I broke my Paso mare in a D-ring, she rode out nice, but she is a very goey mare and I didnt have the brakes that I wanted with her. I made a small step up to a tom thumb and have never looked back. My thought is that most pasos, walkers, QH, whatever.... are ridden in a particular bit as dictated by tradition, moreso than function. I have ridden horses of all types that didn't respond to a certain type of bit. You may just have to sort through a pile of bits and find a middle ground that makes you both happy.
I will say that my Paso mare is the most finicky horse I have ever dealt with in regard to tack changes, I assume that, this is more an idividual thing, than a breed thing.
Tack selection has to be driven by two factors:
First, the requirements of the discipline. In the formal disciplines (Dressage, Fox Hunting, historical re-enacting/living history, etc.) you must meet fairly strict rules. In the less formal disciplines (trail riding, Cubbing, Mounted Shooting, etc.) you can have a lot more lattitude.
Second, the needs of the horse and rider. Some might put this first; I put it second. In any event, whatever is chosen to meet the rules and the needs of the horse and rider. Compromises between First and Second might well have to be made.
Jim makes an important point when he observes that a lot of what is done is driven by tradition vice function.
Further, what works in one venue might be really worthless in another. As an example, if you're competing a TWH in a flatshod rail class you might select heavy shoes, up to 48 oz., to get the gait quality that will take home a blue ribbon. Yet to use such shoes on that same TWH and intend to cover 50 miles in an Endurance competition would be monumentally stupid.
Smart horsemen apply the rule of "horses for courses." The same principles apply to tack.
As to Paso Finos, the show lines in that breed can be a challenge as they are bred to present a very firey appearance. A level of finickyness will go along with this.
It seems to be that there is a lot of debate over direct reins in a spoon. The horse in question, to my knowledge was always ridden direct rein in the spoon. I tried a two piece snaffle I had this weekend and I feel he did fine as far as direct rein and response but it was much more difficult to stop him without the leverage (he just wants to go). I talked with a trainer of Pasos over the week and they told me that they often direct rein with curbs. I just feel it's all foggy as to what to do. He rides in the spoon just fine, but I was always told that you should not direct rein in a curb so I feel at a loss as to what to do.
Please understand I want the horse to be comfortable and I know there has always been much debate as to what will truly make a horse comfortable with a bit. Would a hackamore be a good option, I know some pasos are ridden in a hackamore or jaquimas.
I really thank you all for your help thus far, I just want the best for this horses mouth.
Featherfox, I think you could likely dispel a lot of the debate by posting a picture of the spoon bit you're talking about. When I think spoon bit, I think something like this but you may know a spoon bit as something different.
If it's similar to that bit, then no, you really shouldn't be direct reining in it. Picking up one rein in a curb bit for a minor correction is acceptable, but if the horse doesn't neck rein at all, then they should still be in a bit designed for direct reining like some form of snaffle.
If Paso's are known for low palates, then you'd likely have the best luck with some form of double jointed snaffle or a snaffle with a barrel like a Billy Allen or a Myler, that limits the folding of the bit.
Another option would be something like this. It's got a low, gentle port on it, and it's also got snaffle and curb rings. That way, you can put your reins on the rings at the end of the mouth while direct reining and, as the horse learns to neck rein, you can put reins on the bottom rings to introduce curb pressure.
"If it's similar to that bit, then no, you really shouldn't be direct reining in it. Picking up one rein in a curb bit for a minor correction is acceptable, but if the horse doesn't neck rein at all, then they should still be in a bit designed for direct reining like some form of snaffle."
If that was true, there would be very little steering for most TWH. Almost all of them are direct reined with curbs and lonnnnng shanks.