A Little 'Bit' of Advice :)

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

A Little 'Bit' of Advice :)

This is a discussion on A Little 'Bit' of Advice :) within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

LinkBack Thread Tools
    06-05-2009, 10:44 AM
Question A Little 'Bit' of Advice :)

I have a 6 year old Tennessee Walking Horse who is currently in a Tom Thumb bit. He hates bits and I hate that it has a shank. I want to switch him to a snaffle bit but everyone says that I shouldn't switch him to one. That TN Walkers normally have Tom Thumb bits and that he doesn't need one. Do you think it's a good idea to switch? I don't show and I don't want to, and I find snaffle bits more useful.

I was also considering a bitless bridle instead. The Nurtural Bitless Bridle. I sounds great but I don't know how well it works with TN Walkers though. Do you think he'll still rack with a bitless bridle?

Nurtural Bitless Bridle -------> Google Image Result for http://www.nurturalhorse.com/images/Shire-Horse.jpg
Sponsored Links
    06-05-2009, 02:43 PM
I personally do not like tom thumb bits and find just their mechanics to be quite harsh.
There is no rule saying that he needs to be in a shanked bit, so if you want him in a snaffle, then put him in a snaffle.
    06-05-2009, 02:54 PM
Green Broke
Try a french link snaffle, such as a KK Training Snaffle. You might have a better horse than you think :)
    06-05-2009, 02:58 PM
Most trainers, I know, usually start all their horses with some type of snaffle bit. Maybe your horse is trying to tell you something? Like appylover said it's a harsh bit.. If the horse doesn't like his bit he will be hesitant to take it and accept it. I also agree with appylover in it being too harsh, esp, in the wrong riders hands (not saying you are unexperience).

You also have to take into account that he has only been under saddle for what, 2-3 years? So he is still learning the ropes. And starting him out with the wrong bit can lead to many problems in the future.
    06-05-2009, 03:00 PM
I tried one of those walking bits on my tennessee walker..he hated it...I went to using what the trainer had...a myler O ring snaffle...but I got the snaffle with the barrel in the middle...he likes it...but my goal is working to where he feels what I want with my legs and then guide him with the bit...he is learning fast...but he's 9 now and didnt get officially broke to ride until I got him at 8 years old...Im driving my husband nuts with how proud I am of how far he has come in such a short time, but as Im finding out walkers (as are most horses) are extremely smart and learn quickly.
    06-05-2009, 03:01 PM
Today's Horse - The Trouble with Tom Thumb

Try reading this!
    06-05-2009, 03:03 PM
Shanked bits are the 'traditional' gaited horse bit. This seems especially true for Tennessee Walkers and Missouri Fox Trotters. I was looking at an old photo of me on my TWH when I first got him. The old owner had him in a bit with shanks that were at least 6-7 inches long! With a tight curb! OH MY GOD. That old boy was so patient with me. I was so novice I hadn't a clue.

Personally, I ride my horses (including my MFT!) in a hackamore. They do just as well, if not better, than with a shank bit.
I use a fleece padded one with awesome results. My MFT, Loki, was NEVER ridden in a hackamore before now and he responds just the same as he does with a bit. Honestly no difference!
    06-05-2009, 03:14 PM
I hate hate hate tom thumbs. Not only do you get the nutcracker effect of the single joint, but you're also adding in leverage of the curb, together creating a very harsh and unclear signal.
I personally recommend an eggbutt, dee or full cheek french link bit for most horses. It is a mild mouthpiece and cheekpieces that won't pinch.
A horse will not forget how to gait with a different bit - a bit is a communication tool between your hands and the mouth, and should also only be a third means of communication - first are your seat and legs.

Regarding the bitless bridle... some horses go great in them, some don't. I tried one on my gelding and he flipped out - he hated his nose being confined like that. I rode him in my french link before trying the bitless, he was fine; w/t/c absolutely fine. The bitless made him a different horse, he hated the contact. Switched back to my bit, absolutely fine again. I do think that the rubber grippers on the nosepiece pulled at his hair and skin as well.

Many people switch to a bitless bridle because they think it's "kinder" than a bit - untrue. A headpiece, be it a hack, bit or bitless is only as harsh as the hands behind it, and each can be harsh in their own respects.
A lot of people switch because they think their horse "hates" the bit when really it's a different problem - ill fitting saddle, bridle, pain on the horse somewhere, etc. It's a band-aid solution.
Having said that, some people and horses just prefer bitless. It's a matter of horse and rider.
    06-05-2009, 04:04 PM
Woah! I had NO idea! My trainer picked out that bit for him. I had no idea how harsh it was! And all this time when I asked him to stop and he didn't I thought he was being a brat. The french link snaffle looks good, so does the eggbutt, but I've heard that some hackamores can be harsher than bits. I guess it depends on the type though. Thanks SO MUCH for telling me!!!
    06-05-2009, 04:25 PM
It mostly depends on the hands that use the bit or hack, rather than it itself.

I personally would start in a french link snaffle and get back to the basics and make sure you can go through all 3 gaits and have a good stop. Then if you'd like move onto a hackamore. That's just what I'd personally do.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Working 'On The Bit' SallyRC123 English Riding 13 11-20-2008 12:10 AM
define 'on the bit' ilovemyhorsies English Riding 3 10-04-2008 08:26 PM
Need Advice To Give Advice browneyedcowgirl13 Horse Training 10 06-06-2008 01:20 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0