What kind of bit should I be using?
I've had a tom thumb bit for Ginger since the beginning-- I honestly only just figured out that that's what kind of bit it is. It was what my mom had available when I got my horse, and I never questioned it.
I know that some people don't like those kind of bits because they can be real harsh, and I don't want to do anything with her that can be counter productive. So let me give you a little bit of information on her.
She is able to be ridden with just the halter and the reins clipped on (I have a halter/ bridle combo that is just awesome), but she tends to listen to me better when I have the bit in her mouth. She knows that I mean business.
Additionally, how do I tell if I have a harsh hand or a soft hand? I know if I go to the local tack store, they'll ask what sort of hand I have, and honestly I have no idea. Let me know if any more information is needed, because after spending my whole life with horses, I'm only just now wanting to really learn about the equipment I'm using and what's best for my horses (I just really learned how to tighten a saddle about four years ago :P)
3-link snaffle (with oval link or french link) would be best choice IMHO.
French link: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=117600271
Oval mouth: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...&ids=116062422
My horses go in lorenzo (aka oval mouth).
You can't really go wrong with a french link!
Just read as much as you can about anything you can- you pick things up really quick!
Best of luck.
again, go for the the double jointed!! (: if he doesn't like pinching, get a Egg Butt Double jointed or training snaffle (same thing different name) Or i think is better, is a Loose ring double jointed... my horse used to run away/bolt with a sweet iron in.. double jointed and she like a different horse. and it's a nicer bit!
Unless, your talking about the western TomThumb, im not in the whole western thing, yet (: but im sure someone is.
with your hands, if you only have to stop him with your fingers, as in your ring finger pulling slightly back, now that's a soft hand. if you pull your whole hand back with your shoulder as the leverage point, that's a little harsher, and then you have the reefers. that yank and pull back as hard as they can... so you can kinda decide your self...
also, you could look at your horses mouth/get someone too or even film it, and see how much your horses corner of there lips are being pulled... and how much pressure the bit is applying.
hope i helped (:
Yeah, I suppose I should have mentioned that I ride western.
I wonder if having a harsh or soft hand depends on the horse, though? If a horse doesn't respond to just light tugging, what then?
If you are direct reining and not neck reining, then your horse should be in a snaffle anyway.
well... it kinda does, but the horse would just have a hard mouth, so even if you use a harsher hand, the horse still mighten respond... but my horse has the hardest mouth in all history /: but after using lighter aids and voice commands shes learned to listen to me and shes getting a 'softer' mouth... so im now using lighter hands. get me??
Yeah, I get ya. That makes sense.
She doesn't know how to neck rein yet-- working on it, very slowly.
If it was me, I would change to a snaffle until she gets it then, and save her mouth. Once she gets it, take her back to the TT if that is what she likes, or find another one that works for her if she doesn't like it.
Bear in mind though, that I come from a very English dominated area, where the only leverage bit I ever really see is a gag or a pelham. So take my advice with a pinch of "your horse's mouth is everything" salt :-P
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