Need a bit slightly harsher than a Tom thumb? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Need a bit slightly harsher than a Tom thumb?

Hi, I am looking for a bit for my gelding that is somewhat harsher than a Tom thumb...something that causes more responsiveness without having to yank and pull on the reins...I AM using leg cues etc so I think it's time to step up the bit. Thanks!

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post #2 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 10:56 PM
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Your yanking on your horse with a Tom Thumb?? :/ Go bitless. Sounds dumb, but if you keep getting harsher and it doesn't get better, maybe your horse works better with no bit. I got up to a high port solid before figuring that this wasn't working - Stuck a lead around her halter, she rides like a charm ;)
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 10:57 PM
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You can't get much worse than a Tom Thumb.

Sounds like a bit isn't going to solve your

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post #4 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 10:57 PM
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I'd suggest training(for both of you) over a harsher bit, jmo.
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 10:57 PM
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Search "tom thumb" on this forum. It is NOT nice bit. It is poorly designed, causes mixed signals, and all-in-all is just not functional and isn't worth the material its made of. Horses will often fight this bit and develop behaviors out of pain or confusion.

I would suggest a billy allen bit instead.

Billy Allen Bits

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 11:04 PM
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I don't like harsh bits. Reason is horses are animals and they are allowing us to get on their backs and well, practically control them and they are doing it willingly, not from fear. No matter how bad my horse got I would not put a harsher bit on, he has a tom thumb atm and i dont like it i'm debating whether to get just a ring one coz he works fine in both only reason we have the tomb thumb on him was his old owner felt it was better 'for me' but she screwed us over on a lot of things, not the point lol.. I just have never seen a horse work better with a harsher bit. A pony club horse had a harsh bit on, he was so numb in the mouth they changed the bit to a harsher one, he ended up bolting on someone they tried to pull him back, he couldnt even feel it and we checked his mouth and there was a little bit of blood after that (beginner rider) so then we changed him to a bitless and now he actually listens. We've also gone back into reteaching leg aids and all to help him understand and hes a great little kids pony now. So mmay i suggest trying everything else before going to a harsher bit. the word 'harsher' makes me sad.

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post #7 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 11:06 PM
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They make a bit harsher than a Tom Thumb?? Go back to basics and fix the holes in your training. We all have them. A harsh bit won't solve much of anything.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 11:10 PM
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On the trail I ride my mare with a gag bit, as she has run away with me twice, and no matter how hard I tried, I could NOT effect a one rein stop (couldn't even pop her nose out with my feet braced in the stirrups and both hands on one rein, and I'm not a wimp) in a Kimberwicke. With the gag bit, I can ride her with one finger and really not have to use the bit.

That said, I have put away all of my Tom Thumb's after reading about them on this forum. I'm working with my mare now in a ring snaffle with a french link. We're not ready to hit the trail in it, but we're getting there! Every one of our horses that was in a Tom Thumb has responded better to a different bit.

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post #9 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 11:21 PM
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If you are pulling and yanking on the reins to get the horse to do anything, then you are causing every problem the horse has. Going to a harsher bit will only make the problem worse.

I strongly suggest finding a good trainer to work with you and your horse; they can teach you how to be a more effective rider and can teach your horse how to respond properly.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #10 of 33 Old 03-24-2012, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
They make a bit harsher than a Tom Thumb??

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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