So I had little chat with the woman who trained Sawyer, and I greatly misunderstood why we switched him to a Tom Thumb. She had told me that he ran through the snaffle, but I worded it wrong when I posted here.
Basically, when he spooked he'd bold, and sometimes a snaffle wasn't enough to stop him right away and she'd resort to the one rein stop. In the past months I've been riding him, he rarely bolts when he spooks. Last time he bolted, when a dog ran out at us from behind a large bush, he took two steps and stopped himself before I had even realized what was happening. Lately I've noticed him start to 'think it out' when a trail monster confronts us. He'll typically flinch and take 1-2 bolt steps, then immediately stop and begin turning himself, knowing that's what I'll have him do in a minute.
I am starting to consider the little S hack more, listening to your guys' reviews. Do those have a good 'stop'?
You all are giving me such great opinions and reviews, I really appreciate your help!
"Putting pads on a gaited horse is like putting a mask on a beautiful woman."