Tom Thumb Woes - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 11-05-2010, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
Question Tom Thumb Woes

Hey folks, I just rode a new horse today whose owner has it in a tom thumb. She knows I am an english rider and claims to have a dressage background, but said the tom thumb is hardly harsher than an eggbutt snaffle. Which of course makes me shudder. But long story short: she doesn't want to change the bit.

The horse has issues with its head and the neck reining isn't up to speed because she won't turn with leg cues. Which means I need to direct rein on occasion, which with the tom thumb just results in head-tossing and frustration. So here's my question: the bit is like the one pictured, so it has an additional ring directly next to the mouthpiece. If I attach the reins there instead of on the end of the shanks, and leave the curb chain on, how much less harsh will the bit become? Or should I abandon the curb chain entirely?

amandaisepic is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 11-05-2010, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Greenville area / SC
Posts: 13,165
• Horses: 3
Are you acting as a trainer or are you looking at the horse to lease or purchase?

In any case, and to begin with, the bit you show is not a TT. This is an American TT (a European or Australian is different - more of a full cheek snaffle).
Tom Thumb.jpg

The bit you show is a 3 piece curb with a gag action and twists that act on the bars.

If this is a horse that you are going to buy then whatever you decide for him is up to you once you own him. If he is to lease then you need to respect the choice of the owner unless you can convince them otherwise. If you are the trainer then they need to respect your choice after you give them a reasonable explanation and prove your point.

As to the other part of your question, you can put your reins on the rings by the mouth piece and it will act like a snaffle. The curb chain will have no effect so you can leave it or take it off - makes no difference. The bit, as a snaffle, will still be somewhat harsher then a smooth mouth but more gentle then using it as a curb.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.

Last edited by iridehorses; 11-05-2010 at 07:47 PM.
iridehorses is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 11-05-2010, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
Thanks for your response--I know the bit above isn't a tom thumb, just an example of the 3rd rein ring, in the center, near the mouthpiece. I'm kind of training this mare, it's just basically a free exercise agreement. I'll be riding her a couple times a week. The owner said it was okay to remove the curb chain and attach the reins to the middle ring, which is weird because that pretty much negates the action of the tom thumb.
amandaisepic is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 11-05-2010, 09:41 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 41,070
• Horses: 2
I wonder why she isn't open to trying new things? Maybe you could sneak in a nice plain snaffle, or a double jointed one, like a french link and ride the horse in that. IF you see an improvement, you could demonstrate your reasoning for your requested change.
tinyliny is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 11-05-2010, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 0
If this isn't your horse, don't sneak anything. Always be right upfront with the owner and tell her exactly what you are doing and why. Go ahead and move the reins up to the snaffle rings (the ones beside the mouthpiece) and see how that goes. I would personally probably just go ahead and leave the curb chain on there, just make it where it's pretty darn loose as that will secure the bit that much more (I use curb straps on all my regular snaffles too). Just keep mentioning that you would really like to see how she goes in a loose ring/d-ring or whatever you would like to use. Maybe if you bug her about it enough, she'll at least give it a chance
smrobs is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 11-06-2010, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 15
• Horses: 1
Tiny, I do love french links, but I agree with smrobs that I'm gonna be honest with her. That's why I outright asked her how attached she was to the bit. I guess I'll leave the curb strap on and just loosen it--it's pretty tight at the moment. I'll also use longer reins, these reins were the shortest I'd ever seen. I just think short reins + tom thumb + owner that thinks tom thumb is like an eggbutt snaffle = very frustrated horse.

Thanks guys!
amandaisepic is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leaser woes... HeartMyOTTB Horse Talk 0 08-12-2009 10:35 PM
Deworming Woes Britt Horse Health 12 11-17-2008 11:48 AM
Avater Woes carriedenaee General Off Topic Discussion 8 06-26-2008 11:21 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome