I had it set up in the "combo configuration" style, with the intention of later taking off the bit and having it set up cross-under bitless.
I was in the arena and my BO/riding teacher enters with a student he was about to teach. I walk over to him and tell him that I like the new bridle, but I was worried that it might be too tight over my horse's poll. (Turns out it wasn't after all, but I didn't find out until I went online.) He walks over, glances at the poll, loosens the throatlatch (which was already pretty loose), and then notices how the reins are set up.
He looks at me like you would look at a kid whole stole candy from Walmart; he looked at me like I was an idiot. He says, "Good Lord, why are your reins set up that way?" I say that it's because I'm trying to train Winny to go bitless, and then I ask if it's a bad idea. My trainer says, "Well, you've got opposite pressure on his face," and then proceeds to unclip the reins and put them back on the bit (sidepull style). He chuckles, pats my horse as if he feels sorry for him, and then goes off to teach his lesson.
I walk out of the arena and hand graze Winny until the lesson is over. I go back to the arena, work him a bit more, then go to the barn and hose him off, feeling dejected and stupid. I slick off the extra water, and bring Winny, the bridle, and the crop into the round pen. I wait for him to dry off, and then I take off the bit, loop the reins through the nose-band rings and hook them on the other side (cross-under), and hop on him bareback. He was a bit rough at first, but he did BEAUTIFULLY after about five minutes. We walk out of the round pen, and I ride him around the farm. He tries to graze a few times but, unlike when I would ride in his halter, he quickly picked his head back up when he learned that he couldn't just ignore me in the new bridle. He did SO well.
Anyways, my whole point in this is: What should I do about how my trainer acted? I've learned a LOT with him and I would never be able to ride as well as I do without his help. He's smart and knows what he's doing. And that's my problem. I can't just explain to this old-timer why the reins were set up the way they were. I feel like it would be incredibly disrespectful. Plus, I'm sixteen. He's a grandfather. And I'm really bad at explaining things. I don't want to be that typical teenage rider who thinks that she knows everything and that she's better than everyone else. I could just ride normally when he's at the farm, and then set up the bridle how I want to when he's gone, but I feel like that's being sneaky and I'd rather have him see how it works than to do it behind his back (even though I'm not above doing it. ).
I have a lesson today at four, so he'll either ask me to show him how Winny does bitless-cross-under, or he'll forget about it and have us ride sidepull.
Ugh. Should I listen to him and ride sidepull with the bit or ride how I want to, when I want to? After all, Winny is MY horse and I am fully responsible for his training. If I want to do something that my trainer doesn't like/understand, then it should be up to me, right?