I'm probably going to get flogged for this, but my horses like the tom thumb bit. I've tried other bits with my mare and she hated them. The only thing she likes is the tom thumb with the copper mouth pieces. When I bought my daughter's mare, the previous owner told me that she had only been ridden in a hackamore. So that's what we rode her in, but she would constantly toss her head and pull back against any pressure, so I put my other mare's bridle on her. She acted just perfect. So now she rides in a tom thumb with copper mouthpieces. Both mares are missouri fox trotters. My mare likes to be ridden with constant (slight) pressure in her mouth while gaiting, my daughter's mare likes a loose rein. Lots of people are against tom thumb bits, but to each his own.