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HorseChannel's Online Bit Guide: Tom Thumb

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Western Tom Thumb BitWestern Tom Thumb: This bit combines the simple, single-jointed mouthpiece of a snaffle with the shanks and chin strap of a curb bit. The idea is to maintain the basic nutcracker action of a snaffle, yet introduce the leverage action of a curb and the concept of neck reining.

  • Sometimes referred to a colt breaking or training bit for western horses.
  • Though often perceived as a bit for transitioning a young horse from a snaffle to a curb, it can actually be a very severe bit due to the leverage action of the shanks.
  • Green horses can become confused by this bit as it can be an abrupt change from the direct rein action and non-leverage action of a plain snaffle.

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Reader Comments

Jenn    Bessemer, AL

9/2/2012 10:42:25 PM

I have used the tom thumb on all my horses,it never fails to lower the high heads,soften hard mouths,even emproved neckreining with green horses

andrea and sweet Pea    new holland, PA

7/21/2012 4:11:03 PM

I use a Tom Thumb on my horse that would NEVER respond to a snaffle (believe me, I tried) and it works great.

Samantha    Mission Viejo, CA

3/18/2010 12:39:52 AM

If you are even considering this bit, read about how it really works and why it's one of the worst bits you can use:
LINK

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