A kinder way (off-topic discussions) - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 03:09 PM
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Agree on the crossover bridles, but the lumping of all jointed mouth curbs, into Tom Thumbs, remains, incorrect, as is the statement that they cause conflicting signals, and it is also understood they are curbs, same as those with a port, and thus not used to start horses with-ever
Thus, on a horse, that has the education, in a snaffle, or a bosal, they are a better in between choice,then going to a curb with a port, directly, esp those jointed mouth curbs that have a Billy Allen type joint, and I refuse to call all jointed mouth curb bits TT, unless they truly are TT, even though it is convenient, same as that term 'shanked snaffle, used in the same incorrect terminology , for simplicity

I have used the Reinsman transition bit for many years, on young horses moving up from the snaffle to a curb, with great results

Loose Jaw Colt 7/16? Smooth Sweet Iron Snaffle | Reinsman
Some horses, eventually prefer a curb with a port, and others, a version of that jointed mouth, with longer, loose jawed, sweap back shanks
No confusion, no head shaking, as my hroses are going pretty well buy then, off of the indirect rein,s eat and legs, and that jointed mouth curb, which need not be , or should be, a true TT, is clearer to ahrose, at that stage of the learning curve, when you need to pick up that second rein, and help him some, then a curb with a port
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post #22 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
...I've seen the effect myself. I've tried to ride in TT bits just so I COULD have the experience and know what I was talking about. Yes, they collapse on the mouth, yes they can nutcracker the jaw if your curb strap is snug. If it's not snug, the entire bit will pivot in the mouth and can smash the tongue. The straight shanks give zero pre-signal so even well trained horses have no warning before the full pressure of the signal slams into their mouth....Direct reining in a TT DOES cause the inside shank to tip and begin poking the horse in the cheek, at the same time that the outside shank is being pulled into the side of the face...
Odd. I cannot duplicate what you say. And I've tried. It is physically impossible for the top of the shank to be tipped into the face of the horse because the shank does not swivel at the mouth. Pull on the bottom sideways and the whole shank has to move sideways. It WILL tip in with a Jr Cowhorse bit. Pull sideways on the bottom of this, and the top will tilt in:



Do so with this one:



and it cannot tip in because the design does not allow any tilt. Instead, the entire bit slides to the side, moving the top (and bottom) away from the horse's face.

Straight shanks CAN give a signal if the horse holds its head relatively vertical - as Bandit does. They do not give signal if the horse normally holds its head at 45 degrees - as some do.

And not only is it possible for ANY single joint snaffle to nutcracker, it is more likely with a single joint snaffle than a Tom Thumb. A snaffle pulls straight back, setting up a nutcracker effect. A TT, like any curb, rotates. It can, in some cases, poke the roof of the mouth (as can a snaffle), but it is less likely to crush the horse's cheek than a single joint snaffle.
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post #23 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 05:44 PM
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I think, the problem arises, by people like Rashid, or perhaps even you,smrobs , respectfully, as I respect your experience and knowledge, is that you are trying to use the jointed mouth curb, call it a TT, if you wish, like a snaffle, and of course that is incorrect
I green horse is going to be confused, no matter what indirect bit you use, whether broken mouth, or port, and why you use a true snaffle or a bosal, to put those basics on ahorse
Thus, there is only a problem by people that lump any broken mouth piece bit as a snaffle and try to use it as a true snaffle. The term shanked snaffle, sure does not help that confusion/mis use
Absolutely, if you use that jointed mouth curb to start a horse, that horse is not going to have that clear signal he needs, for

m
from a direct action bit, as in a true snaffle

On the other hand, a broke horse that does not ride well in a jointed mouth curb is not truly ready to be ridden in any curb.
I have had horses that preferred to remain in a jointed mouth curb, and also some that enjoyed moving on to a curb with a port. This has nothing to do with poor bit design, but rather whether that individual horse prefers tongue , bar or palate pressure
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post #24 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 06:13 PM
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Well, with the experienced horse people saying the Tom Thumb is crap, and backyard riders saying they are wrong, WTF are us 'backyard' riders, non bit experts, to think?

I think I will go with the professionals. They have way more experience than I do, since I ride one horse, the Arab in a bosal (unless showing tradional dressage) and the Dales is still in a snaffle.

