Is this a Tom Thumb?

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Is this a Tom Thumb?

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  • Tomb thumb with copper and roller
  • What affect does a Antique Short S Transition Bit have on a horse

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    06-28-2012, 05:38 PM
Is this a Tom Thumb?

Please keep this civil and friendly, thanks!

I have been using this bit ever since I bought my horse from my coach, she had told us which bit to use and it happened to be this one.

I've heard many different thing about this bit, someone told me that this is very soft and gentle, it's a training bit, etc.

But on some websites it's listed as a Tom Thumb. So I looked it up and saw some people saying that it's not, a Tom Thumb has straight shanks. is it??

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    06-28-2012, 05:41 PM
Super Moderator
Yes, it is. At least close enough to not make a significant difference.
Not soft, not gentle.
DraftyAiresMum likes this.
    06-28-2012, 05:54 PM
Okay so *dont kill me*...
But I don't see what's so bad about it,

My horse does absolutely fine in it, he has never had an issue with it before.
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    06-28-2012, 06:29 PM
A single joint cracks down on the tongue and the shanks add leverage so therefore causes more pinch on the tongue. That's just a nutshell. I do not like any single joints with shanks, some are better than others. The only differance between this bit and a true Tom thumb is the slight sweep in the shanks. So, you are giving your horse a tiny bit more warning before pressure is applied to the mouth. Still I do not like it. It is not soft.
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Allison Finch likes this.
    06-28-2012, 06:41 PM
Super Moderator
What sort of bit is that you have on your avatar horse, Sorrel horse?
    06-28-2012, 08:03 PM
Honestly anything that is a tom thumb is cheap and eventually cause problems. Some horses may be ok with it and others are not but you will be amazed on the results with your horse when you get a decent bit. You get what you pay for! :)

Trouble with Tom Thumb
    06-28-2012, 08:32 PM
Yes, it's a Tom Thumb. It has a better design than the TTs that are typically seen but, IMHO, there are still much better bits out there.

But, that's just coming from my own personal bias because I don't like how any bit with shanks and a jointed mouth feels. All that being said, if your horse seems to do well in it and you ride with super soft hands, then I see no real reason to change it unless you just want to try something different.
Wallaby and Kaleighlg like this.
    06-28-2012, 09:19 PM
As others have stated, this is a tom thumb. It just has copper rollers/inlays and slightly swept back shanks. This is not a bad bit, it isn't as gentle as many people believe however. When you pull on the shanks, the joint nutcrackers up and can put pressure on the palate of the horse as well as pinching the bars.

Honestly I don't like these much either. I feel like there are many other hundreds of bits out there that are more clear when you signal (your cue can get lost in that palate pressure) and less harsh. If you want to stick to something jointed, I'd recommend getting something with two joints in the middle. My favorite (and my horse's favorites so far) is a small copper roller in the middle of two joints. I think its commonly called a "berry" or something similar. I have one gelding that does well in a french link also. I have several variations on that type of bit.

The shanks being swept back (rather than straight in line with the purchase) means that its a little less harsh as it gives the horse some warning that pressure is coming before it actually comes. It gives them a chance to react appropriately to your cues without being surprised and scared by them.

I agree with smrobs also however. Don't feel like you have to change. Any bit is only as soft as the rider's hands. That applies from the mildest snaffle to the most severe correction bit.

Here's my favorite:
Metalab Antique Short S Transition Bit ,
Kaleighlg likes this.
    06-29-2012, 09:19 PM
I'm not a fan of Tom Thumb bits- horses don't respond well to them.
    06-29-2012, 09:23 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
^ I'm fairly sure that the bit that SorrelHorse has in her avatar is a Wonder Bit. We used one that looks very similar on Corona for a while.

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