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My horse trigger, has only ever been ridden in a tom thumb bit, apparrently tomb thumb bits are horrible on horses. I've been trying to use him with a snaffle, but it doesnt work well on him. he doesnt seem to respond well with it. Is there any other bit i can use? I dont want to hurt or irritate him with a tom thumb, but he's been worked with it his entire life, all of his previous owners have said he only uses tom thumb bits. what should i do? Should i try another bit? Are there any similar bits to tom thumbs?
(I ride him western [neck reining])
 

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I rode my horse in a Tom Thumb for a few years before someone told me I shouldn't, and I had the same issue with switching to a snaffle. He seemed so heavy and unresponsive. The reason for that is because there are fewer pressure points applied with a snaffle, and the points used are gentler. He's used to feeling pain if he doesn't listen - and now you don't have the power to apply that anymore (even if you never intended to in the first place). Using phases is key (at least it worked for my horse!).

Best of luck!
 

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Tom thumbs are fine as long as you ride in a loose rein like here:


That being said, it is always best to ride in the mildest bit you can in a horse, then, if you accidentally bump them in the mouth they won't go OUCH! I would recommend switching to a milder bit, maybe a kimberwick then a snaffle?
 

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If he likes the bit...Then fine, don't even worry about it. Tom Thumbs are definately poorly designed but they definately aren't the worst bit out there either.

You could always switch to a Billy Allen shank bit.

Billy Allen Bits

Not any tongue pinching from that. Nice bits, I like them a lot. They are my go-to bit when I want a horse to go up in the bridle to one-handed riding. (I mostly use the first bit on that page)
 
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