Hi everyone. new to the forum. and riding. not so much horses. lol. anyway, need some questions answered about bits. i just got a rescue horse a few weeks back who i also took lessons on for a while about two months prior. he's a great horse, listens perfect and does anything you ask. (can't understand how someone could have neglected him the way they did.) the bit my trainer suggested and used was a tom thumb. but the only bit i had at home was one someone gave to me and im not even sure what its called. its just one solid piece, with the curve in the middle. anyway, tacked him up and he did just fine with it. took it better actually. is there any difference other than performance in a bit? like, is the one i have okay for just trail riding? comfort wise for him is what i'm getting at. i'll only be riding him light and i don't want to use an uncomfortable bit on him since i probably wouldn't need one anyway because of how gentle and well mannered he is. if anyone could just fill me in and help me out a little i'd appreciate it. =) thanks
Do you have a pic of it? It sounds like a regular curb bit though. As long as he goes well in it, you are able to neck rein him, and you aren't having to pull alot on it, he should be fine. However, if you have to put alot of pressure to get him to stop or turn, I would suggest going back to a snaffle bit, of some sort, as a fixed shank bit (including Tom Thumbs) do not have individual rein pressure capabilities, and all you'll do is confuse him if you try to 'buggy rein' him with one.
i was thinking about just buying what hes used to. i mean he did great with the other bit, but i might as well just keep using what hes used to especially since i'm a new rider. I don't want to confuse him with my own mistakes or anything like that.
^^good idea and keep taking lessons so you don't loose what you have with him and you can improve.
If he went better in the new bit, keep it! It will generally mean he is more comfortable.
Why did your trainer tell you to put a different bit on him? If there is no reason to change it then you shouldn't.
To answer your original question, yes a Tom Thumb is just fine for trails. You don't need any specific performance bit.
If he did beter with the curved snaffle (I'm guessing) thingy then by all means don't change it :)
Although I don't follow my own advice :roll: If it ain't broke don't fix it is a good rule to follow.
If you are direct reining (pulling the reins in the direction you want the horse to go) then you will want a snaffle type bit. If you are using an indirect rein or neck reining a shanked or curb bit is good. There's more to this but this is a simple definition.
Not sure how new you are so I'll stick in some photos. You may already know this, if so please forgive me :-)
Snaffle bit- http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...500_AA200_.jpg
If you are neck reining the tom thumb is fine, but I would suggest to switch to the curb if you direct rein.
I think the low port curb (sounds like what you described) would be more comfortable than a tom thumb.
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