I like that, "big girl armor". That's the spirit!
Well, of the two, I prefer the first one. I don't really like having those loops that you are supposed to put the cheek piece and /or the rein in. They say that it stabilized the bit more. I find it just makes the cheek piece gap.
I ride mostly western these days, and I really just use a plain snaffle (eggbut) or french link loose ring (kk). I do have a full cheek, too.
I really like using heavy rope reins and slobber straps. It is not just about looks, though I have come to think of them as cool looking. What is really the point of the heavy rein/slobber strap is that the feel can be transmitted down the heavy rope rein quicker. This give the horse a "prewarning" that the bit is about to come into play. The slobber strap magnifies this too, because as the rider lifts the rein, the slobber strap, being kind of stiff, has almost some resistance when it slides on the metal bit. The horse can feel that before any change in the angle of the bit occurs. My horse can feel me just slide my hand down the rope rein and lift it. There is still drape in the rein, but since I lifted the rein upward, the slobber strap slid on the bit ring and the horse feels a change. He gets ready. I stiffen my body, close my hand on the rein, apply a little pressure and he stops. I literally DROP the rope rein. It provides rapid and marked release.
That is why I like the heavy rope reins. I enclose a picture of Mac's set up. new bridle 009.jpg