What kind of bit is this?
   

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What kind of bit is this?

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  • What kind of bit should a horse over 5 be rode in
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    01-02-2011, 06:20 PM
  #1
Weanling
What kind of bit is this?

This is the bit I'm using right now with Chili - it's my friend's bridle & bit for her horse. The previous owner used a Jr Cowhorse - I messaged her earlier to find out what kind and size and she is supposed to let me know later tonight. In the meantime, I wanted to see what this kind is and if anyone can tell me if it's a good "fit" for a well broke horse and intermediate rider - who honestly knows DIDDLY about bits!

     
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    01-02-2011, 06:21 PM
  #2
Green Broke
It's a Tom Thumb ;)
Some people don't like them & think they're harsh, but a bit's only as harsh as the rider.
The thing with TT's is because they have a broken mouth & shanks, they can cause a "nut-cracker" effect, but they are meant for neckreining. I've used them on almost all my horses with good results. My one mare actually did the best in a TT over any other, even snaffles.
You can use them for direct reining, but you have to be more aware of your hands & how you're applying pressure.
     
    01-02-2011, 06:24 PM
  #3
Weanling
LR: Thank you. I thought she told me it was a Tom but when I asked her about it, she said it was a really gentle bit. When I researched bits, Tom Thumbs were supposedly harsh bits, so I'm confused!
     
    01-02-2011, 06:31 PM
  #4
Green Broke
They can be, but if your horse is experienced & you aren't hard on his mouth they work fine.
Alot of people think they are gentle because they are like a snaffle in looks, but I like shanks for leverage if you have a horse that needs it. If you don't, just don't put alot of pressure on the reins.
     
    01-02-2011, 06:38 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I find real life and the internet to be two different things when it comes to bits.

In real life, tom thumbs and their cousins (argentine snaffles, "training snaffles," etc.) are considered pretty mild bits and the horses like them really well. I ride my Mustang in something similar and probably have a collection of about 10 of these bits with different length shanks, different looks, etc. They are my favorite bit. If I could only own one bit to use on every horse I ride, this would be it.

However, on the internet, there seems to be this notion (mainly due to one article written by a trainer) that these are awful bits, are too strong, and confusing to the horse. Well, all I know is, that I have only ever ridden one horse that didn't ride well in a tom thumb. I swear I can use it on just about any horse with great results. Of course I have light hands and ride with little contact.

So I say if you have gentle hands and the horse does well in it, use what the horse goes well in. (But, I know most of this forum will likely disagree with me). I feel like the "Defender of the Tom Thumb."

An important PS. Your curb chain in attached in the wrong place. It should be fastened to the same rings that your headstall is attached. The big rings that you currently have your curb chain on are there in case you want to attach a rein as a snaffle with no leverage at all. It is not meant to be a curb chain attachment.

I have a feeling the curb chain is either too low or completely ineffective in the place it is now.
     
    01-02-2011, 06:51 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
An important PS. Your curb chain in attached in the wrong place. It should be fastened to the same rings that your headstall is attached. The big rings that you currently have your curb chain on are there in case you want to attach a rein as a snaffle with no leverage at all. It is not meant to be a curb chain attachment.

I have a feeling the curb chain is either too low or completely ineffective in the place it is now.
Oh yes, that's right. Forgot to point it out. The chain will have no effect if it's kept on that ring.
I've found some people who use these bits & other curbs get frustrated when they have a horse that still runs right through them, but they are meant to have a strap underneith.
Alot of the times just putting a chain on can make all the difference between a horse that doesn't listen to the bit & one that respects it when asked to slow down.
     
    01-02-2011, 06:55 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I find real life and the internet to be two different things when it comes to bits.

In real life, tom thumbs and their cousins (argentine snaffles, "training snaffles," etc.) are considered pretty mild bits and the horses like them really well. I ride my Mustang in something similar and probably have a collection of about 10 of these bits with different length shanks, different looks, etc. They are my favorite bit. If I could only own one bit to use on every horse I ride, this would be it.

However, on the internet, there seems to be this notion (mainly due to one article written by a trainer) that these are awful bits, are too strong, and confusing to the horse. THAT is EXACTLY what I read and my friend said it was like a bit with training wheels. Well, all I know is, that I have only ever ridden one horse that didn't ride well in a tom thumb. I swear I can use it on just about any horse with great results. Of course I have light hands and ride with little contact.
I'm not quite sure how lightly I ride but I do know the previous owner rode her lightly - not just in the mouth but saddled as well.

