Tom Thumb description - discussion

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Tom Thumb description - discussion

This is a discussion on Tom Thumb description - discussion within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    08-12-2011, 06:31 AM
Tom Thumb description - discussion

BTW, that isn't a TT bit. That is simply a leverage bit. A true TT is a straight, short shanked bit that is rather unbalanced.
Tom Thumb.jpg
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    08-12-2011, 01:07 PM
It's a curved-shank Tom Thumb. It still has all of the other negative attributes, including the cheek piece that digs in at the side, the big, poorly finished central joint, the lack of contouring in the mouthpiece, and the extremely limited movement at the mouthpiece/shank connection.
    08-12-2011, 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
It's a curved-shank Tom Thumb. .
Afraid not. It is a simple swept back leverage bit. The TT is short shanked and straight - regardless of what a tack shop calls it. Remember that tack shops refer to the TT as a Western Snaffle - which it isn't.
    08-12-2011, 05:03 PM
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
Afraid not. It is a simple swept back leverage bit. The TT is short shanked and straight - regardless of what a tack shop calls it. Remember that tack shops refer to the TT as a Western Snaffle - which it isn't.
And what it is does not change regardless of what you choose to call it, either.

In the UK, they call a broken Pelham a Tom Thumb.

In NZ, they call a short-cheeked Fulmer a Tom Thumb.

Here in the US, we call poorly-broken curb bits with certain identifying characteristics Tom Thumbs.

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a's probably a computer generated image with a man's voice on an insurance commercial?
    08-12-2011, 05:10 PM
Bubba, your reply makes no sense. The OP is in the US and I refered to the TT in those terms. The bit she shows in simply not a TT - period. Whatever else you are trying to say needs to be made clearer. If you are simply trying to make some kind of point such as saying that the bit is a TT, it's wrong. If there is any other point, I'm sorry that I'm not getting it.
    08-12-2011, 05:24 PM
My point is that you don't make the rules when it comes to tack terminology. Language develops from popular usage. With the exception of technical (scientific) terminology, language is "by the people and for the people." Definitions come from general consensus. If tack stores, and the bit maker, and educated trainers all call the OP's bit a Tom Thumb--and they do--then by jove it is a Tom Thumb. Because Tom Thumb is just a name, and not a definition. You can argue that it's not the same as the bit I posted, because it's not, really, having some variation in the shanks....but both will still fall into the general consensus Tom Thumb category. Because that's how people--the majority of people, not one individual, who has not, by the way, authored Webster's--defined them.

tom thumb bit - Google Search

^ Unless everyone else is wrong and you (by the power and authority granted by....whom?) have somehow made some edict to the contrary.
    08-12-2011, 06:03 PM
With that thinking, then it must also be a Western Snaffle - ridiculous. Calling something by a wrong name does not make it so - no matter how many or who says it.
tinyliny likes this.
    08-12-2011, 06:11 PM
Snaffle has a concrete, agreed-upon definition: It is a shankless bit with no leverage. All other variables are up in the air. This is not the case with the TT, which has an ambiguous definition from the outset (we're already looking at three different countries with three different TT definitions, and when it comes to your "true" American Tom Thumb, even the straight-shanked version often have the tiniest bit of are they not TT's, either?).

Now, in common Western terminology, it is gradually becoming more and more acceptable to refer to a single-jointed mouth as a "snaffle mouth," knowing full well that such a bit is not a true snaffle, but meaning to shorten the terminology of the mouthpiece from "single jointed and broken." Hence your Argentine snaffle, etc., which of course is not a true snaffle, but which comes with the attached moniker regardless. The "snaffle" debate has been hashed out even by big-name "cowboy" trainers in mainstream equine magazines.
    08-12-2011, 06:18 PM

At what point do the above pictures cease to show Tom Thumbs, according to your definition? Even the first one's shanks are not perfectly straight....
    08-12-2011, 06:23 PM
Bubba, we are taking this thread away from the OP so if you really want to continue this then I suggest starting another thread.

EDIT:(This is the new thread)

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