tom thumb bit

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tom thumb bit

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    10-21-2007, 03:55 PM
tom thumb bit

I've been told to use a tom thumb bit on my horse. But I've heard bad things about them. Mainly that they're confusing to the horse when you direct rein because of the way the apply pressure. Does anyone here have any firsthand experience with this bit?
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    10-21-2007, 05:00 PM
A TT is a poor communication device and I would never use one on any of my horses. I rode an appy/tb cross in one (simply because that's what the owner had in his mouth at the time and they offered me to ride him) and it definitely felt like he was confused, and I didn't like the feel it gave me, or lack there of. A TT, in my opinion, is a piece of crap
    10-22-2007, 12:10 AM
Yeah, not good for direct reining at all. The tt is especially bad because you are combining a shank with all the moving parts of a snaffle: the shanks swivel, the broken mouthpiece moves, you've got the action of the curb chain and poll pressure from the bridle.

What this boils down to, is that every time you pull on one rein, you are putting pressure on BOTH sides of the mouth because the action of the shank affects the hinged mouthpiece. Add to that the curb chain and the poll pressure from the bridle, and you've got a muddy mess of signals that your horse isn't going to understand at all.

I've never ridden with a tt and I don't plan to: the mechanics just don't add up to anything approaching logic.
    10-22-2007, 03:42 AM
A curb chain on a tom thumb, I must be thinking of the wrong bit. Are you talking about the bit that is just like a snaffle but has another part that is solid on the sides. Hard to explain isnt it. Like it has the bars on the sides to stop the bit going through the horses mouth. ??????????

If its the bit I am thinking of this old horse breaker I know has always said to use them on a young horse to begin with or for the unexperienced rider so they don't pull the bit in through the horses mouth.

I used one on my pony when he was young and it seemed fine to me although he has an exceptionally good mouth. I just ride him in an ordinary snaffle now though. I think the tt seemed no different to the snaffle.
    10-22-2007, 08:25 AM
It depends on what you want to do with your horse. If just trail riding etc - go with snaffle, which is milder (depends a lot on snaffle as well, some can be harsher than certain tt). But as far as I know you can't show western in snaffle. I may be wrong, but that what I was told by showing people.
    10-22-2007, 10:15 AM
Hi, I'm new to the forum but certainly not to horses. The Tom Thumb is pretty much the standard western trail bit - but then most western horses neck rein. The TT, to answer another's question, is a snaffle with shanks that allow for the use of curb strap.

If you want the extra control the shanks offer then try one with a Billy Allen mouth piece. It is similar to the TT except that the two halves of the mouth piece are joined by a "barrel" so that they move independently and one side does not effect the other.
    10-22-2007, 11:49 AM
Originally Posted by slew
A curb chain on a tom thumb, I must be thinking of the wrong bit. Are you talking about the bit that is just like a snaffle but has another part that is solid on the sides.
Think you are talking about a full-cheek snaffle, different bit.
    10-23-2007, 08:28 AM
Great article on the Tom Thumb:
    10-23-2007, 10:57 AM
Nice article, he goes into a lot of detail!
    10-24-2007, 05:55 AM
Interesting article on the tt bit!

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