*Good Tom Thumb Articles* - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 51 Old 07-10-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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*Good Tom Thumb Articles*

Calling all TT lovers:

Trouble with Tom Thumb
Tom Thumb Bit
Today's Horse - The Trouble with Tom Thumb

Love them now? They really aren't as good as you think. I used to use one too. Found out all this horrible stuff about them and I will never use one again.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #2 of 51 Old 07-10-2009, 11:35 PM
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HATE them!
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post #3 of 51 Old 07-10-2009, 11:47 PM
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I am not a fan of them and would never use one myself. However, as with many controversial bits, this one is VERY misunderstood. It was designed for a soft hand and a finished horse. The whole purpose is so that the horse can feel even the slightest flick of one rein on only that side of the mouth instead of the whole mouth moving and in congruence, moving the other side of the bit as happens with a solid mouth bit. It has the potential to be very harsh given the nutcracker effect of the single jointed snaffle along with the shanked curb leverage. However, most people think of this as a colt training bit just because of the snaffle mouth. Bits like this can be incredibly confusing to a young horse especially when a correction is made with just one rein. Though I don't personally care for the bit, I see no problem with people using it so long as they respect it and have a very soft touch on a well trained horse. The only time I have ever seen this bit be cruel is in untrained hands so it technically is not the bit, it is the person operating it that has a serious problem.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #4 of 51 Old 07-11-2009, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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^^ It gives unclear directions NO MATTER how you use it. It exerts pressure on the opposite side of the horse's mouth.
I agree with you though. They are the most misunderstood bit out there.

Most people are like Slinkies; they serve no real purpose, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on for dear life.
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post #5 of 51 Old 07-11-2009, 10:09 PM
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It seems like my horse responds to it wonderfully compared to my eggbutt snaffle I have. But I use the eggbutt snaffle for english and jumping, but I use the tom-thumb for gaming.
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post #6 of 51 Old 07-12-2009, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
^^ It gives unclear directions NO MATTER how you use it. It exerts pressure on the opposite side of the horse's mouth.
I don't understand how it could do this, could you explain?

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post #7 of 51 Old 07-12-2009, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny06 View Post
^^ It gives unclear directions NO MATTER how you use it. It exerts pressure on the opposite side of the horse's mouth.
That is not what makes it so confusing to a young horse. Every bit exerts pressure on the opposite side of the mouth when direct reining, that is how a simple snaffle works and why it is so effective. What makes it so bad with a TT is that when you pick up on, lets say, the left rein, the joint in the mouth flexes and the bottom of the left shank moves straight out to the side while the top of the left purchase pokes the horse in the left side of the face. The bit also tightens against the right side of the mouth as well so in effect, with direct reining, the horse is getting cues to turn left and right at the same time. If you use it while neck reining, this is avoided but it can still be harsh when you pick up both reins to stop. That is why neck reining and light hands are so important to be able to get along with this bit.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #8 of 51 Old 07-12-2009, 08:10 PM
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I used to use one-- until I realized that Razz wasn't responding to turns not because he's a butthead.. but because he didn't know what to do. And he's the type of horse that just stops when he is confused-- so we didn't get very far! I tried him in a full cheek snaffle-- he was perfect.
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post #9 of 51 Old 07-14-2009, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morganshow11 View Post
It seems like my horse responds to it wonderfully compared to my eggbutt snaffle I have. But I use the eggbutt snaffle for english and jumping, but I use the tom-thumb for gaming.
That is most likely because instead of going back to the basics and fixing any holes in your horse's training, you simply went to a different bit. A different bit alone does not always help when it comes to training issues.
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post #10 of 51 Old 07-15-2009, 12:27 AM
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My horse spent three years in a TT, ridden by beginners, on a trail string. Why? Because he was hard to handle, young, and he needed to work to earn his keep. The result? A horse with severe bit evasion issues, who hangs his mouth open, and bucks (head-between-the-legs-bronco-style) when he is bossed around or handled to roughly.

Luckily his problems were solved by getting rid of the TT and getting him on something strong and clear yet not harsh. So I tried "dr. Cook" And found that Caleb reacted very badly to the tight noseband. So I put him on an english hackamore he responds very well to it and he never acts up like he used to on the TT.
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