IMO, Riding in a bit with shanks and no chain defeats the purpose of riding in a shanked bit at all. Even a gag's shanks need a chain. It's the chain that exerts the leverage. Otherwise you're just turning the bit around in the horse's mouth and not really doing anything.
You pull the reins, the shanks tip. At 45 degrees the curb chain is engaged and is pushed into the chin groove, which causes the headstall to pull down on the poll and the chain to squeeze up the head simultaneously. (in a curb bit, anyway). In a gag, you're supposed to use double reins, a curb rein and a gag rein. The shanks actually slip and move up and down at the mouth and pick the horse's head up. The chain kinda acts like a point of rotation when you activate the curb rein.Since she calls her bit a "snaffle" and doens't use a curb chain, I'm sure she uses 2 hands when she rides and direct reins like in english, too. As far as the head setting goes, which is where the port question comes from?...The port's height matters, but not as much as the bit's balance. You can teach a horse to set his head in a low port just as you can set it with a cathedral mouth (blech...but that's the opposite). The horse wants the bit to be cozy in his mouth. How the bit sits in his mouth is what makes him pick his head up or put it down. If you hold the bit on the port on your finger, does it tip forward or back or straight up and down...that's the "balance". The more backward the bit balances the more the horse will be more willing to put his head down to make it fit more comfy...(the balance is determined by the shape of the shanks).
My friend, it has nothing to do with your age. You will find that no matter how old you are or how much concrete proof you bring to some folks, they will just never listen and therefore they will literally never learn. You could dangle it right in front of their nose and they still won't see it (not can't...won't). Those folks will always wonder why their horses don't behave as well as others', why the horse can't do this or that, why the horse takes so long to learn anything, and why the horse just doesn't listen. If you look around, they're not the best horsemen, and depending on which area(s) of equine science is being discussed (as much as they insist their way is superior), you'll find that: their riding skills are often obviously lacking, they're the only ones who can ride their horses (because their training techniques are so out-of-touch from the industry standard), their horses are always sore, and sometimes the horse looks like crap or acts like an idiot. If you're going to be around them, the best thing you can do is just be there to pick them up off the ground, dust them off, and perhaps call the EMS when the horse has had enough. }:}~
Of course, that's not saying there's only ONE right way to do things...but fundamentally, what I'm addressing is the equivalent of people who insist on pounding nails with screwdrivers. O.o LOL