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Re: [RC] Bitting Question - Mary Bradford

I threw out all the tom thumb bits and other jointed, shanked bits several years ago.  Someone told me they were a good transition between the snaffle and the curb.  I rode my mare in a tom thumb for a few weeks.  She hated it.  Tossed her head, rooted her nose, ears back, etc.  There was no doubt how much she disliked it.  I got down and really studied what happened when you pulled a rein.  The shank rotates ouward when you pull the rein.  This makes the top ring where the headstall hooks on rotate and jab them in the face. It also pulls the curb strap tight and pinches the mouth.  So you are pulling on the rein, and pushing into their face all at the same time.  Talk about conflicting signals!  My horse will respond well to a full cheek snaffle, which is what I use for all training now, but she really comes alive in her curb bit.  It is sweet iron, has a low port with tongue relief and grazing shanks.  Carries it with a nice soft mouth, gives beautifully and started neckreining almost as soon as I put it on.  I have seen some ads lately for shanked, jointed bits that have non pivoting shanks.  Now  I imagine that  would be a useful bit for those looking for that style. 
Helena. Montana

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