07-30-2013, 10:16 AM
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I'd ditch the Tom Thumb for a standard snaffle. All the western-trained horses I've met have used them at one time or another. At a guess, I'd say most of the western trained horses I know still do use a standard snaffle.
I've got a ranch raised & trained gelding who behaves the same no matter what bit is put in his mouth. My mare does better in any bit that uses poll pressure, but that seems to be a personality quirk with her - it has nothing to do with English vs Western.
If you want to ride with the horse 'on the bit', you may need to get him used to that. It depends in part on how you define 'on the bit'.