Lucky is soft, supple, gentle and EXTREMELY responsive to his rider in MOST situations. I rode him in just a halter and he did probably 50x better than he does if I ride him bridled. I would ride him in a hackamore, but he doesn't always respect the halter while leading, which we have been working on INCREDIBLY and he has much improved. The only thing is, if I ride him in a hackamore, it would be a gentle, leather nose band not a mechanical, similar to that of his halter and I'm afraid it might not offer enough attention grabbing, even though he's kind of a lazy horse to begin with, he's five, and he's stubborn and he does get goofy still. Sometimes he will want to eat grass, and when he does, he wants to eat grass! It's like a wrestling match and I can't imaging winning that with a hackamore on.
To make a long story short, lucky hates his bit and I am starting to. I love the idea of it, I just wish it was a little less shank.
It's a very heavy solid bit, it weighs about a pound, pound and a half to be honest.
It's a curb, but it has no port. It's a mullen mouth, not a straight bar, but the curved mullen mouths. Which is great, because lucky does not tolerate ported bits. Period. If you even touch the reins on a ported bit he stops in place and will not move until you change bits. And that's fine, I'm okay with that, I'd rather ride in a snaffle than a curb anyway BUT none of the snaffles I have fit him. They are all pony sized, and he's... well definitely not a pony! Now, the DOWNSIDE of that wonderful bit... is the shanks are 8 1/4" long. NO BODY needs that much leverage, period. That is way too much bit for me, way too much bit for him. If I even pull the rein a tiny bit, its like hell for his mouth, I feel like dancing on blades when I ride him in that bit, one wrong move and somebody's hurt.
The girl I bought him from said she only ever rode him in that, she has no idea what he may have been ridden in but he showed a few classes in western pleasure when he was two, and then did an entire season when he was three and four in that bit. I hate it though.
I am not experienced enough to deal with this bit properly and assure the happiness and safety of my horse.
It has to be changed.. The thing is, is I have no idea what bit to change to.
I want to do a snaffle, perhaps. Here are some bits I was eye-balling and let me know what you guys think. My price range is about $75, but I'd like to spend as little as possible because if the bit doesn't work out, I want to have the funds left to buy a different one.
Anyways, here is the list of the various bits I've been considering...
NOTE: Prices are without shipping. Add between 6 or 7 dollars for shipping, depending on bit weight. The Colt Bit
Description: 5/8" sweet iron mullen port mouth. 5" cheeks. Colts that have a lot of natural flex can use this bit to learn curb pressure and help collect themselves without over flexing. This mouthpiece is especially gentle for tugging a young colt around. This mouthpiece is especially gentle for tugging a very young colt around. About $25. Racing Dee
Description: Stainless steel Dee ring snaffle. 5" copper mouth. About $20. Racing Dee w/ Roller
Description: Stainless steel D-ring snaffle with copper roller. Dees are 3" high, 2" wide. Middle link eliminates nutcracker effect. About $25. Eggbutt w/ Roller
Stainless steel eggbutt snaffle. Has added copper roller to keep the mouth moist and soft. Middle link eliminates nutcracker effect. About $25. Flexi Eggbutt
Description: Stainless steel eggbutt snaffle. 5" mint flavored flexi mouth. Gentle bit for a soft mouthed horse. Mint flavor encourages horse to accept the bit. 3" Rings. About $20. Hackamore I was Considering
Description: 2-way adjustable leather with fleece lined nose. 7 1/2" shank. Adjustable curb chain. About $20.