Bits? - Page 3

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This is a discussion on Bits? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    08-16-2010, 07:32 PM
Green Broke
The TT is actually one of the most commonly used western bits. They're jointed like a snaffle, but have shanks & a curb chain for leverage. However, in order for it to be effective it has to be used properly. They can be very harsh if the rider has heavy hands, as they can squeeze the jaw, which is why some horses do not like them.
Below are pics of the TT I use on my quarab & then the bit I use on my Arab (though the one in the pic is slightly heavier than mine...)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tt m.jpg (44.2 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg tt c.jpg (15.4 KB, 101 views)
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    08-16-2010, 08:05 PM
Yes just like lilruffians pics. I use the one in the first pic. I just don't use copper cause copper is sweeter.

This my bit
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File Type: jpg 211215--western-bit.jpg (11.6 KB, 95 views)
    08-16-2010, 08:28 PM
If you want to hear that the Tom Thumb bit is the best bit ever invented you better have FACTS to back it up. I find the bit to be crude and pointless. If your horse isnt stopping on a snaffle its only a matter of time before it isn't stopping on a bit constructed solely of razor blades. If your horse isnt stopping...its not the bits fault...its yours. If your horse wont turn...its not that you need a better need better training.

To the OP. Do your research. Don't get a gag bit...theres no real coming down from that. They have their place but can be extremely harsh.
    08-16-2010, 08:32 PM
My horse spins with the tom thumb. I never said a tt is the best bit ever. Im just saying its not crude and pointless. Infact it is very easy on a horse mouth. And thank you very much I am in training to be a veternarian and I train horses all the time. I can turn on a dime. So go ahead think what you want.... ill let you keep thinking that.
    08-16-2010, 08:36 PM
Originally Posted by PintoBean    
I've tried a wonder bit and that was too harsh, but I may try a twisted snaffle. Do you have any tips for using one? Thanks for your advice!!
Did you have the reins in the highest spot?
    08-16-2010, 08:38 PM
O and pinto bean???? I use a twisted snaffle on a black reining horse I got... he does great with it doesnt fight it or anything but im borrowing him and the lady told me to use an o ring so that is just a training bit. And I have no stop with a ring.... but he shows no sign of aggression of fighting the bit
    08-16-2010, 08:46 PM
I have nooooooooooooo idea how bits work!
I need a 'bit physics' master class!
    08-16-2010, 08:48 PM
Green Broke
Yes, ladies...we all agree that there are fans of Tom Thumbs, and there are those who are um...not fans.... I don't think the question is to use a tom thumb or not, but more, what are the options for the OP.

I do agree that it's great, when you can, to use a different bit for each discipline. I used to do that with my quarter and she always seemed to know what her day was going to be depending on what I used on her. Curb...we are going WP today, snaffle...going to hop over fences and work on balance, control. Hackamore...yay we are going to play in the creek!

And, since most Kimberwicks are designed to be used with two reins, I am assuming that is how the OP is using hers, which doesn't really make it efficient for gaming. I personally like bosals, and some of the milder hackamores for gaming myself. My friend who was a great barrel racer back in the 60's and who finishes barrel horses likes a gag, which makes me gag but in the right hands, I'm sure works very well.

Also, there could be other reasons the horse is being unresponsive. Does it have a little bit of a "hard mouth?" Maybe some dental issues? How long have you been working on the gaming? Sometimes it takes a horse a little time to settle down into it and know what is expected.
    08-16-2010, 08:48 PM
I was just trying to inform the OP that the TT isn't a great option. If you think I am the only one of this opinion, read this Today's Horse - The Trouble with Tom Thumb

Or this Bits and their Proper Use

Or better yet...ask any TRAINER on this forum what their opinion is on the TT. I am totally done with this conversation. I posted my suggestions to the OP and hopes that she will will take them.
    08-16-2010, 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by kaydeebug    
i use a twisted snaffle on a black reining horse I got... he does great with it doesnt fight it or anything but im borrowing him and the lady told me to use an o ring so that is just a training bit. and I have no stop with a ring
That tells us everything we need to know right there. Yes, a snaffle is primarily a training bit. That is why, if your horse has a training issue, then they should be in a snaffle.

The problem with a TT is simply mechanical. I could ride in one and get my horses to do exactly what I wanted, however, I can do that in anything. However, they are mechanically confusing as all get out when you pick up on one rein for a correction, plus they are much harsher than needed simply because of the combination of curb pressure and the nutcracker action. An educated person can do well in one but their sale is directed toward uneducated people. Why? Because they are uneducated about the mechanics of how they work and thus think "well, it is a snaffle bit so it has to be good". It may be the most widely used bit for western riding, but that is simply because it is also one of the cheapest to buy and unfortunately, many western riders are simply self taught backyard riders who do not understand the finer points of properly bitting a horse.

barrels, bits, gaming, poles

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