So, as some of you know, I'm going to be the Head Wrangler at a local summer camp this summer. Basically, that means that I'll be in completely control of the horse program.
I'm going to have 12 horses that I need to figure out the bit situation for. The outfitter's that send the horses recommend curbs and (american) Tom Thumbs for most of the horses. I am not going to know most of the horses and what they go well in, therefore, I'm inclined to just go with what the outfitter says. However, most of the horses do not seem to neck rein so basically the riders will be direct reining in a TT or a curb. We will be teaching the kids to direct rein since the camp horses are really pretty sour most of the time and since kids don't learn to use their legs reliably in 2 days, direct reining seems to be the way to go. Since each camp session is only a week long, the kids get two days in the arena practicing turning and stuff, then two days out on the trail. Any less time on the trail and parents start complaining to the camp and I get in trouble, so I can't just not take them out.
So, I guess I'm basically wanting reassurance that that'll be ok. I don't feel right about it, but I also feel uncomfortable putting all the horses in snaffles since most of the horses do not respect a snaffle and will totally ignore a little 80 pound kid asking them to stop. I only have a week, at most, to work the horses before the kids arrive and I have no idea about the riding skill of my assistant wranglers. At best I'm hoping that they've ridden before. It's highly unlikely that they have any real horse expierence. So I'm not too hopeful about getting all the horses comfortable and reliable in snaffles before it's time for them to beput to the test.
I'm trying to get a meeting put together with all of my assistants before camp so I can throw them all up on Lacey one at a time and see what I have to work with, but that's looking like it'll happen less and less since the camp director keeps ignoring my requests for their contact info.
But anyway, what would you do? Obviously, I'll be watching for signs of a horse with a mouth that just cannot handle direct reing in a TT/curb and I will definitely put them in a snaffle if that seems like the best route to take.