I guess I better stick with what Rashid and others say. They have riddden way more horses than the backyard rider (me), and probably have tried way more bits than I have.
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post #25 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 07:11 PM
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I'd like to throw out a question that's been rolling around in the empty space in the back of my head.

First, I need to correct what I called a "crossover" bridle to "crossunder" bridle as in Cook's.

I think the question is on topic, sort of, as kinder ways is the thread topic.

It seems to be common knowledge, or at least often claimed, that a horse can feel a fly land on his rump in a 40 MPH windstorm.

So if the horse is THAT sensitive to what's going on around him and touching his body, why can't he feel a subtle change in the tension of the strap running down his face and under his chin?
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post #26 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by sarahfromsc View Post
Well, with the experienced horse people saying the Tom Thumb is crap, and backyard riders saying they are wrong, WTF are us 'backyard' riders, non bit experts, to think?

I think I will go with the professionals....
Do as you wish. This backyard rider has found experienced pros often make claims that do not pan out - backs rounding up in an arch, the "20% Rule", curbs are cruel, horses MUST neck rein before teaching them a curb, etc. And if a backyard rider like myself can have multiple Craigslist horses going fine in a Tom Thumb...well, if a backyard rider can do it, what is the problem with the pros?

From today's ride with Bandit. I tried to pull the bit enough to make it tip into the side of his face. These were the worst I could achieve, pulling at a 90 degree angle while on the ground:






This is Bandit chillin' before the ride. For Bandit, this balance is fine.



If someone is using a Tom Thumb, and their horse is tossing its head, opening its mouth, confused - the problem isn't the bit. It may be how the human is using the bit, or it may be the human didn't teach the horse how to work in the bit - but what HAS been done, by definition, CAN be done. And if a backyard rider can do it...it isn't hard.

That is part of how one rides "a kinder way". It isn't the tools. It is the training, the understanding of the individual horse, letting the horse make choices and listening to the HORSE. I love books and have often been accused of reading too many, but you have to test EVERYTHING you read or hear. Including anything and everything I write.

I'm not trying to sell anyone a Tom Thumb bit. Heck, I'm glad folks frown on them. That is why I could buy a barely used, $80 Reinsman TT bit on eBay for $30 with shipping!

But kindness in riding isn't about tack. It is listening to the horse, observing the horse, and responding to the horse. Bit or bitless? Shoes or not? Let the horse tell you.

"So if the horse is THAT sensitive to what's going on around him and touching his body, why can't he feel a subtle change in the tension of the strap running down his face and under his chin?" - @Hondo

He can, if he is not too excited, and if he understands what that subtle change in tension means. That is why I had a tough time pulling the bit sideways with Bandit. Bandit knew how to respond because I took the time to explain and teach him before I first used it - and the TT was used on either his first or second ride in a curb. Teach the horse when he is quiet and ready to listen. Then teach him in more demanding situations. If excitement and/or fear is not blasting in his brain, he'll respond.

I had problems with Mia in a cross-under bitless style. Why? Looking back, I never TAUGHT her what I wanted. I just expected her to understand. Then she got frustrated, and I blamed the cross-under bitless bridle. But the problem was me...
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post #27 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 08:04 PM
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I never said curbs are cruel. It is on my list of things to try/do with the Arab, take him up into a curb and if I can find someone local who is GOOD, help me with the spade.

I want to drive the Dales, but I gotta learn how to drive myself, which means finding a professional and not some one who as done it a time or two.

See where my stick is floating?

As someone who hasn't experimented with bits, or if a new owner were to read this, I would still think it prudent to go with people who have ridden more than four or five horses.

Since I am a rather simple person, I keep the bit/bridle combo simple.....snaffle or bosal. If my horses won't respond to those, then shame on ME and take my horses away.

I know we don't agree on much of anything bsms, so take this with a strain of the proverbial salt, but you bridle looks loose and the bit riding on the teeth. But pictures are deceiving. Just a snap shot in a nano second of time. That is why I don't try to judge pics of people riding, their setup, a Spanish Riding school horse being trained. It is a snap in a nano second.

