Originally Posted by trailhorserider
I guess it depends on how you were trained to ride. I come from the western riding world and you'll be hard pressed to find any other curb as mild as a kimberwicke! It is practically as mild a curb bit as you can find!
I am not saying not to use a kimberwicke because they're too harsh but because they're too confusing. Allow me to restate what I have tried to say before: curb = brakes, snaffle = steering. Kimberwickes are typically used in english disciplines wherein it is necessary to maintain a certain level of contact with the horse's mouth. When you use a kimberwicke, the brakes (curb action) are engaged along with the steering (snaffle action) and the result is not good!
Curbs are perfectly fine for western riders on a looser rein with neck reining and seat/leg steering... NOT when you are riding in an english manner with contact and direct reining.
Thus I will repeat; if you need the extra power of the curb while riding english, get a pelham
so that you can separate the signals (brakes and steering) and save the horse a lot more frustration and confusion. And make sure you know exactly when to use which signal!
If you do use the tom thumb, just don't use it for direct reining.