Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
Strictly speaking, they are not all Tom Thumbs. I assume here that you're referring to what we call a TT in the US. What the Aussies and British call a TT is a different bit altogether.
The US TT has straight shanks. Other jointed shanked bits, for example the "Argentine snaffle" has curved shanks. By having straight shanks, the TT is very unforgiving, since there's no "warning" or soft start when you apply pressure. It's pretty much on or off. The curved shanks of other jointed bits gives some warning before the big pressure kicks in.
However, if you play with any jointed, shanked bit, you'll see that the mechanics and the pressure points (bars, tongue, chin, etc) are the same for most of them. Being a direct-reiner, I don't like any of them, because I find the signals confusing and not very direct.
You say you want to try a snaffle-type roller bit with shanks. There is no such thing. A snaffle bit, by definition, has a direct line from your hand to the bit. 1 pound of pressure from you is 1 pound on the bit. Once a bit has shanks, there is more pressure on the horse's mouth than what your hand is applying. Then it is no longer a snaffle - jointed mouthpiece or not. Once you have shanks, the physics, movement, pressure is no longer anything like what a snaffle is.
Why do you want to try a jointed, shanked bit? I'm not saying you shouldn't. Many horses use these bits. Does your horse direct-rein? If so, why not use a true snaffle? If you're currently using a shanked bit, is there a reason you want to go to a jointed one?
Last edited by freia; 12-28-2012 at 10:08 PM.