Tom Thumb bits on English schooling horses - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 10:07 PM
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When I worked for a YMCA camp, we leased our horses from a "vendor" type guy, and they all came with tack, tom thumbs were on every bridle. I guess they have them because they are cheap.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 10:16 PM
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IMHO, it's just a case of ignorance. Most folks don't have any desire to learn anything about the why's and the how's of using bits and go to the trouble to learn how a certain bit works and they just don't consider that something else might work better.

TTs are one of the most widely available bits, they are one of the cheapest, and they are advertised as being very mild and great for use as "breaking" bits, "transition" bits, and "colt" bits. They are also advertised as snaffles even though they aren't, by any stretch of the imagination. People see the broken mouth on them and automatically think "snaffle" and then make the leap from snaffle to "mild". That's about as far as they go when it comes to reasoning behind using that bit.

And, so, it simply maintains the circle of ignorance. The teachers don't know any better; therefore, the students won't know any better and when/if they get to the point that they are teaching others, then they just continue to spread the ignorance.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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IMHO, it's just a case of ignorance. Most folks don't have any desire to learn anything about the why's and the how's of using bits and go to the trouble to learn how a certain bit works and they just don't consider that something else might work better.

TTs are one of the most widely available bits, they are one of the cheapest, and they are advertised as being very mild and great for use as "breaking" bits, "transition" bits, and "colt" bits. They are also advertised as snaffles even though they aren't, by any stretch of the imagination. People see the broken mouth on them and automatically think "snaffle" and then make the leap from snaffle to "mild". That's about as far as they go when it comes to reasoning behind using that bit.

And, so, it simply maintains the circle of ignorance. The teachers don't know any better; therefore, the students won't know any better and when/if they get to the point that they are teaching others, then they just continue to spread the ignorance.
And the horses are the ones bearing the brunt of that ignorance. That makes me sad. I think of those sweet, responsive horses with those inexperienced kids with their hands all over the place with the TT bits, even going over jumps without any release. Ouch.
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-29-2012, 10:31 PM
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Yep. That's just one of those things that we see and can't help but cringe but know there really isn't much we can do about it other than try to educate those that do ask for help.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 04:27 PM
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I've only ever seen TT being used Western. I can't imagine it being a good bit for direct reining, much less in the hands of a 6 year old

My barn runs two 1-week horse camps each summer, and they use reins attached to the halter for any kids who haven't had riding experience (plus a leadline if needed) and put them on appropriate horses.

Do you know if they use those same bits any other time? I know the TT isn't show legal for dressage, not sure about any other English discipline, though...
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Do you know if they use those same bits any other time? I know the TT isn't show legal for dressage, not sure about any other English discipline, though...
I don't know. I was hoping to take a couple of lessons there to polish up a bit, but I'm going to find out about the bit thing first. I really don't want to be jumping in a TT. Wrong on so many levels.
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 08:14 PM
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I see so many threads bashing TT bits. But I've seen so many horses go just fine in them.

Like any other bit, it's the bodies behind the bit that makes the difference. Both the horse and the rider and how well they can work together to get the needed movements.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-30-2012, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I see so many threads bashing TT bits. But I've seen so many horses go just fine in them.

Like any other bit, it's the bodies behind the bit that makes the difference. Both the horse and the rider and how well they can work together to get the needed movements.
I agree. I have seen some horses who are very happy with them. The right horse with the right rider, and it seems fine. My confusion was that I didn't think it was a suitable bit for direct-reining, constant mouth contact, or untrained hands, and here it was being used for all 3.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-31-2012, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by freia View Post
I agree. I have seen some horses who are very happy with them. The right horse with the right rider, and it seems fine. My confusion was that I didn't think it was a suitable bit for direct-reining, constant mouth contact, or untrained hands, and here it was being used for all 3.
If the horses were working nicely, TT bits must not be as evil as we hear. *shrug*
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