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This is a discussion on bits?!?! within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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        11-07-2011, 09:57 AM

    I need help with bit choices.

    When I bought my chestnut twh the people gave me all his tack. They said to ride him in a halter or in a basic(Western) curb bit. I have since then and he has been great, or so I think. He has always liked constant pressure on his mouth or atleast always tries to keep constant pressure on the bit with the reins and to make matters worse someone told me its a harsh bit and no horse should ride in it. So I tried some experiments with other bits.
    I tried a d ring snaffle and a few other snaffle types. But he just took complete advantage and didn't listen to anything I was asking.
    So now I was figuring I should try a good hackamore since he responds in the halter. My other twh rides in one so it could work.

    Any suggestions as to what I should try. I don't want to hurt him with the basic curb if it is truely a harsh a bit. Any ideas/suggestions much appreciated
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        11-07-2011, 10:23 AM
    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.
        11-07-2011, 10:46 AM
    I'm assuming that by basic curb your talking about a tom thumb. I have seen hundreds of horses ridden quite happily in tom thumbs. Use what works for your horse.
        11-07-2011, 10:49 AM
    Yes sorry... it is a toms thumb. Is it normal for him to want to keep pressure with the bit though? Its like he needs to know its there to perform the other speeds after walk. And he does great in it.
        11-07-2011, 11:17 AM
    Kait, it's normal for gaited horses to want mouth pressure, most of the time that's how they've been trained.
        11-07-2011, 11:29 AM
    A curb bit can be a harsh bit. If used incorrectly, because he was trained in it I would continue to use it, also the angle on the shanks and lenght of the shanks differ the harshness. If the shanks are straight , they have a stronger effect then the angled shanks. The mouth peice also changes te effect of the bit, a thicker mouth peice is milder. Your horse seems to really rely on the bit, so if I were you I would go with eaither a sweet iron with copper inlay and a bent 4" shank, or just a plain copper 4" bent shank. The copper will also help the horse salivate. Hope this helps:)
        11-07-2011, 11:56 AM
    Maxand froggy - he salivates all over this bit. I think I will try a plain copper bit to see if he likes that a bit better.

    Thanks everyone
        11-07-2011, 12:28 PM
    I agree with max. The thing I like the least about the TT is that the shanks are straight and hang next to the horses mouth. Many horses will get in the habit and taking the shanks in thier teeth. Having them bent back out of the way not only makes this immpossible but also slows the action of the bit and gives your horse a chance to respond.
        11-07-2011, 12:46 PM
    Very interesting... never knew that kevin. Thanks
        11-07-2011, 06:44 PM
    A Billy Allen / Myler type bit would be my far preferred choice.

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