I have a bit of a situation and I am really looking for some unbiased advice about bits. Apologies for the length of the post but I am at a real crossroads.
Here's a bit of background. I grew up in a town outside of London, England, and horses were something you saw on the tv. I didn't ride horses until I moved to Spain and met my wife 7 years ago. I am 45. My horse, (Nube) is about 9 years old, only having been ridden regularly for the last four years, mostly by me. We get on very well. She was broken as a foal by a Spanish 'expert' which means he knows how to use sticks and stones better than most people. Therefore she is a very sensitive horse, doesn't like loud voices, quick movements...you get the picture.
Up until about 6 months ago she was riding beautifully in a combination snaffle, which apparently turned out to belong to a friend of ours. She replaced it with a very harsh snaffle which Nube took an instant dislike to. At one point, while trying to fit the bridle, she reared and then lunged forward and if it hadn't been for the fact that she hit the tack room wall, she would have landed on my wife.
The same friend who took away our combination snaffle and gave us the harsh snaffle then advised us to try her in a rubber bit. Worked very well to start with but I soon had difficulty turning her head. Then the same friend suggested a Hackamore. Have had one good ride and two bad rides so far.
Another complication is that my wife's friend (another 'expert') came to ride Nube and brought with her a Pelham bit with a D-ring connection to a single rein. I had a go a few days later and really enjoyed the ride. Nube seemed to enjoy herself as well. First friend (comfort snaffle-harsh snaffle-rubber) later took one look at the Pelham and declared "You should never ride a Pelham bit with a single rein" and set about removing the D-ring connector and fitting a second rein. Suddenly I am learning to ride with double reins. The worst part is that the two 'expert' friends don't like each other and I am concerned that I may be in the middle of a "who knows the most about horses" war between the two.
I would really like to return to a comfort snaffle as we were both really happy with it, but they are very difficult to get hold of here, or in the UK. Has anyone got any advice they could offer, or suggest an alternative to the comfort snaffle that is easily available?
I would really appreciate any advice on this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.