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Tom Thumbs

The Main reason I dislike Tt's so much is because they are  often called
"Colt Training Bits!"   This leads some people to think you slap one of
these on a young horse and away you go.  This, and other bits with
shanks, are NOT suitable for starting young horses because curb bits,
which the Tom thumb is because it has shanks, are to be used when
applying indirect pressure.  That is, when you pull on the left rein,
pressure is put on to the Right side of the horse's face.  Don't believe
me?  Put your hand there and look.  This is how curb bits work.  
On babies, using a non shank bit is better because we do a lot of pulling
them around, so to speak.  Left  rein,
go left.  Right rein, go right.  This is what is called direct reining.
  The tom thumb, because it has a broken mouthpiece AND shanks creates a
very extreme nutcracker effect.  Look in side   a horses mouth and see
what happens when you pull on the reins while he's wearing a TT.  I'd
rather see some one break a horse with a grazing bit, which is a curb bit
with solid mouthpiece (usually with a hump in the middle), because at
least it does not crush the tongue or bars or jam the inside of the
mouth.   I add, also, that the Kimberwike bit, used with the reins
attached to the D, instead of in the slots, becomes a snaffle.  The
tongue relief is why some horses like it better than a broken mouth
snaffle.  Remember, a snaffle   is  a Non-leverage bit and can have any
mouthpiece;  a curb has shanks, and is a curb regardless of mouthpiece.  

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