-1:00- Lunch- Included in pre-sale ticket price! Keynote speaker- Christy Landwehr- Certified Horsemanship Association C.E.O., Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

1:00-2:00Bits & Bitting Demystified- Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg- CHA Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

2:15-3:15Risk Management for All Equestrians- Christy Landwehr- CHA C.E.O.,  Master Instructor & Clinic Staff

3:30- 4:30How To Make Your Business Famous!- Suzi Carragher

4:30-5:00- Make your final silent auction bids!

5:00- Close Silent Auction & Award Trivia Contest Prizes

5:30- CHA Region 10 Meeting

For More Information-  714-693-4886    or

Or to register-

It’s A “Bit” Confusing…

It’s A “Bit” Confusing…

     As some of you know, I am a CHA Clinic Instructor. What this means is that I go out into the horse community around the country and conduct Riding Instructor Certification Clinics. These clinics consist of 40 hours of testing, evaluating and teaching the instructors who are seeking certification. One of the required topics is Bits and Bitting. Sometimes my clinic staff partner or I will present this lecture. Usually, we will have a participant present it.  It is during these presentations that I have found what I consider to be the most common misconception regarding bits. The difference between a snaffle bit and a curb bit. Many people believe that a bit with a jointed or “broken” mouthpiece is a snaffle and a bit with a solid mouthpiece is a curb. Many of the tack catalogs illustrate and group bits that way. Many trainers and instructors explain it that way. I hear this over and over again at clinics and the many events I speak at every year. It is very frustrating to hear so many professionals giving out the wrong information.

What Is The Difference Between A Snaffle And A Curb Bit?

     A snaffle bit is a direct pressure bit. A curb bit is a leverage bit. That is the only difference. If you remember nothing else, remember this- It has nothing to do with the type of mouthpiece the bit has.  It doesn’t matter if the mouthpiece is jointed or not. A jointed mouthpiece bit can be either a snaffle or a curb. A solid mouthpiece bit can be either a snaffle or a curb. Some bits can be both a snaffle and a curb. Both English and Western bits can be curbs and/or snaffles. Bits with solid, ported mouthpieces can be snaffles.  Pretty crazy, huh? How do you tell them apart?

     You can tell the difference between a snaffle and a curb bit by how and where the reins attach to it. If the reins attach to the same ring as the mouthpiece, it is a snaffle. Keep in mind that the rein can’t be restricted by another ring or loop within or attached to the bit ring. It has to be the same ring and the reins must be able to slide on that ring. If the reins attach to a slot on the same ring as the mouthpiece, it’s probably a curb bit.  I say probably, because humans being what they are, the lines can get blurred sometimes. In an effort to make show horses look like they are working in a mild snaffle bit, some curb bits are made to look like snaffle bits. They aren’t snaffles but they look like they are. They have a hidden restrictor ring that the reins go through. This ring prevents the rein from sliding on the ring.

     A curb bit will have reins that attach below the mouthpiece, usually at the end of a long piece called a shank.  A pull on the reins will apply pressure to three areas of the horse- the mouth, the curb groove (under the chin) via a curb strap or chain and on top of the poll via the crownpiece of the bridle. It is this increased number of pressure sites that drastically changes the way a curb bit works. Curb bits are usually considered more severe than snaffle bits due to this increase in pressure points. Due to the leverage these bits apply, the amount of pull a rider puts on the reins is increased. More pressure is put on the horse than the rider put into the reins. It is for these reasons that curb bits require more training for the horse and rider.

     Some bits have several different rings to attach the reins to. I call these combination bits.  These combination bits can be a snaffle, curb or both depending on how many reins you use and where they attach. These bits were designed to give the rider more versatility in the use of the bit. The same bit can be used for several different training levels for the same horse. It can also be used to move a horse from one type of bit to another, without having to buy multiple bits. English Pelham bits are a good example of this type of bit. A Kimberwicke is also a combination bit. I like these types of bits because they are so versatile. When I purchase this type of bit I get more “bang for my bit buck”.

     Here are some pictures of bits. Can you pick out the snaffle, curb and combination bits? I left the reins off so you will have to figure it out for yourself. You should have enough information now to do a great job. Check them out and do your best. Scroll down for the answers but don’t cheat!


Snaffle, Curb or Combination?







Answers- Left to Right

1. Combination   2. Snaffle    3. Curb

4. Snaffle            5. Curb        6. Snaffle

     Cheryl Rohnke Kronsberg is a Certified Horsemanship Association Master Instructor and Clinic Instructor. She is also a registered AQHA Professional Horseman. Cheryl has been teaching riding and horsemanship for over 30 years. Currently she and her husband own and operate CRK Training Stable in Yorba Linda, CA. We welcome your comments and questions. Please feel free to share this article with your friends, but rights to publish this article are restricted.


