tom thumb

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tom thumb

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    02-28-2012, 12:37 AM
tom thumb

Can sombody tell me whats so bad about them? And could someone get a close up pic of one? I googled it but couldnt really see it good.
Im pretty sure that's what I have and have always used them but they have never seemed to be harsh???
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    02-28-2012, 12:38 AM
Tom Thumb bit.........

why do so many people object to Tomb Thumbs and dislike them?
    02-28-2012, 12:45 AM
As you can see we have had this discussion....A lot...

I am open to most any bit as long as the horse likes it and works well in it, but good luck finding one that really likes a true tom thumb.....I know of only one and I still don't know if it's actual fondness of the bit or a lot of tolerance.
    02-28-2012, 12:53 AM
Green Broke
Exactly..This has been discussed many times..There are a lot of different opinions and ideas about a tom thumb..I personally, don't like them and won't use them..

TTs can send very mixed messages to your horse even in the best and lightest hands..If your heavy handed and are all over the place you're seriously going to cause some damage..I've heard everything from they are hasrh, light, pinch, not enough, too much..the's really a personal preference but I don't like them, many people don't like them, and won't use them. If you're in your horses mouth too much, sending mixed signals, and asking for forward motion the only place your horse can go to get relief from that pressure if up..and no one likes or wants their horse to rear and possibly flip.
    02-28-2012, 01:26 AM
I've been using curbs with broken mouthpieces for years and haven't flipped a horse yet.

Me and my horses do well with them. Honest!
    02-28-2012, 02:32 AM
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I've been using curbs with broken mouthpieces for years and haven't flipped a horse yet.

Me and my horses do well with them. Honest!
Do you have true Tom Thumbs or just single jointed shanks?
    02-28-2012, 10:14 AM
Thanks! Iv never seen a problem with them but im going to tsc this weekend, I think im guna buy a new bit, see if theres a change. What kind do you like?
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    02-28-2012, 12:32 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Do you have true Tom Thumbs or just single jointed shanks?
Both. I guess to be honest I haven't ridden in the typical tom thumb for years, unless you count the day I forgot my bridle and had to borrow one from a friend when we trailered out. It was an interesting day, my horse got stuck trying to turn around in the horse trailer, I forgot my bridle, I ended up borrowing a bridle that was an upside down true tom thumb without a curb strap. We did 16 miles that day in a makeshift bridle!

Anyhow, I mostly own things like this:

I know there has been some discussion on how they are not true tom thumbs exactly, because the shanks are a little swept back and such, but still, I can't think there is that much difference to the horse. I doubt they say "hey, wait a minute, this isn't a tom thumb, it's an argentine snaffle."

But maybe I am blind to the nuances.

Lately I have been riding more and more in normal short-shanked ported curbs, because my Fox Trotter seems to like those better, but before I got her the handful of horses I've had have always done better in a broken curb than a solid curb.

I do keep a loose rein at the walk and light handed contact at the trot and canter, unless the horse gets really go-y and then I have to use more contact than I would like (only the Fox Trotter, my Mustang is soft at the canter as well). I also ride two handed a lot. I just trail ride so nothing fancy, but I do pride myself on light hands. I feel my horses are softer and more responsive than when I got them. So I don't think I am ruining them by any stretch of the imagination. Part of that is communication though. The longer you have a horse the more you know what each other is thinking.
    02-28-2012, 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by shandasue    
thanks! Iv never seen a problem with them but im going to tsc this weekend, I think im guna buy a new bit, see if theres a change. What kind do you like?
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It depends on your horse and your budget. If your horse is used to a curb, just a quality short shanked curb is nice. I like between 5-6 inch shanks. Most of them are longer than that. Something like this:

This is called a "C-bit" by Reinsman. They are around $40. But there is a nice knock-off out there as well that I got for around $20. I don't know who makes it, maybe Abetta or Metalab or something.

A lot of folks on here will tell you to go to a french link snaffle. I don't ride in a plain snaffle very much, I like a little bit of leverage. But I have 18 and 19 yr old trail horses. Your horse and riding conditions may be different.
    02-28-2012, 04:39 PM
Well the straight shanks offer absolutely NO warning to the horse when you pick up the rein. I am not against using a single joint with a shank completely, but I wouldn't use it as a first choice. The swept back shanks offer a lot more warning instead of BAY-UM, insta-face-contact. Or at least, that's the biggest problem with those shanks.

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