So I say if you have gentle hands and the horse does well in it, use what the horse goes well in. (But, I know most of this forum will likely disagree with me). I feel like the "Defender of the Tom Thumb." I'm still learning how well she does. Today was only the 2nd time I've been on her since I bought her almost a month ago - due to the weather and a broken foot (long story!) She did well today but moreso turned her head toward the side I was gently pulling (and with the same leg pressure) than moved her body in that direction - so I am going to assume (yeah, I know) that I was not using the bit correctly.

An important PS. Your curb chain in attached in the wrong place. It should be fastened to the same rings that your headstall is attached. The big rings that you currently have your curb chain on are there in case you want to attach a rein as a snaffle with no leverage at all. It is not meant to be a curb chain attachment.
I suppose this would have a large impact on the statement above? I will bring this up to my friend, because it is her bridle, not mine. But, it is good to know for my own benefit and if I use it, I will move it and let her use it as she wishes. Perhaps there is a reason? My friend used to show in barrels and reining, so I usually defer to her judgment on most things. But I am also aware that her knowledge may not be beneficial to me and my horse in terms of riding/learning.

I have a feeling the curb chain is either too low or completely ineffective in the place it is now.
THANK YOU for your input. I value opinions and suggestions.
     
    01-02-2011, 07:00 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
I agree with everyone, that's a Tom Thumb. :)

I think why many people are against the TT (at least, this is why I'm against the TT) is that it's often very misused. In my area, most horses are ridden in TT's, as a general rule. It's the preferred starting bit of most backyard trainers around here. However, no one (around here) seems to understand that you should not be exclusively direct reining in it. Yeah, if you need to direct rein once for a very brief second, sure, go for it, but don't just haul on your horse's mouth because "a TT is such a mild bit". (not saying you would, I was refering to the general "you" :) )
And then, people wonder why their horse has such a hard mouth so they move them up to an even stronger broken mouthed, shanked bit because it's "gentle, like a TT, only it'll get him to listen a little more" and never teach their horse to neck rein.
That's just the bone I have to pick with the TT. People see the words "snaffle" (the way most TT's are marketed) and think "direct reining" when the TT is meant to be neckreined in with very very very minimal direct reining, even though it has a broken mouth piece like a snaffle.

So, in my neck of the woods, I would much rather see a horse in a real curb or a snaffle and never in a TT since no one around here seems to be capable of teaching their horse to neckrein.
But, I have no issue with a horse in a TT if it's being neckreined and there is absolutely no contact with the bit 95% of the time. If your horse is happy and you're using it correctly, go for it! :)
     
    01-02-2011, 07:09 PM
  #9
Weanling
Wallaby: I am teaching her to neckrein. It's my number one goal before going into the Spring, trailriding. I'm a one handed rider - hate riding with both hands (the ONLY thing I hated about English riding).

The bits I've used before -not mine- did not have shanks or chin straps. I wanna say the Hackmore my step sister had for her horse YEARS ago had a chin strap but I don't really remember. I may be wrong on that memory.

I've only used a bridle/bit as handed to me to put on a horse. I've never chosen one for a horse. I want this choice to be the right one and while I'm using my friend's, can easily buy my own - I just want it to be the right one. I cannot say I'm using this TT properly or not. I'll have my friend watch me ride around the arena and ask her opinion. I do know that "something doesn't feel right" when I'm gently pulling to one side, laying the rein across her neck and applying leg pressure - and am going to chalk it up to the bit or improper usage of it.
     
    01-02-2011, 07:10 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallaby    
That's just the bone I have to pick with the TT. People see the words "snaffle" (the way most TT's are marketed) and think "direct reining" when the TT is meant to be neckreined in with very very very minimal direct reining, even though it has a broken mouth piece like a snaffle.
I've actually found that most people don't know/understand that shanked bits as a whole are meant for neck reining. They think that every bit can be used with neck/direct pressure. So when it comes to TT's they don't even take into consideration that it's a snaffle just that it's a bit with leverage and broken mouths are "supposed" to be milder than curbs.
This isn't necessarily true either.
Snaffles are supposed to deliver pressure to the tongue. Curbs are supposed to deliver pressure to the bars of the horse's mouth & in some cases, the tongue as well.
It all depends on the horse though, & whether he/she responds better to tongue or bar pressure
     

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