The Action of the Tom Thumb
This is a cross between the American gag and the Elevator. It is a popular showjumping and cross country bit as it offers more control and precision, it has a lifting effect in front and is especially good for showjumping as you can sit the horse more on its hocks (bottom) and turn tight. This bit is used regularly by many international showjumpers and eventers. It is also used generally for horses that tend to lean owing to its uplifting action. The cheeks reinforce the turning aids and will not pull through the mouth. The Tom Thumb Cheeks are allowed for Pony Club, Showjumping and Eventing.
1. Giving the action of an extended loose ring baucher (poll pressure).
2. Most popular setting to maximize on the gag action (Lifting action).
3. Two reins in order to differentiate between the aids.
4. Slightly less gag action - occasionally used if the middle is not sufficient but the bottom a little sharp
5. A curb strap may be used in conjunction with any rein fitting - this is usually employed in the top ring - do not start off with so much tension on the curb strap that it inhibits the gag action. The cheek must be allowed to lift and tilt forwards.
The Elevator Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece is slim so it is quite active over the bars. The lozenge in the centre reduces pressure from the sensitive outer edges of the tongue but does utilize the centre owing to the clearly defined shape of the lozenge. This helps with lightness and lift whilst still encouraging a contact (they still take you in).
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