While I will be using a regular o-ring snaffle for awhile yet I do want a shank bit to move up to after I get to know my new little mare better. We will be working on neck reining but I want the option of direct reining if she needs a reinforcement or I want to use the one-rein-stop. (Took a fall a few years back, nervous re-rider.) So I think I'd want a loose-jaw one, right? (Sorry, I am unsure of that term?)
I have very light hands--I pride myself on this--and I will not be using my reins for balance. A shanked bit will not be used harshly or inappropriately.
Previous owner/trainer suggests a Reinsman Jr. Cow Horse bit (three piece mouth). I have only ridden the horse once and she did nicely in the regular snaffle but, this was at a walk/trot and I hope to move up to some cattle work at some point and would like a little more control in those instances. (I would probably switch between the snaffle and the 'new' bit for trail rides vs. working.) If she continues to behave as well as she did then she won't have to know which bit is in her mouth at all, ha ha. Also, I prefer the look of a fancier bit...call me vain. :)