Tennessee walker with a "bit" of a problem!
My buddy has a 4 yo big headed, sweet as pie TWH gelding. I do most of the work with him, although I myself don't come from a gaited horse background and he's the first TWH my friend has ever dealt with. He came with training from his previous owner, and when we started working with him (we had very limited knowledge on his past) we didn't know what to ride him in. Started him in a Tom thumb with copper rollers, but he would get really mad at the nutcracker action of the bit. Tried him in my old OTTB's Mullen eggbutt happy mouth, and he appreciates the straight mouth and rides fine for me but doesn't stop or maneuver well for my friend. I found a short shanked bit with a low, wide port. It wasn't a perfect match and he's not the biggest fan of it. However, I like the way he worked in it, but he sticks his nose in the air and gapes his mouth to evade the bit with my friend. The horse is heavier in mouth yet particular about what goes in it, and very sensitive to leg. My friend is quite stubborn, heavy handed, and has incredibly long legs and doesn't use leg pressure the way he should, so here lies my problem. I need to find a bit that the horse likes that I can teach him to respect and give to the bit properly, but also will allow my friend to safely ride without making him really mad. Does anyone have suggestions for me?
Sincerely, a thoroughbred owner lost in a gaited horse world!
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