Is it Harsh? - Page 2
 
 

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Is it Harsh?

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        03-09-2013, 02:40 AM
      #11
    Foal
    I can always tell when someone is riding their horse in a tom thumb bit. It's usually the horse with his head straight in the air and with his mouth open and jerking his head to any kind of pressure from the reins.

    I'm a believer in the saying that bits are only as harsh as the hands that use them, but you can tell when someone designed a bit made for people who don't know how to have soft hands. Take for instance, the bicycle chain bit:



    The Stop n Turn bit:


    I don't even know what this bit is called:


    For those of you who hate TTB, how do you like THEM shanks???
         
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        03-09-2013, 02:58 AM
      #12
    Started
    I have the bit in the first picture.
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        03-09-2013, 03:06 AM
      #13
    Trained
    They are really a poorly designed bit and even though some horses do okay with them, they will do much better with different bit. TT's just don't have the design to encourage a horse to seek it's contact.
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        03-09-2013, 03:12 AM
      #14
    Weanling
    I am a very firm believer that a bit is only as strong as the hands that touch it. Personally, I have never used a tom thumb, nor know anyone off the top of my head that uses one. I use a kimberwick on my pony, and I can think of a few times I've gotten certain looks for using it. I feel like that's because some (a lot) of people are uneducated on bits - they hear a certain type of bit and automatically assume it's HARSH or assume a person is using said bit has heavy hands or what have you. I don't have a problem with a person using a stronger bit if that is legitimately what is needed and the rider is educated on the purpose and use of that bit, and uses it correctly. That being said, there are a number of bits I can think of that you couldn't pay me to stick in any horse's mouth.
         
        03-09-2013, 10:16 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Ok so I know someone that used this bit, "because their horse wouldn't stop" I never got them to understand that they needed to retrain the horse. I never understood this bit.



    The Stop n Turn bit:


    "I don't even know what this bit is called: "wow !!!


    "For those of you who hate TTB, how do you like THEM shanks???"
    So when I was young and teaching my self to ride (this is why its important to get help when you are starting out) I was having trouble getting my horse to stop, I went to a "tack shop" and stood and looked at the bit all until a guy that worked there came up to "help" I told him my problem with my horse and he sold me this bit I took it home put it on my horse and STILL had trouble getting him to stop. Long story short. I went away for the summer to work at a summer camp working with horses. Came home at the end of the summer and this and my old bridle was hanging on the wall. Both were missing the curb strap . Went out bought two curb straps and surprise surprise my horse didn't have a stopping problem. The moral be careful how you take tack advice from. And when you are a beginner get help.
    [/QUOTE]
         
        03-09-2013, 10:33 AM
      #16
    Started
    OP - what are your goals with your horse.
    I think it's been stated well enough that Tom Thumbs are poorly designed bits - and even if they're not always harsh in gentle hands, there are more kind and effective options out there.

    If you're looking for just a basic western bit, you want something with a solid mouth piece, not jointed, either ported or mullened. Shorter shanks in relation to the purchase make the bit milder, and vice versa - longer shanks to a shorter purchase make them harsher. You'll want to look into your particular sport and try some on your horse to see what you both work well in.

    If you are direct reining (as so many falsely think they can do in a TT) You'll want to look into some snaffle options (bits with rings, not shanks). My preference is double jointed bits like French links or lozenge styles like KK ultra.
    I think how you and your horse rides and what your ultimate goals are will help find you an appropriate bit. TT's just aren't ideal in any situation (IMO).
    MAG1723 and CowboyBob like this.
         
        03-09-2013, 10:51 AM
      #17
    Started
    So many factors with this. While I can't think of ANY circumstance I would use a Tom Thumb, I am a firm believer that the rider plays a big role in how harsh the bit is to the horse. So rider, horse attitude and mouth anatomy play huge roles.

    My percheron's D-ring single jointed snaffle seemed like a milder bit to people. However, for her, it was quite harsh since she has an extremely wide tongue, fleshy lips and very low palate. I ride very light in my hands, so I got away with it, but you could see she wasn't happy.

    I have a kimberwick with a double-jointed losenge and a low port solid mouthpiece curb. She has responded very nicely to both of them and is much more relaxed, even though they would be considered harsher bits I guess. The points of pressure are different then with the snaffle and works for her. Each horse is individual and have different tolerances too. Then combine that with maybe the person does not have the correct size bit for the horse or have it positioned correctly with the horses head....that can be disasterous too.
    nvr2many likes this.
         
        03-09-2013, 11:11 AM
      #18
    Weanling
    I agree, harshness is mostly in the hands of the rider.

    However, the snaffle, that is one of the most common starter bits is also one of the most severe. At one time we used a snaffle to start all of our horses, then I found some of them did poorly in the snaffle. After quite a bit of research, I found the cause of the problem. The floor of the mouth of quite a few horses is too shallow to allow the tongue to get under the bit, without a lot of pressure on the tongue. We started using the toklat #89-20015 HBT 5" shank w/the SI 01 CI mouth. You can attach the reins to the bit at the connection to the mouth piece, so there is no lever action at all. Then when your ready for lever action move the reins to the shanks. The bit has a raised mouth piece that provides clearance for the tongue.

    Many, many hard mouthed horses are made this way because the horse is simply protecting his tongue.

    The bicycle chain bit, if properly fit, and has the smooth side down, is actually a milder bit than the simple, one joint snaffle. The chain has multiple joints, giving more rise to make room for the tongue.
         
        03-09-2013, 11:22 AM
      #19
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
    I agree, harshness is mostly in the hands of the rider.

    However, the snaffle, that is one of the most common starter bits is also one of the most severe. At one time we used a snaffle to start all of our horses, then I found some of them did poorly in the snaffle. After quite a bit of research, I found the cause of the problem. The floor of the mouth of quite a few horses is too shallow to allow the tongue to get under the bit, without a lot of pressure on the tongue. We started using the toklat #89-20015 HBT 5" shank w/the SI 01 CI mouth. You can attach the reins to the bit at the connection to the mouth piece, so there is no lever action at all. Then when your ready for lever action move the reins to the shanks. The bit has a raised mouth piece that provides clearance for the tongue.

    Many, many hard mouthed horses are made this way because the horse is simply protecting his tongue.

    The bicycle chain bit, if properly fit, and has the smooth side down, is actually a milder bit than the simple, one joint snaffle. The chain has multiple joints, giving more rise to make room for the tongue.
    I like that bit too and have one, just not in a 7" for my percheron. I'd have to have it made by Myler for her, which I may just do.
         
        03-09-2013, 11:43 AM
      #20
    Green Broke
    I have yet to see a TT hanging in a trainers tackroom, that ought to tell you something....
    smrobs, Cherie, GotaDunQH and 6 others like this.
         

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