Dreaded Tom Thumb
   

       The Horse Forum > Horse Tack > Horse Tack and Equipment

Dreaded Tom Thumb

This is a discussion on Dreaded Tom Thumb within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

    Like Tree11Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        09-17-2013, 12:39 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Dreaded Tom Thumb

    After graduating from his snaffle, my trainer put my horse into a Tom Thumb. I didn't know much about bits at the time, and assumed that the Tom Thumb was normal, and was told it is not harsh because it is broken with short shanks. He has done very well in it, and has shown no signs of pain.

    While he has worked well in it, I have done more research and haven't found much information supporting the claims of this being a mild bit. In fact, I've found a lot of information saying it is overly harsh.

    For no particular reason, other than feeling like some change, I put him in his loose ring snaffle he was started in recently. Other than needing more reminders to stay collected, he has worked extremely well in it. I don't feel he needs to be in a Tom Thumb if he works well in his baby snaffle, but I do like a shank because he is gaited and it's much easier to keep him collected in a short shank.

    I am looking to switch him into another bit, but my old trainer said anything other than the Tom Thumb would be harsh.. After some research on mouth pieces, I am thinking of looking into a French Link mouth piece, with a short swept back shank like his current one.


    I chose the french link over the solid mouth piece because at one point, another trainer put my mother's horse's bit in his mouth, a similar shank length and sweep, but with a solid mouth piece. He FREAKED OUT. So a solid mouth piece is out of the question.

    My issue is, I do not know the name of the bit I am looking for? I would like to compare his current bit to bits in store to get my measurements, and then purchase a bit online because I am a college student on a budget. I have tried to search ebay, but don't know the 'name' of this bit.

    What would I search to find a French-link mouth piece short shank bit? Like this
    Western French Link Training Bit | eBay
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        09-17-2013, 12:41 AM
      #2
    Foal
    He also rides nice in a halter, if that matters. I don't take him on trail like that though, because he has only been under saddle a year and a half and has his moments, like any horse.
         
        09-17-2013, 01:06 AM
      #3
    Super Moderator
    So, you look for a curb bit (any shanked bit is a curb bit) with either what they call a french link, or a lozenge, or a "dog-bone". All those are names for a double jointed mouthpiece, with shanked sides.
    One of the reasons that the TT is so reviled by some is that the utterly straight angle of the shanks gives no "pre-signal". It' brings the curb chain into play a lot faster than a swept back shank design.

    But, if your horse goes well in the TT, you should not worry about what others say. Lots of folks ride in a TT. It's just that what you think is "goes well" might not be as good as he really could go. A lot of folks think that a horse that really breaks his neck over and gives to the bit a lot , is "going well". I don't think so much of that if it also means the horse comes behind the bit and you have nothing really there when you pick up the reins, since the horse avoids all contact and response to the bit, other than to shrink away from it.
    Wallaby, bsms, Incitatus32 and 1 others like this.
         
        09-17-2013, 06:48 AM
      #4
    Started
    If you horse is working well in the snaffle, why change bits? Mine get rode in a snaffle and only switch to a curb for the shows.
    BornToRun, DuffyDuck and gssw5 like this.
         
        09-17-2013, 09:37 AM
      #5
    Green Broke
    I never liked broken shanked bits for a walker, always used a mild curb, but based on the description this is what you are looking for. May not be what you need . LOL,,, but Im using it on my arabian with good results.
    Cactus Saddlery Junior Cowhand Dogbone Bit w/ Roller
    BarrelracingArabian and bsms like this.
         
        09-17-2013, 09:49 AM
      #6
    Trained
    I've had pretty good results using a bit Joe like mentioned (Jr Cow Horse dogbone), other than it is hard to get it in my horse's mouth...tends to catch on her tongue going in.





    However, having wasted a good chunk of money on bits, there is a lot to be said for sticking with a bit that works well.
         
        09-17-2013, 10:28 AM
      #7
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    But, if your horse goes well in the TT, you should not worry about what others say. Lots of folks ride in a TT. It's just that what you think is "goes well" might not be as good as he really could go. A lot of folks think that a horse that really breaks his neck over and gives to the bit a lot , is "going well". I don't think so much of that if it also means the horse comes behind the bit and you have nothing really there when you pick up the reins, since the horse avoids all contact and response to the bit, other than to shrink away from it.
    I believe, from my not that awesome amount of bit knowledge, that he does truly go well in the bit. He is always 'on the bit', not avoiding contact. He slobbers like crazy. He doesn't toss his head, or anything like that. He honestly goes as well in it as he does in the snaffle. Only difference I can see is it takes a different action from me to collect him in the snaffle, which I am not used to, and he brings his nose up more often in the snaffle, so I have to work on keeping him collected more.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gigem88    
    If you horse is working well in the snaffle, why change bits? Mine get rode in a snaffle and only switch to a curb for the shows.

