Next Step up From a Tom Thumb Bit?
 
 

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Next Step up From a Tom Thumb Bit?

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  • Are tom thumb roller bit severe
  • Next step up from tom thumb bit

 
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    03-10-2009, 06:20 PM
  #1
Weanling
Lightbulb Next Step up From a Tom Thumb Bit?

When I first got my gelding he had only been ridden in a snaffle a few times. Mainly they rode him in a mechanical hack. Anyway, I started out using a snaffle then worked my way up to a tom thumb. Now I'm just wondering what would be the next step from here? Which bit should I progress to from the tom thumb? I've heard the tom thumb be called something else, but I can't remember the name. So for those of you who don't recognize it by this name here is a picture:






Thanks for your input!! :)
     
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    03-10-2009, 06:39 PM
  #2
Weanling
Why didnt you keep him in the snaffle?
     
    03-10-2009, 07:08 PM
  #3
Weanling
He wasn't responding to it as well as when he first started. Its not like he's hard mouthed, he just wasn't responding well to it. So I stepped it up a little. Now we are starting the same thing. I rode him in the snaffle for about 4 months before he started having issues with it. I was then told by my neighbor (a WP trainer) to try to step up to the next bit I.e. The tom thumb. I haven't gotten a chance to talk to her as she has been in PA doing some training and I was just curious as to what you guys thought. He's been in the tom thumb for nearly 3 months now.....
     
    03-10-2009, 07:54 PM
  #4
Showing
I think you would have more success going back to the regular snaffle and working on his responsiveness and softness. Since the problems have re-emerged with the new bit, that is what will keep happening with every bit that you try and eventually, there will be no more bits to try and you will be stuck with an unresponsive horse with a ruined mouth. I am very against using a tom thumb bit because it can be very harsh and cause more problems than it solves. I would suggest that you go back to the snaffle and work on his training.
     
    03-10-2009, 07:58 PM
  #5
Foal
Tom Thumbs are a cruel bit. Try using a nutcracker on your finger, and you will get the general idea.


Becoming less responsive is usually a training issue, rather than needing a stronger bit. My horse is 11 years old, and she is still in a snaffle.

Rule out any dental problems too.
     
    03-10-2009, 08:13 PM
  #6
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
I think you would have more success going back to the regular snaffle and working on his responsiveness and softness. Since the problems have re-emerged with the new bit, that is what will keep happening with every bit that you try and eventually, there will be no more bits to try and you will be stuck with an unresponsive horse with a ruined mouth. I am very against using a tom thumb bit because it can be very harsh and cause more problems than it solves. I would suggest that you go back to the snaffle and work on his training.
Agree 100%. I am dead set against any shanked jointed bit as they all act like a nutcracker in the mouth. I suspect there has been holes in the training of this horse or that he was moved out of a useful bit (snaffle)before he was ready.

Go back to the snaffle and if you must have a shanked bit to use to show in don't get one that has a jointed mouthpiece.
     
    03-10-2009, 08:18 PM
  #7
Foal
I agree with everyone else. You should probably see if you can use a less severe bit if at all possible. Tom Thumbs are one of the worst bits Trouble with Tom Thumb Sorry I couldn't find the article with pictures.

However if you do want another shanked bit that is a "step up" (even though it is less severe) I would try a short shanked curb with a medium or low port. These bits are everywhere and thus easy to find
     
    03-10-2009, 08:59 PM
  #8
Foal
If you are just riding for pleasure a snaffle is great and use that

But if you are showing in a western class with a horse over 5yo you must show it in a shanked bit, so I guess my point is a snaffle is great but its illegal in the pen when showing western in a horse over 5 years old. Snaffles are great for training and teaching correct technique but in the show pen not realistic. There are my different shanked bits out there, one peice, two piece or even 3 piece. I prefer and use a short shanked 3 piece bit to show my horses western in.
     
    03-10-2009, 08:59 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
I think you would have more success going back to the regular snaffle and working on his responsiveness and softness. Since the problems have re-emerged with the new bit, that is what will keep happening with every bit that you try and eventually, there will be no more bits to try and you will be stuck with an unresponsive horse with a ruined mouth. I am very against using a tom thumb bit because it can be very harsh and cause more problems than it solves. I would suggest that you go back to the snaffle and work on his training.
I agree with this post. I would try a three-piece full cheek bit, like this one:

Metalab SS Full Cheek w- Coppe and Full Cheek Bits-EQUESTRIAN COLLECTIONS.COM

With this bit you have more contact and communication than a regular single jointed bit, the copper roller softens the mouth, the cheek pieces help direct the horse a little while turning, and the whole thing will help soften his mouth back up to a more gentle bit.

I would go back in your training with him, working on giving to pressure on the bit and working on using your other aids more (seat, leg, and voice). The bit should only be a refining aid, not your first or only line of communication.
     
    03-10-2009, 09:34 PM
  #10
Weanling
Wow! Thank you for the advice. I especially found that article posted by MajeuticManege to be very helpful. I am a little upset that my trainer told me to bump up to a tom thumb now. Especially after reading that article. I think I will go back to the snaffle for now and work there again. I may try the three-piece full cheek bit though. After I have Bandit go through a refresher with the snaffle. I KNOW for a fact that its not a dental issue as his teeth were just floated last month. He had a full float, odontoplasty, and bit seats. Anyway, I will just go back to the snaffle before any more harm is done. Thanks again guys, I really appreciate it!
     

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