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Slobber Chains

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Slobber Chains (“cadenillas”- small chains)

Slobber ChainsSlobber chains are lightweight chains built into California-styled bits. With slobber chains the movement registered in the rider’s hand and in the horse’s mouth is communicated with more nuances than with the stiffer, more restrictive, slobber bar. These are inherently different methods of bit construction.

Chains transmit more minute movement in the hand of the rider and the mouth of the horse (front to back and even a little side to side). There can be from one to three chains draped or swaged.

Make certain that a horse that tends to lip can’t reach the upper chain. The top chain’s purpose is to limit the spread of the loose cheeks. If there is a middle chain, it merely reinforces, adding strength. The bottom chain prevents a reata or lass rope from hanging up between the cheeks and interfering with the bit action. Sometimes there is only room for a single, heavier chain, especially if stirrups (columpios) instead of rings (ganchos) are used at the bottom of the bit to attach varied lengths, weights and styles of rein chains (cadenas).

 
You can read more about rein chains here.
 

 

In a wreck, it is hoped that the chains will break as a failsafe measure, since they are easily replaced. Additionally, the potential for movement allows for more “give” in difficult situations.

 

 

Slobber bars and chains are not to be confused with slobber straps (AKA slobber leathers), which are leather straps folded and tied to a snaffle bit and secured by tying with a mecate or a man-made McCarty. These may be carved or stamped and serve to add weight to emphasize the release of the snaffle. They are used in lieu of split leather reins.

 
Gancho and slobber chain

Slobber chains are attached by opening one of the links and inserting through the bit chain holder holes. These are built on the interior of the bit. The link is then closed. They tend to afford a lighter overall bit than a bit with a slobber bar.

The junction/connection for rein chains can only be achieved through the use of ganchos (rings usually with a silver button) when a slobber bar is chosen. The junction/connection options with the use of slobber chains increases. Stirrups (columpios), stirrups with clevices or the ganchos can be employed.

 
In an emergency, with romal reins only, the use of latigo rein chain connectors (not the heavy braided style) may also break prior to damage of gear of more financial value or the horse and rider.
 
 

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