Every time I think I know about bits, a wrench gets thrown into things. - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-04-2012, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Every time I think I know about bits, a wrench gets thrown into things.

Okay. So, I thought I knew all about the common bits and whatnot. I read through the Bits stickies at the top of the page, but a lot of the pictures don't show up any more and thus can't give me too much information. Most of the people on here seem to be very against the Tom Thumb bit:

Tom Thumb bit.jpg

I can see why, but here's where I'm confused. I was under the impression that the tomb thumb bit was bad because it's a broken bit with long and fairly straight shanks. So why is it that the Tom Thumb is bad, but every other kind of bit that combines a broken mouthpiece with shanks is fine? I read about it all the time on here, where someone will be riding in X bit, and my reaction is wait, isn't that like a tom thumb? But nobody seems to care, which leads me to believe I'm wrong. But I see TONS of broken mouthed shanked bits for sale EVERYWHERE and so many people use them. Isn't combining a broken mouthpiece with any kind of leverage system exactly why we all don't like the tom thumb? Because it puts pressure in so many places and is confusing to the horse? Or am I completely wrong on this?

Edit: Also, broken mouthed curb bits. I feel like those, too, are like Tom Thumbs. But like I said, I may be completely wrong.

Last edited by Shoebox; 11-04-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-04-2012, 06:13 PM
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the shanks on the bit above are so harsh because they are so straight. They give a "right now" response without giving the horse any notice that a command is about to be given. I don't and will not ride in any broken mouth straight or curved shanked bit period. I believe the curb action with the nutcracker action is just too much.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-04-2012, 07:05 PM
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It comes from the thinking that the Tom Thumb is a transition bit from a snaffle to a a curb. All it does is confuse a horse when used like a snafflle, two handed riding. The purchase digs into the face creating conflicting signals. Also it is horribly balanced, the horse needs to be on the vertical for the bit to be in the neutral position. And the straightness from the shanks cause for an immediate cue, no pre signal.

Even a broken mouthpiece with swept back shanks and a dee create a different balance and pre signal making it a slightly better version. Tom thumbs are cheap, most that don't want to spend the money on a quality bit usually don't understand how the bit works anyhow.
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