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tom thumb bit

This is a discussion on tom thumb bit within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Different types of bits
  • English bits

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    10-24-2007, 04:55 AM
Interesting article on the tt bit!
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    10-24-2007, 04:56 AM
Great article on the tt bit!
    10-26-2007, 05:28 AM
I haven't seen the use of the TT that much althought my instructors husband John O'Leary uses them for breakers although he always has a plastic covering over it. However, once the horse is broken it goes straight into a snaffle with mainly no problems. I don't know alot about them so I can't help first hand.. This is all I know.
    10-27-2007, 03:57 PM
I use the Tom Thumb bit and it works perfectly fine. Maybe your horse just doesn't work good with the Tom Thumb bit. Horses work with certain bits. Tom Thumb bits work well for western.
    10-27-2007, 05:30 PM
I just tried the TT bit on her today and she worked great. She didn't give me any problems. I guess it works just fine for her.
    10-28-2007, 01:39 PM
I have heard that there are 2 different types of bits that are referred to as TomThumbs.

One is a western bit with shanks like this:

The other is an english bit similar to full cheek. Like this:
    10-29-2007, 08:11 AM
Hi Appyt,

The Tom Thumb is always a leverage bit and therefore has shanks. The picture on top is correct but the bottom picture is a loose ring full cheek snaffle which is has no leverage and is not considered a TT.
    10-29-2007, 09:52 AM
Well it is in some countries, which is why I pointed the possible confusion out. Perhaps someone in Australia or the UK can comment as well..

I do know there are plenty of wrongly named bits out there. Take all the "shanked snaffles" in plenty of catalogs as an example, even Myler does it.. Drives me nuts. ;)
    10-29-2007, 11:44 PM
Yeah the bit at the bottom picture is what I have always thought is a tt bit. Maybe its an ozzie thing or something.
    11-07-2007, 12:34 PM
Re: tom thumb bit

Originally Posted by blossom856
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?
There is a good article on the problems with the Tom Thumb bit at

His basic point is it is neither snaffle or curb but a combination that just confuses horses.
I don't have one but as they are very popular where I live, I have ridden with them because it was what the owner put on the horse, and on those occasions it seemed to me the bit was annoying the horse. On one horse I asked the owner if I could change to a plain curb bit with a moderate port and short shanks that was in the tack room and the horse was calmer.

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