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post #61 of 63 Old 03-23-2010, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
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Maybe we should call them Argentine snaffles or shank snaffles instead.
That would be incorrect as there is nothing snaffle about them - they are broken muthed curbs, or jointed curbs.

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post #62 of 63 Old 03-23-2010, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trailhorserider View Post
Sometimes I get tired of defending the tom thumb. But if I could only own one bit, it would be a tom thumb or a variation of it.

I can ride any horse I have ever owned in a tom thumb. I cannot say the same about a snaffle or a regular curb. If a horse hates the tom thumb, it is probably because the rider is hanging onto their mouth.

Honestly, if I could only own one bit, it would be the one. Maybe it's a western v.s english thing. I really don't know. But I ride western and I can ride just about anything in a tom thumb and have them be comfortable and responsive.

No one can convince me it is an evil bit because I have used it since I started riding and have always had great luck with it.

I actually dislike regular snaffles because it encourages horses to put their heads up instead of breaking at the poll.

I have had okay results with normal curbs, but some horses like them better than others.

I can ride a tom thumb with one hand or *gasp* even two. The only reason I can think of that people don't have good luck with it is maybe they are "riding the brakes," so to speak. It is more of a finesse bit, not a pull on 'em bit.

Okay, I've said my peace. I just think it's a shame everyone is slamming it, when I bet a lot of folks just believe what they read on the internet and have never actually used it. I ride with my fingertips. If the horse trips I loose my reins, that is how loose I ride. The tom thumb (and it's variations) give me finesse. I never have to pull unless I am using a normal snaffle. It's like having power steering and power brakes.
Put me down as another one. If I could use only one bit it would be a tom thumb. My horses seem to like it. I too feel a snaffle makes for a high header horse and after a while I ditch the snaffle.
Right now my favorite bit is a Billy allen mouthed pelham.
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post #63 of 63 Old 03-25-2010, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SE Kansas
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I've said this before, I'll say it again. Do what works for your horse. If what your using isn't working then do some research and look for something that will.
There are several good books out there on bits. I just finished Bob and Dale Mylers A Whole Bit Better and have started Ed Connell's Reinsman of the West Bridles and Bits.
The Myler book is very basic on how the bit affects the mouth and head. Its a very informative book even if you don't use Myler bits. I think both can be bought on Amazon or Ebay.
Educate yourself on what your bit is doing is my best advice.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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