    I am going to have to purchase a new bit either way. This snaffle doesn't quite work because the rings are the biggest I have ever seen on a bit, and they flop around on his cheeks as soon as we go faster than a walk. I have had trainers check that it fits and adjusts properly, and they all said it was the oversized rings.

    I honestly prefer small shanks, because I have always rode in them, and am just so used to the feel.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe4d    
    I never liked broken shanked bits for a walker, always used a mild curb, but based on the description this is what you are looking for. May not be what you need . LOL,,, but Im using it on my arabian with good results.
    Cactus Saddlery Junior Cowhand Dogbone Bit w/ Roller
    Excuse the ignorance for a moment, I am barely learning about the facinating bit world, but what is the difference between a 'broken shanked bit' and a 'mild curb'? I think I have always understood those to be the same thing.

    I like the look of that bit. May I ask why you don't like broken shanks for walkers?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    

    However, having wasted a good chunk of money on bits, there is a lot to be said for sticking with a bit that works well.
    I have just found that whenever people at the barn get talking about bits, and I mention I have mine in a Tom Thumb, people act like I bought a horse for the sole purpose of ribbing his jaw clear off of his head.
         
        09-17-2013, 10:48 AM
      #8
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oliveoats    
    ...I have just found that whenever people at the barn get talking about bits, and I mention I have mine in a Tom Thumb, people act like I bought a horse for the sole purpose of ribbing his jaw clear off of his head.
    Unhappily, there is a lot of bad info floating around the horse world about bits. People will tell you the the thickest bit is gentlest, ignoring the fact that horses with thick tongues often HATE thick bits. I've heard often enough that NO HORSE should ever be ridden in any type of curb bit, because all curbs are cruel and show the horse is badly trained. Yet my mare acts happier with a curb than with a snaffle. She relaxes more and has made a lot of progress in calming down since we made the switch.

    I thought this bit would be an easier bit for my horse, but the jury is still out after a half dozen rides. I like it, but I'm not convinced my HORSE agrees. She'll do fine for 20 minutes, acts fussy for 3, then go fine for an hour. Why? I dunno. I may go back to the bit I posted above.



    Tom Thumbs are supposed to be bad, but a lot of horses go fine in them. They are supposed to be confusing to the horse, but if a horse HAS figured it out, and responds to light pressure...how bad is that? I would never recommend someone go out and buy one, but if the horse already knows it and behaves...then maybe they get a choice.

    It can be a tough call. And no matter what you decide, someone will still think you are cruel...
    tinyliny likes this.
         
        09-17-2013, 11:29 AM
      #9
    Yearling
    I'm with Tiny Liny and bsms, no matter what bit you use people can (and sometimes will) call you cruel. Horses are individuals and have individual tastes, I knew a morgan that went in the highest ported, roughest bit our barn had and loved it. My mare loves a TT and my gelding loves his snaffle. I have never ripped my mares jaw off of her head lol any bit can be as bad if now worse than a TT, it's all up to the rider on how it's used. If your guy love his TT I say let him keep it, after all it's his mouth I suppose so whatever makes him comfortable. :) Good luck with your search though!
         
        09-17-2013, 11:31 AM
      #10
    Super Moderator
    There is a fundamental difference between "snaffle" and "curb".
    The broken or not broken or double jointed mouthpiece can be had in a snaffle. ANY bit that has NO shanks at all , is a kind of snaffle.

    ANY bit that has shanks of any kind, (and even a Kimblewick could be considered a form of "shank" becuase the offset holes for the reins can create leverage), is a Curb bit. If it has a jointed mouthpiece, but also has shanks, it is still a curb bit.
    oliveoats likes this.
         

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Is this a Tom Thumb? WesternBella Horse Tack and Equipment 21 01-14-2014 10:10 AM
    Tom thumb Allymisty Horse Tack and Equipment 8 11-07-2012 05:18 PM
    Tom Thumb Bits? LikeaTB Horse Tack and Equipment 2 06-21-2012 10:56 PM
    tom thumb shandasue Horse Tack and Equipment 23 03-01-2012 04:17 PM
    Tom Thumb? noddy Horse Tack and Equipment 26 04-26-2011 12:31 AM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:31 AM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0