Hi, I ride both English and Western and have taught both in Cali over the past 3 years. You mention you want your horse to respond better? This may sound strange but go with me here - try a bitless bridle, not one with poll pressure, just a dually halter of one that put soft pressure across the nose. I've used them on horses with serious problems (running off, bucking, rearing ect) and it's amazing how much your horse listens to your other aids when the issue of a bit is removed. If your horse is trained western and knows how to listen to you seat and leg aids it should't be a problem. The first thing I do when training a difficult horse is remove the bit and work from there. It's perfectly acceptable in the showing world and much more comfortable for the horse.