I ride primarily Western, as a start. I'm also on the younger side, so please keep that in mind as I try to describe this situation.
With my horses I've always used very mild bits. Depending on the horse, I've used French link and simple snaffles, and on my very solid, soft, finished gelding, a mild single jointed bit with short shanks.
I've been working with a friend's sweet little mare I'm going to buy if things go well undersaddle (after we've been working on the ground for a few months, waiting on better conditions and weather ) but from everything I've heard it should go really well, so she'll probably be mine.
The owner has only had her for a short time and hasn't done much with her, so we're still figuring a lot out. I'll be the first one really riding her after her trainer worked with her again recently and had her owner ride her once or twice.
She was started by and recently worked with a very reputable reining/cow horse trainer in the area who I have not met but have seen and heard nothing but good things from. The only problem is that she told the owner that this horse should be ridden in a twisted wire snaffle. I don't have a very good feeling about that as I haven't personally heard a lot of good about those bits and I don't like to just use a harsher bit to correct problems instead of working on them. Knowing this horse's personality and level of experience, I would think that she should still be working in a smooth, basic single or double jointed O-ring?
Are these bits ever used to further lightness, as with a shank bit, or are they generally only used to increase harshness? It doesn't seem it would be very productive to use a bit like this above switching to a shank bit as a horse advances...but maybe I'm missing something?
Normally I wouldn't think about this at all, but because it was this trainer who said this I can't help but investigate further. Should I try riding her in this bit (the owner picked one up, a somewhat wide one with a slow twist) or just go with my gut and personal experiences and put her in a milder bit?
Sorry for my usual talking too much,
Happy trails to you