Hell, if you saw some family photos of me taken in that nano second, well gawd knows what you would think my mental capabilities are ! LOLOLOLOL.....I look absolutely deranged. Other times I don't look so bad. Depends on when I am blinking my eyes in that nano second, or if I am blinking and laughing at some joke a brother just told.......
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post #28 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 08:12 PM
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I'm just glad that Hondo is so sensitive to neck reining that I can accidentally cross the reins under his chin and ride for an extended period without even noticing.

Loose rein almost always. Move my hand left, he goes left, as he turns my hand comes back to center as he approaches the direction I wish.

If a horse knows what you're asking and decides not to comply, it would seem to this admittedly backyard person that more training rather than different tack is what would be needed.

Hondo is bitless because he hates a bit. Have to force one in his mouth every single time. Afterwards it's like, ok, if I have to wear it I won't ruin the ride just because of it.

But with the crossunder he actually wiggles his nose into it helping me to get it on. He does the same with a halter. I'm sure I could ride with a halter and not even notice any difference but haven't given that a try yet.
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I think it important to always be mindful that the horse actually owes us nothing at all and it is we who owe the horse. "It's a goal"
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post #29 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 08:17 PM
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So if the horse is THAT sensitive to what's going on around him and touching his body, why can't he feel a subtle change in the tension of the strap running down his face and under his chin?
He can. I have some opinions about these things, but they are just my observations.

First, I believe the most important thing is how any bit or bitless feels to the horse. I've read article after article on the concept of different bits and how they work. Yet it is always the horse that tells me if it is harsh or gentle to him. Some that are supposed to be very gentle seem harsh to the horse. Some that are supposed to be severe feel gentle to the horse.

Bits also are only a tool, and the most important key is the hands behind the bit. A rider with good hands and an understanding of the bit's action can use most bits in a way that the horse will accept, at least short term. But that may not be the best bit for the horse, and a sensitive horse might hate the bit at the outset.

As @Smilie said, the biggest problem I've seen with a Tom Thumb is that it is often used by beginner riders with insecure seats, and they have no clue about how it works. They just get on and ride, and end up using it harshly. That can happen with almost any bit, but a snaffle will be more forgiving.

I don't think the main issue with the crossunder is that it doesn't release quickly. The pressure releases the instant your hand stops pulling. It doesn't clamp down on the horse's face without any rein contact. It doesn't drop away in a big release, but the pressure is provided by the hand on the rein, so without contact it is no more pressure than wearing a bridle on the face.

However, I've ridden some horses that don't like the squeeze around the face in the first place. So it's not about how fast you release, but rather they don't accept that contact in the first place. If it doesn't make the horse too claustrophobic, the horse can learn what that squeeze signal means. But then many horses realize how gentle that pressure is, and may ignore it when excited. Others love it and respond well. I've ridden some OTTBs in them and they went very nicely. One of my Arabs can't take the squeeze without panic. The other one doesn't think there is enough of a signal to respond to.

Once I thought Tom Thumbs were evil, but I've since seen them used on horses that accept them fine. The horse has to be a little more balanced, and able to travel without contact. The bit has to fit, and the rider has to use it only for signals and with a clear release. The horse at my barn that goes well in one travels very round and balanced on his own, and mainly on a loose rein. The rider neck reins, and uses direct rein signals for fast turns with a good release. No head tossing and the horse is happy.

I wonder if the idea that they poke the side of the horse's face when direct reining is actually a perception of an issue I've seen with jointed mouthpieces and curb chains in general. When the bit breaks due to the rider pulling on one rein, the chain can pinch or jab the horse on the side of the pull. So instead of getting a nice cue to turn to the right, the horse instead is getting poked on the right, which makes him want to not move into that pressure. This can be eliminated by using a curb strap that does not have the chain start right at the bit cheekpiece. Such as the ones with leather, nylon or beta straps connecting them to the bit.

Not all horses have this issue, but horses have a variety of head types that make the curb fall in different places on their chin or jaw.
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post #30 of 105 Old 12-09-2016, 08:26 PM
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How about some video of your observations and experiments, bsms? Ditgital age and all that. That way I can see what you are trying to observe, since I have reading comprehension issues, or someone told me that on this forum once. I am better at being able to listen and observe at the same time, so videos would be helpful.

I am serious. I have never thought a novice cannot teach a pro something. We can all learn from many different sources.
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