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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
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
This is smart.

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.
 

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If he did beter with the curved snaffle (I'm guessing) thingy then by all means don't change it :)
 

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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 :)


Curb bit





Snaffle bit-






Snaffle bit
 

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I second that!

If you are doing a direct rein or Plow rein, you should use something like a snaffle. This is what you use on younger horses to teach them to give laterially. As they become broke, you can migrate to a curb bit for one handed control.

But there are lot of horses that spend entire career in a snaffle.

If you have a mild curb bit like Vidaloco posted. and if your horses responds well in that bit. There is nothing wrong with it. Understand it is a leveraged bit. Meaning what ever pressure you pull on the reins, it is multiplied several time by the leverage in the shanks and the horses feels much more pressure than you feel. Remember to be light with your hands and not balance your body by hanging on the reins.
 

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when i first bought my app he was in a curb and did alright. i then proceeded to move for a while and work at a camp, where mostly all that was used was snaffles and TT's. i came back and started using a regular loose ring snaffle. he responded well with it, and i tried a tom thumb ONCE. never again, i actually had much LESS control with that TT. we're trying out a wire twist snaffle but that verdict is still out, and outside the scope of this thread...

i really believe, just my opinion, that it's not too terribly important which you use. as long as you're comfortable with it, and you get the proper responses from your horse, it will be just fine. now, i do prefer to use a milder bit when possible. that's why my horse hasn't seen a curb in almost 2 years now...
 

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If you are neck reining the tom thumb is fine, but I would suggest to switch to the curb if you direct rein.
Huh???? You can't direct rein in a curb bit, even with a Tom Thumb curb...in order to direct rein efficiently and effectively you have to ride in a bit that has individually moving rings...
 

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This is what I've been taught, but I suppose that was in fact wrong so I am sorry. And you obviously can't direct rein with a tom thumb...but I've seen plenty of people direct rein perfectly fine with some other curbs..? Someone explain this please.

p.s. kevins horses get over yourself.
 

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This is what I've been taught, but I suppose that was in fact wrong so I am sorry. And you obviously can't direct rein with a tom thumb...but I've seen plenty of people direct rein perfectly fine with some other curbs..? Someone explain this please.

p.s. kevins horses get over yourself.
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' :wink: Hope this helps...
 

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This is what I've been taught, but I suppose that was in fact wrong so I am sorry. And you obviously can't direct rein with a tom thumb...but I've seen plenty of people direct rein perfectly fine with some other curbs..? Someone explain this please.

p.s. kevins horses get over yourself.
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.
 
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