Some curb bits (remember anything with shanks is considered a curb, regardless of the mouthpeice), do have loose shanks, or swivel type shanks, so you can do a certain amount of direct reining if needed with these kind of bits (wonder bit is a good example of what I'm talking about, even though it is a gag bit). However, fixed shanks (the curb and the tom thumb talked about in this thread) are not good for direct reining, as they will just pull on the opposite side of the face, more than actually give a good 'one rein' contact. Sure, people do direct rein in alot of bits that aren't designed for it, but that doesn't mean it's a 'good thing' Hope this helps...
Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!
Originally Posted by kevinshorses
In the future I will leave you in your snug cradle of ignorance. I said nothing rude I simply informed you that you were mistaken.
Without saying why is a little rude you have to admit.
Explain next time.
I happen to direct rein in a Tom Thumb and run barrels in it with no problem. Whoever said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is right. Why mess with your horses mouth if it is just fine? Granted, I go back and forth between direct reining and neck reining but I do compete mostly two handed and we do just fine.
Um, no. That is how she was trained and what she has always gone in. No reason to change it if it works. I've had her for ten years. And my pony also goes in a Tom Thumb, I've had her for 14 years. I'm not exactly a beginner, if that's what you're thinking. Annie has a soft mouth, no head tossing, to yanking the reins out of my hands, and always does everything I ask. My grandmother(who has been breaking horses for 30+ years) swears by a Tom Thumb, as do many older trainers I know. It may seem like a harsh bit, but any bit is harsh in the wrong hands. I was taught how to effectively use it.
Hey, relax, I never said you were hurting her or that you were a beginner. But -direct reining in a tom thumb is a very confusing business - I meant your horse must be a saint to understand what you are asking. No western shanked bit is meant to be direct reined in - The very design means that direct reining actually has the opposite effect to what a direct rein would have in a snaffle - So basically the horse has to learn backwards.
I did not train her, for the record. That is just what she goes in, and I see no reason to change it. I started my colt in an offset dee ring snaffle, and he will be staying in that unless I feel that it needs changing. However, my grandmother swears by using a Tom Thumb as a breaking bit. It is a great transition bit from snaffle to curb, actually.