Should I Change My Horse’s Bit?

Should I Change My Horse’s Bit?

     This is a question I received last week. The client wanted to know if they needed a new bit for their horse. Since this customer was a boarding client and not in a lesson or training program, I hadn’t really paid much attention to how the horse worked. The question was asked in the barn aisle, so I couldn’t see the horse work either. The owner was not willing to pay for an evaluation so I was reduced to giving out some general information. The next time I saw them riding, the bid had been changed.  The owner stated that the horse went better with the new bit. Happy ending?  Maybe. Maybe not. I didn’t evaluate the horse either time, so I don’t really know for sure. I guess time will tell.

     So the question of the week is- Should you change your horse’s bit? There are several reasons it could be time for a change. The most common one is that the horse isn’t responding to the bit correctly. Sometimes the horse will be non-responsive. That might call for a change to a more “severe” bit. Sometimes the horse is over-responsive. That could mean they need a “milder” bit. Just remember that no bit is a “magic-bullet”. Often what a horse really needs is training, not a different bit. Or perhaps, the rider isn’t cueing the horse properly. But those are talks for another day.

     Another reason to change bits is due to horse show rules. Let’s say you ride western and compete with your horse. Your horse is great at western pleasure and the trail classes.  Western horse’s younger than 6 may be shown two-handed in a smooth snaffle bit, which is the bit most horses are started in. Once that same western horse is 6 years of age or older, they must be shown in a curb bit ridden with one hand on the reins. Therefore, when they turn six, it becomes necessary to change to a curb bit. A curb bit is generally more “severe” than a snaffle bit. If you want to continue showing western you have no choice in the matter. You must make the change in bit and be sure your horse is trained to handle it.

     Today, I’m going to address the first scenario. How do you know your horse is in the wrong bit? An over-bitted horse will display some of the following signs when the reins are pulled. If the horse is over-bitted long enough, these signs will show up even without any rein pressure. (FYI- I have found more over-bitted than under-bitted horses during my years as a trainer.)  Here’s what to look for:

  1.  Over-flexing to the side or at the poll.
  2.  Refusing to move forward.
  3.  Head tossing.
  4.  Pulling on the bit.
  5.  Rearing.
  6.  Refusing to stop or give to the bit.
  7.  Chomping on the bit.

 The under-bitted horse will show some or all of these signs:

  1.  Not turning or bending when asked.
  2.  Pulling on the bit.
  3.  Head tossing
  4.  Nosing out
  5.  Refusing to stop.
  6.  Not giving to the bit.
  7.  Hanging on the bit or leaning on the riders hands.
  8.  Being very “heavy” on a bit he used to respond well to.

      Now that you recognize you have a problem, how do you know which one you have? As you can see, the signs of over-biting and under-biting can be similar or exactly the same! It may be best to consult a professional to help. This situation can be very complex and requires personal attention. If your horse is displaying some of these signs, be sure to address it quickly, before it becomes unsafe. A horse you can’t control, that is uncomfortable or in pain can very rapidly become hazardous to ride. Contact your local Certified Instructor and set up an evaluation lesson. They should be able to tell you what the actual problem is and help you resolve it.

      When I have been presented with this situation, I follow these steps. First, I will observe the horse being ridden while asking relevant questions. Sometimes I will ride the horse. If I decide the problem is indeed the bit, I determine if the current bit is too mild or too severe. Then we will try out a few different bits to see which one helps. After we have settled on one bit, I will let them borrow it for a week or so.

     After the trial period, if the new bit is still looking good, I write a description of the bit including size, type, etc. I may even take a picture or let them take my bit as a reference when they head to the tack store. I just want to be sure they purchase the correct one. People who work in tack stores don’t always know enough about bits, so the description helps. I have even had our local tack store employees call me to ask if a bit they have in stock with a slight variation will work. Sometimes we will just order a bit from one of the many catalogs I keep on hand for just these occasions. However we go about it, I try my best to be sure the correct bit is purchased.

      What you shouldn’t do is start buying bits and trying them out on your horse. You could be making the problem worse or not solving it at all. Good bits are expensive. Many bits cost in excess of $100.00! Buy a few of those and you could pay for several months of lessons!  While a good bit is a very worthwhile investment if it works on your horse, it might become an extremely expensive paperweight if it doesn’t do the job. A trip to a trainer will cost you a little money and time, but may very well save you plenty of both in the long run. And who knows, it might not be a problem with the bit at all. In that case, think of all the money you saved not buying new bits! As an added bonus, working with a trainer, even for an hour or two, will give you new insight about your riding and your horse. And you might just have some fun as well! 

      I welcome your comments and questions about bits or other topics. Or you may attend my free Bits and Bitting class to be held in early November. Dates and details of upcoming classes will be announced soon. Feel free to share this article with your friends!