The dreaded Ton Thumb, the US version

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by GotaDunQH, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. JStorry

    JStorry Senior Member

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    I'm not sure why my post is the one Bzaz has singled out and while it bothers me to reply knowing that nothing I say will penetrate I feel like I should for the others reading this thread.

    The first bit looks harsh. I will agree with that. I've never used that kind of bit so I can't say much about it, other than I would hope those using it are familiar with it and use it softly.

    The second is a might confusing to me as it resembles a little s hack but the shanks are straight so I can't tell if it is a hack, or if it's designed as a really weird chain mouth. I would have to see it person to comment.

    The third bit posted is not harsh by any means. It's a very mobile double jointed bit. It has a twist but the twist is gentle being smooth and rounded. It's not a bit I would seek out, all in all though not an inherently harsh bit.

    The twisted d ring looks well balanced and appears to have a curve to the mouth piece, as well as having smooth rounded edges. While I don't like single jointed bits my horse does, so I'm sure there are other horses out there who do. Not a bit that I would reach for, as I prefer loose ring snaffle but not a bad bit.

    Maybe it's the twist that is what is supposedly harsh. Twisted bits are training tools. They are not meant for everyday riding, but for tune ups and training. I have some. I use them when needed. If that makes me a bad horseman to some people, I can live with that.

    I have a few reasons for disliking the tom thumb. For one, it's so often called a shanked snaffle and it's not, as there is no such thing. It's either a shanked bit or a snaffle. Calling it a shanked snaffle makes it sound gentle, so beginners are drawn to it. It's so poorly designed it can't be gentle. It's a misleading and overused piece of crap.

    Have I used them in the past? Yup. I've worked for guide outfits and dude ranches. They are popular there because the are cheap. I've used them when I've had to. I don't chose to. There are many better options out there, I'll stick with the handmade, quality bits I've been collecting over the years.
     
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  2. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    And a good reply it was, thank you for taking the time.
     
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  3. GotaDunQH

    GotaDunQH Senior Member

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    And this is why I have all ported bits. I have one single joint twisted snaffle, and a French Link snaffle.
     
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  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Oh for Chripes sakes.

    It has NOTHING TO DO with pulling hard on it.

    The bit has no PRE-Signal~!!

    The shanks DO NOT MOVE until ...YOU PULL.

    How fricken hard is that to understand? With a swept back shank on any bit that is TOTALLY Balanced (made so that the amt. of metal is equally divided so it balances perfectly) that bit SWIVELS, in the mouth at the least bit of “feel“ put on the rein.

    You do NOT get that with a piece of Mold maded, straight shanked, junk.

    Period. End of story.
     
  5. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

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    Besides the Dr Cook's, there are two bits I use regularly with the horses. One is a single joint O-ring, and the other is a solid shank low port curb. I think the horses like the low port better than the flat mouthpiece of the Billy Allen. For what I do, solid shanks work fine too. I'm not likely to buy another horse, so those two bits and the Dr Cook's will probably last me my lifetime.
     
  6. stardozer

    stardozer Full Member

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    18EC48DA-8240-4431-B4E6-4BDDEF72BD7C.jpeg
    Beautiful hated this bit

    A683636C-4F39-47BE-AF40-C1B68C5C8A7E.jpeg
    She loved this one
     
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  7. bsaz

    bsaz Senior Member

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    Don't tell my horse. Take a look at the picture I posted. For whatever reason, it sits in his mouth with some rotation available. But you do anything you please. Just don't tell me my horse can't be calm and relaxed while ridden in a TT because he can. You don't get a vote. He does. And he has already voted.
     
  8. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    I do enjoy the threads that talk about different bits. I've honestly not used a whole lot of different ones. I almost always use snaffle bits, usually double jointed snaffles because I've found most horses prefer them and I don't do any overly fancy riding. Training and first level dressage, some hunting and low-level eventing. The areas I tend to notice differences are with the cheek pieces because of that - O-ring, D-ring, eggbutt. They are subtle differences but I find Bella works better in a D-ring and Sparky in an O-ring. Why? Not entirely sure.

    I've rarely had horses that liked or needed bits other than basic double-jointed snaffles. I don't show Western so don't bother with a curb - Sparky is my go-to Western horse for trails and he works just fine in a snaffle. I have nothing against curbs - I just don't have the experience to talk about different types so it's nice to learn.

    I've used a Waterford with Bella which she loved. I know some feel that a Waterford is a harsh bit but she was very soft and happy in it. It's not dressage legal so I only used it a short time to get her to relax and listen when she was trying to run through the bit.

    Years ago, the go-to bit for the basic English horse (where I rode anyway) was a pelham (with double reins, not with the bit converter). That's what I learned to ride English with. I have no beef with them except that they seem to blur the line between snaffle action and curb action. I've ridden with a double and much prefer that if you want to get real refinement.

    Not really any point to this post except to say that I always enjoy what I learn in these threads. Carry on.
     
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  9. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Lookit, don't argue with me, you're unarmed..

    I guaranfrickentee ya, if I take that crap outta your horses mouth, he'll ride better and if you are so fricken full of yourself that you think you know more than everyone else does, you got another thought coming.

    Facts are facts and bull crap rides horses in junk bits. That's a fact as well.
     
  10. lucky_pine

    lucky_pine Senior Member

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    People think a horse "likes a bit" qhen they suck back and avoid any confrontation with it at all. They think the horse is relaxed and carrying himself because they don't know any different.

    When in reality, the horse is avoiding confrontation with the bit because it hurts. This is the case with probably 90% of horses ridden in a Tom Thumb. I guarantee you, if you take up contact with that bit, the FIRST thing the horse does is gape and raise his head.
     

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