Bit- I rode him in a shanked chain bit. Now, I certainly would not recommend this bit, but being how hard mouthed he was it was what worked best for him. He'd toss his head everynow and then, but he was an exciteable guy!:P I tried riding him in a snaffle, to which he grabbed a hold of it like a racer and took off with me. I did in fact ride him with a tie down, and I will be the first to admit it wasn't for "balance" (although he always ran better without it and did lean on it) or anything, plain and simple his ears could easily poke my eyes out. No amount of softening worked on him, and there isn't much 14 year old me knew about that. That's kinda where his ugly neck came from, but it was also just conformational.
This big old guy never had a lame day. He certainly wasn't the best looking horse, but he had a soft and trying heart. I was ready to get competitive with him at the 21 when he suddenly passed away due to complications from choking. He was still running wicked fast times, and I never even pushed him as hard as I could at that point..And, this horse had a lope like no other. It was SMOOTH. Trotting was the worst on him, but his lope was smooth as butter!! He was fast as all get out, lots of GO and not enough WHOA;)